Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that removes fat, but is not done to help people lose weight. While weight loss does happen, it is only a side effect of the body contouring. There are different types of liposuction and which one you have may depend on where the treatment is going to be done and how much is needed.
In fact, there are 4 different kinds of liposuction, but all offer the same end result, which is a body that does not have so many lumps and bumps on it.
- Tumescent liposuction. This is considered the gold standard of all types, perhaps because it is the most used and safest. In tumescent liposuction a micro cannula is used to apply tumescent anaesthetic to the treatment areas. This helps to break down the fat and stop bleeding so the fat cells can more easily be sucked out. The results are very pleasing and can be repeated if necessary without any harm.
- Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL). As you might imagine from the name, ultra sound is used to help break down the fatty cells. While this liquefied fat is easier to suck out, the problems are that it can cause skin to die. There might also be small areas of yellow fluid that require draining.
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL). When a surgeon does liposuction he must move the cannula back and forwards in the site to get as much fat as possible. This can be really tiring if there is a large area to do. This kind of treatment uses a cannula that oscillates on its own to avoid the tiring motion that is needed. While it’s all about the surgeon, the patient can understand that if the doctor gets tired, a good job is not as likely to be done.
- Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL). This kind of liposuction is similar to UAL, with the laser providing the essential breaking down of the fat so it can be more easily removed. The laser heats the fat cells, basically melting the fat and destroying the membrane of the cell so the fat can pool together and be quickly and easily sucked out. The fibre optic laser tool used for this procedure is set to 39C which is the heat that bursts fat cells open. LAL is also known as ‘smart lipo’. The heat also seals off the blood vessels so bleeding is reduced. In fact, LAL is actually less painful and less invasive than Tumescent lipo. However, it requires an experienced surgeon to do it safely – and sometimes the results are still inconsistent.
It is not so much the type of liposuction, but the skill of the surgeon doing the procedure that is important.