Different Liposuction Procedures Explained

At one point or another we've all said something along the lines of “I wish I could just get liposuction and be done with it.” While liposuction is a great way to get rid of stubborn fat, it's definitely not a get-skinny-quick solution. Liposuction is generally used when diet and exercise have failed to get rid of that last bit of pesky fat. But with so many different procedures out there, here's a breakdown of each to help you decide which type of liposuction will work best for you.

Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL)
For the most part, all liposuction is suction-assisted. That means that the fat is removed with the assistance of suction via cannula-a hollow tube that's inserted below the skin to loosen up the fat.

Tumescence Liposuction
Generally referred to as the “wet” or “super-wet” technique, it involves plumping the fat cells you want removed with saline. This technique allows the surgeon to remove the fat with a smaller incision and have better control over sculpting the area. Plus, it also reduces recovery time, swelling, bruising and more.

Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)
This technique uses high-frequency energy from ultrasound to rupture and dislodge fat cells before they are suctioned out. It can also be used externally or internally. With the internal procedure, an ultrasound probe is inserted to liquefy the fat. And with the external procedure, the device emits energy outside the body through the skin and soft tissue to target the fat. UAL is typically used to treat larger areas of fat and in more dense fatty areas like the back and upper abdomen.

Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL)
Rather than the doctor using their own force to dislodge the fat, this technique uses special equipment to give power to the cannula. The benefit of this procedure is that it's less exhausting for the surgeon. “Each pass of the cannula does the equivalent of what 40 or more passes with traditional liposuction can do,” says Chicago plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction
In this procedure, high-powered lasers use energy to heat up the tissue and cause the skin to retract. The theory behind this procedure is that it helps stimulate new collagen to help tighten up slightly loose skin.

To learn more about what procedure will work best for you, watch the video below to get tips from New York plastic surgeon, David Rapaport, MD



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