The basic technique of liposuction involves the removal of fat via a hollow metal tube (cannula) that is passed through the fatty tissue. Individuals considering liposuction often feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of options and techniques being promoted today. In deciding which is the right treatment approach for you, your doctor will consider effectiveness, safety, cost and appropriateness for your needs. This is called surgical judgment, a skill that is developed through surgical training and experience. Your doctor also uses this judgement to prevent complications; to handle unexpected occurrences during surgery; and to treat complications when they occur.
Step one / fluid injection:
Tumescent fluid Injection (tumescent liposuction), a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into fatty areas before the fat is removed, is the commonly used technique. The fluid — a mixture of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels) — helps the fat be removed more easily, reduces blood loss and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.
Step two / fat aspiration:
One of the most common types of liposuction involves the aspiration of fat by attaching a pump that generates a vacuum. This is known as suction assisted liposuction (SAL).
In addition, a motor may be used on the cannula that causes the cannula to vacillate back and forth thus performing much of the “work” of liposuction know as power assisted liposuction (PAL).
An ultrasonic generator may produce sound waves above audible frequency that “breaks” the fat cells and the broken down fat is removed by SAL. Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) has been shown to improve the ease and effectiveness of liposuction in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper back or the enlarged male breast.
A laser or radiofrequency can also be employed to break down the fat cells. Each of the methods has advantages anddisadvantages.
These methods will be discussed with you at the time of the consultation. Additionally, the above techniques may be combined is some cases.