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The different types of liposuction available



There are several forms of liposuction around, but they are not all created equal. The gold standard remains tumescent liposuction, but the others are worth explaining.

Any experienced surgeon can do an excellent job no matter his or her tools or preferred techniques; the skill and eye of your surgeon matters more than anything, so choose wisely.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
This form of liposuction uses a specialised cannula (tiny tube) that sends out ultrasonic vibrations that liquefy fat, making it easier to suction out. There are some serious possible complication with this technique, however, including death of skin cells. Small pockets of yellow fluid can also collect and need to be drained.

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)
PAL means the use of an oscillating cannula, which stops the need for the surgeon to use the back and forth motion with the cannula. This may be more useful when there is a lot of scar tissue or fibrous tissue. The use of PAL or not does not make any difference to the results, but a surgeon may prefer to use this to reduce fatigue, particularly when treating large areas.

Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) (SmartLipo, SlimLipo)
LAL is much like ultrasound-assisted liposuction, whereby the cannula has a fibre-optic laser inside which delivers thermal energy (heat) to fat cells. The membrane of the fat cell is destroyed, emptying the contents of the cell into the cavity ‘melting’ fat cells. This makes it easier to remove via suction.

Tumescent liposuction
Tumescent liposuction is the gold standard in liposuction, to which all other methods are compared. It is the safest, most-used, and most-researched form of liposuction. The tumescent anaesthetic mixture is added to the treatment area using the micro-cannula, which softens fat, quells bleeding, and makes it easier to suction out the fat cells. The results are excellent, consistent, and replicable.

NOTE: At ENRICH, we prefer to use the tumescent liposuction technique because it is reliable, consistent and gives excellent, smooth results. We do not offer laser liposuction. 

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