information on liposuction surgery and alternative treatments 



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Liposuction Techniques

Wet Liposuction

A small amount of fluid, less in volume than the amount of fat to be removed, is injected into the area. It contains:
  • Lidocaine: as a local anaesthetic
  • Epinephrine: to contract the blood vessels and thus minimize bleeding
  • A salt solution: to make it saline, like our body fluids

This fluid helps to loosen the fat cells and reduce bruising. The fat cells are then suctioned out as in the basic procedure.




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Super Wet Liposuction

In this method, the infusate volume is in about the same amount as the volume of fat expected to be removed.

This is the preferred technique for high-volume liposuction by many plastic surgeons as it better balances hemostasis and potential fluid overload (as with the tumescent technique).

It takes one to three hours, depending on the size of the treated area(s). It may require either:

  • IV sedation as well as the local lidocaine, or
  • Complete anesthesia


Tumescent liposuction
Suction-assisted liposuction (SAL)
In the classic tumescent technique, a large amount of fluid is injected into the area, perhaps as much as 3 or 4 times the volume of fat to be removed. It is the same saline fluid as the super wet technique, but its increased quantity creates space between the muscle and the fatty tissue, which creates more room for the suction tube (cannula) that the surgeon uses to remove the fat cells.   Suction-assisted liposuction is the standard method of liposuction. In this approach, a small cannula (like a straw) is inserted through a small incision. It is attached to a vacuum device. The surgeon pushes and pulls it carefully through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and drawing them out of the body by suction.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
External ultrasound-assisted liposuction
Also referred to as ultrasonic liposuction. A specialized cannula is used which transmits ultrasound vibrations within the body. This vibration bursts the walls of the fat cells, emulsifying the fat (i.e. liquefying it) and making it easier to suction out.
  • UAL is a good choice for working on more fibrous areas, like the upper back, or male breast area
  • It takes longer to do than traditional liposuction, but not longer than tumescent liposuction
  • There is slightly less blood loss
  • So far, there appears to be slightly more risk of seromas forming (pockets of fluid) which may have to be drained with a needle

After ultrasonic liposuction, it is necessary to perform suction-assisted liposuction to remove the liquified fat.



XUAL is a type of UAL where the ultrasonic energy is applied from outside the body, through the skin, making the specialized cannula of the UAL procedure unnecessary.

It was developed because surgeons found that in some cases, the UAL method caused skin necrosis (death) and seromas, which are pockets of a pale yellowish fluid from the body, analogous to hematomas (pockets of red blood cells).

XUAL is a possible way to avoid such complications by having the ultrasound applied externally. It can also potentially:

  • Cause less discomfort for the patient, both during the procedure and afterwards
  • Decrease blood loss
  • Allow better access through scar tissue
  • Treat larger areas

At this time however, it is not widely used and studies are not conclusive as to its effectiveness

Liposuction information taken from the Wikipedia article "Liposuction".

To find more information on liposuction, search for one of these phrases. To find a local clinic offering liposuction treatments, search for "liposuction" and the name of your town.

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       Liposuction treatments can remove fat from the stomach, tummy, thighs, buttocks, neck and arms.
       Liposuction techniques remove fat cells with a cannula and aspirator.



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