There are three main techniques used to remove the fat: tumescent liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction and power assisted liposuction.
Tumescent technique, also known as the super-wet technique involves the infusion of a saline solution containing a local anesthetic and epinephrine into the areas to be treated prior to the removal of fat. The solution helps to loosen the fat prior to the suction removal by a hollow tube or cannula. The solution helps in minimizing any pain after the surgery and reduces bleeding and bruising. The cannulas used for suction removal of fat are available in different diameter sizes and have different shapes. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the fat. Using suction created by a vacuum machine, the fat is removed through small openings in the tip of the cannula, travels through the cannula, tubing and finally to a collection container that is part of the liposuction machine.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction or UAL is a technique where ultrasound waves or energy is used to liquefy the fat before suctioning is performed. The tumescent saline solution is still used to decrease pain and bruising. Ultrasonic liposuction is especially useful for types of fat that are more fibrous or thicker. This type of fat can be more difficult to remove using traditional tumescent liposuction. Ultrasonic liposuction can also be used when redoing an area that has been treated before. Ultrasonic liposuction may also tighten skin in certain instances. Ultrasonic liposuction is particularly useful in the abdominal, back and chest areas.
Power Assisted Liposuction
Power Assisted Liposuction or PAL is a technique that uses oscillating cannulas that move back and forth to remove the fat. Tumescent saline solution is still used to decrease the pain and bleeding. Power assisted liposuction is useful in areas where the fat is thicker or more fibrous and may be more difficult to remove. Power assisted liposuction can achieve a more complete removal of fat in a specific area in a gentler fashion. Power Assisted Liposuction is particularly useful in the chest area, posterior flank and waist area and in individuals having liposuction a second time.