Everything You Need to Know About Tickle Lipo

Lorna Jackson
By Lorna Jackson

Lorna was Editor of Consulting Room (www.consultingroom.com), the UK's largest aesthetic information website, from 2003 to 2021.

‘Tickle Lipo®’ is the new, much talked about procedure in the world of liposuction for body contouring and fat removal.

The device in question is manufactured by Euromi of Belgium and uses a technology originally called Custom Acoustic Liposuction (CAL) or Nutational Infrasonic Liposuction (NIL) and was originally marketed in some countries as Vibroliposuction or Vibro Lipo™. It also has FDA approval for fat removal and body sculpting.

“Most of these acronyms are just marketing rubbish to get the unwary patient to try something supposedly new, because of course we are programmed to think new must be better!”; said one UK-based Consultant Plastic Surgeon that we asked for comment.

With many reports of patients experiencing a slight tickling sensation during treatment, you can see why the U.S. distribution company Medical Alliance Services filed a trademark to market the more consumer-friendly ‘Tickle Lipo®’ term to consumers.

There are in fact many videos on You Tube™ which show testimony to patients practically beside themselves with laughter proclaiming that the surgeon is tickling them during this procedure, not what you might expect from serious cosmetic surgery!

What is tickle lipo?

Although it is said to be well known in Europe, it is one of the newest methods of liposuction offered in the United States and is not currently actively promoted in the UK to our knowledge.

Traditional liposuction tends to require a large amount of physical effort on the part of the practitioner during the performance of the procedure. CAL/NIL was first introduced in Belgium by a physician who performed several liposuction procedures each day and was developed with the aim of increasing the physician’s performance whilst decreasing his/her physical effort.

Unlike other new breed liposuction or lipolysis devices on the market such as VASER® Lipo or Smartlipo®, it doesn’t use ultrasound or lasers to break up the fat prior to removal. Instead, it relies on the motion of the cannula itself which is powered by air pressure and moves in three dimensions in a whirling movement, vibrating and rotating (known as ‘nutational’), whilst also delivering an infusion of anaesthesia in a tumescent solution.

It is also claimed that the patented technique of nutation provides faster infiltration of the tumescent solution - 25% faster than other liposuction technology, shortening the length of the procedure for both practitioner and patient.

How effective is Tickle Lipo

It is this vibration and movement which causes the tickling sensation for the patient, who is of course numbed to the pain of the cannula inside them by the infiltration of the anaesthetic. The nutational vibration of the cannula is also said to interfere with the brain's pain receptors in the same way that scratching relieves an itch.

The technology used is a 3D acoustic energy which is emitted as a low, infrasonic frequency (10Hz), said to be safer than ultrasonic waves as this means that the cannula remains cool during the procedure so poses less risk to surrounding tissue.

We asked UK VASER Lipo trainer, Dr. Ravi Jain for his thoughts on Tickle Lipo® as a competitor to VASER which was proved to produce superior results to standard suction-assisted liposuction*.

“Tickle Lipo is not a new phenomenon but is a new marketing brand! Nutational Liposuction is a relatively old technology and has been around for a long time. I certainly doubt that 3 out of 4 patients will be laughing throughout a decent procedure unless one gives them laughing gas!

Vibration-assisted infiltration is an interesting concept and may well reduce discomfort during infiltration, but so will slower infiltration rates and more care when infiltrating.

The liposuction part of this procedure is suction-assisted liposuction, so nothing new there. I think it’s just a company which wants to push their product with a new marketing concept. I still believe VASER offers patients the safest and most effective treatments.”

With so many options available for the reduction of fatty tissue, from non-invasive ultrasound devices such as Ultrashape™ and Liposonix™, invasive systems such as laser lipolysis with Smartlipo™, ultrasound-assisted liposuction with VASER® or radio-frequency assisted liposuction with Bodytite™, and on to more traditional tumescent liposuction procedures, it’s difficult for the consumer and the practitioner to evaluate the best methods to employ. The only way this can be done is with further clinical trials and comparative work. 

*Study: A Multi-Center, Prospective, Randomized, Single-Blind, Controlled Clinical Trial Comparing VASER-Assisted Lipoplasty and Suction-Assisted Lipoplasty

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together some liposuction, body contouring, fat removal, VASER® Lipo, Smartlipo®, Ultrashape™, Liposonix™ and Bodytite™ FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the liposuction, body contouring, fat removal, VASER® Lipo, Smartlipo®, Ultrashape™, Liposonix™ and Bodytite™ question feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited liposuction, body contouring, fat removal, VASER® Lipo, Smartlipo®, Ultrashape™, Liposonix™ and Bodytite™ clinics in your area.

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