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Different Types Of Liposuction Surgery Explained

Liposuction surgery has come a long way in the last twenty years. New technology and techniques have made liposuction safer, with quicker recovery times and better results.

Liposuction involves inserting a thin metal tube through small cuts in the skin around the area where the fat will be removed. Using current technology, the cannula breaks up the fat tissue by a “jackhammer” action. The loose fat is then suctioned out through the cannula, by the vacuum action of the suction pump.

Different Types Of Liposuction

'Wet' Versus 'Dry' Liposuction

Most surgeons use 'wet' liposuction where they inject a 'wetting' solution under the skin where the fat it to be removed. The wetting solution contains salt water (saline), local anaesthetic and epinephrine (which narrows blood vessels to reduce bleeding and prolongs the local anaesthetic action).

The technique can be 'wet', 'super-wet' or 'tumescent', which refers to how much wetting solution is injected before performing liposuction. Wetting solutions have improved the safety of liposuction surgery and has reduced recovery times.

Dry liposuction is simply liposuction without the use of wetting solution. This method has fallen out of favour because it is less efficient at removing fat cells, leads to more bleeding and bruising and has a higher risk of causing nerve damage than wet liposuction.

Different Techniques Of Assisted Liposuction

There are several variations on traditional Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) which is the standard technique for liposuction surgery. All assisted techniques are designed to loosen the fat thereby making it easier to extract fat cells with the least amount of damage to surrounding tissues. A few of the most popular methods include:

  • Ultrasound Assisted liposuction: this technique uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to dissolve the fat tissue so that the fat is more easily suctioned away. However, this technique has a risk of causing skin burns.
  • Power or Mechanical Assisted liposuction: this technique uses a modified cannula which 'oscillates', moving back and forth rapidly to loosen or break up fat cells. As the force required to dislodge the fat tissue is less than with SAL alone, there is generally less bruising and swelling after this technique.
  • Laser Assisted liposuction: this technique is similar to ultrasound assisted liposuction but rather than ultrasound energy, laser (light) energy is used to dissolve the fat cells which are then removed by suction. Advocates of laser assisted liposuction say that the technique also helps to firm and tighten the skin, but this technique also carries a risk of skin burns.
  • Water-jet assisted liposuction: this is a technique where the cannula emits jets of water to help break up the fat thereby make it easier to remove by suction.

At NorthEast Plastic Surgery, Mr Tansley and Dr Seneviratne use a power assisted Microaire device which uses the “jackhammer” action to loosen the fat tissue. The ease of fat removal reduces bruising as the damage to the surrounding tissues is reduced, improves the aesthetic outcome due to more complete and even fat removal and the recovery and time down time are also reduced.

Next Step

If you are considering liposuction surgery and have questions you would like or if you would like to book a confidential consultation at a cost of $140, click below or call (03) 9088 5000 for the Melbourne practice or (07) 3180 3400 for the Brisbane practice. The Cosmetic Surgery Co-ordinators of NorthEast Plastic Surgery will organise a consultation with Mr Tansley or Dr Seneviratne who are highly qualified and experienced surgeons. They will assess your individual requirements and discuss your preferences in regard to liposuction surgery.



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