Variations in Liposuction
Dry, Wet, Super-wet and Tumescent liposuction – These terms mainly determine the amount of fluid that is injected into the liposuction area before suctioning (the volume of injected fluid increasing with each terminology). Ideally “tumescent” includes use of local anaesthetic in the infiltration fluid.
Syringe liposuction – This includes use of 60ml syringes to suck out fat. This is the most gentle liposuction technique and fat collected in syringes can be used for injecting into fat deficient areas like hollow cheeks, buttocks or breasts. This technique of fat redistribution is called liposculpturing.
Power assisted liposuction (PAL) or vibroliposuction cannula was designed to vibrate at the tip. This reduces physical strain to the surgeon and the vibrating cannula breaks down the fat in tougher areas with a lot more ease.
Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) – Here ultrasound waves were used to break fat cells which are then sucked out. However, UAL went out of vogue because of increased complication rates like skin burn and altered sensation of liposuctioned part.
VASER liposuction – Vaser (acronym for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance) again uses ultrasound energy to break fat cells but at a different frequency so that it causes lesser damage to surrounding tissues.
LASER liposuction – Laser (acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) uses laser energy to break fat cells. The broken fat cells may be left behind (for the body to clear them) or sucked out.
Vaser and Laser liposuction reduce the surgeon’s effort to some extent but at the same time increase the duration of surgery. Some claim lesser blood loss, lesser pain post-operatively and faster recovery which are not always true.
Infact, Vaser and Laser liposuction are “infants” in the field of body contouring. At best the safety profile and long term results are yet to be studied and documented. Certain amount of skin tightening and shrinkage occurs in all forms of liposuction. The contour results and safety profile of SAL (Suction assisted liposuction) are long established. The end result depends not on how fancy the technique sounds but on the surgeon behind the machine. As ever it the skill and the experience of the surgeon that determines the safety and outcome of liposuction surgery.