Liposuction has become one of the most popular methods for men and women achieve the body they desire. Liposuction can remove excess fat, create a slimmer midsection, and bring about a more youthful appearance. It can also provide a boost of self-confidence and jump-start a more healthy and active lifestyle. As the number of Liposuction procedures performed has increased over recent years, so too has the number of liposuction techniques, all of which ultimately differ in how excess fat is removed. Understanding the differences and choosing the most appropriate liposuction method can help ensure the optimal patient outcome.
Suction-assisted liposuction, or SAL, is a technique that has been around since at least the early 1980s. This technique involves the removal of fat deposits through a cannula, or tube, which is inserted through a small incision in the patient’s body. The SAL method is most beneficial to patients who are not excessively overweight but have abnormal fat deposits in certain areas. Although the technique is useful anywhere on the body, it is often used on patients to reduce fat deposits in the areas of the abdomen, thighs, hips and buttocks. The technique is often used on men to eliminate fat in the abdomen and neck areas. Because the surgeon’s arm movements create all the power with technique, results can be good for many patients with this method but the risk is that user fatigue can sometimes affect the results.
Power-assisted liposuction, or PAL, employs a cannula with a vibrating motor tip. The power system in the PAL method eliminates the need for the forceful movements by the surgeon that are associated with the SAL procedure. The vibrating tip makes PAL more effective in breaking up fat deposits, sometimes reducing the length of the procedure. This technique is used quite commonly among board certified plastic surgeons.
Laser-assisted liposuction is the latest technology available in the field. A laser attempts to liquefy and dissolves fat prior to suctioning, making it easier to remove. Additionally, the small blood vessels in the treated area coagulate on contact, which can reduce bleeding and swelling. Laser treatment is useful in certain facial areas and in the upper arms, waist, thighs, hips and buttocks. The precise nature of laser treatment requires the surgeon to have the highest level of expertise, as there is a risk of injury or burn to the skin.
Award-winning Seattle plastic surgeon Dr. Shahram Salemy has extensive experience in all 3 types of liposuction, however he prefers Power Assisted Liposuction because he finds it creates a high level of patient satisfaction. Ultimately however, “the best predictor of the final results is not in the technology used but in the experience and ability of the surgeon to know the patient and the part of the anatomy that is being treated.” Dr. Salemy is a graduate of Yale University Medical School, one of the few plastic surgeons to be appointed as a clinical instructor in the plastic surgery division of the University of Washington’s Department of Surgery and an honoree of multiple Patients’ Choice Awards for his dedication to ensuring every one of his patients has a positive experience and lasting results.
Schedule a personal liposuction consultation with Dr. Salemy by email or calling (206) 467-1101.