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There are several types of liposuction techniques and devices available today. Conventional liposuction was the first widely accepted liposuction technology. Conventional liposuction—or “SAL” (suction-assisted lipectomy)—is simply a cannula (hollow tube) with an opening at the end that is connected to negative pressure (suction). The cannula is introduced through a small incision in the skin and fat is removed by the suction.

Power-assisted liposuction—or “PAL”—is a hand device that simultaneously reciprocates (moves back and forth along the long axis of the cannula) and translates (moves side to side perpendicular to the long axis of the cannula). The mechanical movement of the cannula helps disrupt the fat tissue, which is subsequently removed by negative pressure that is applied to the cannula.

Ultrasonic- assisted liposuction—or “UAL”—uses ultrasonic energy to “dissolve” the fat tissue, which is then removed by negative pressure. Laser-assisted liposuction—or “LAL”—uses light energy to dissolve fat tissue, which is subsequently removed by negative pressure.

With multiple liposuction options available, patients frequently ask: “Which type of liposuction is best?” When considering the final results, all liposuction techniques and technologies work equally well. One study found that “no one system has definitively proven to be superior to the other.” Another study indicated that the most important factor is not the type of technology used for liposuction, but rather the operator (Plastic surgeon) using the liposuction devices. In other words, an experienced, skilled surgeon can achieve equally good results from all the available liposuction technologies (different types of machines).

In short, it is the technique and not the technology. In addition to the aforementioned technology, there are also techniques familiar to the experienced Plastic surgeon that can help improve results and increase safety.

If you are interested in liposuction, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephen Herring—whether you live locally in Fayetteville or are thinking of traveling from out-of-town. With over 30 years of experience, he has helped numerous women and men achieve their body sculpting goals via all different forms of liposuction. During the informed consent process, he can discuss the options for liposuction in detail, answer related questions, and help you choose the best technique for your unique needs. Contact us today!