Liposuction is a very popular method of removing unwanted body fat since it offers almost instantaneous results. There are many techniques that have been developed as medical technology continues to advance. One way to differentiate types of liposuction is by the mechanism of the cannula, the suction tube. The most common include suction-assisted liposuction, power assisted liposuction, ultrasonic, and laser assisted liposuction.
Suction assisted liposuction is the most common of all types of liposuction mechanisms and is what we commonly associate with traditional liposuction. The cannula, or suction tube, is pulled forward and backwards through the fatty layer to break up and remove the fatty tissue from the area. Power assisted liposuction is similar to suction assisted liposuction except that instead of manually pushing and pulling the cannula, there is a motorized part that creates the motion.
Ultrasonic liposuction uses a special cannula that emits ultrasonic waves to break up the fat cells. The liquefied fatty substance is then removed through the cannula. This technique is particularly useful for more fibrous fat cells such as those in the upper backs and chests of male patients.
Laser assisted liposuction uses a tiny cannula attached to a fiber that guides a laser into the treatment area. The laser generates heat to melt the fat making it easier to remove. Laser liposuction also uses the tumescent technique of injecting the area with a local anesthesia so that the risk of general anesthesia is greatly reduced. It is a very useful technique for delicate areas such as the face or neck.
Remember that while liposuction is considered a relatively safe procedure, there are dangers of liposuction that cannot be eliminated completely. However, by going to a board certified plastic surgeon that has experience in performing liposuction surgery, you can minimize the level of risks involved. Anyone considering liposuction should schedule a consultation session with their plastic surgeon.