Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world, and many satisfied slim seekers have already appreciated its benefits across the globe.

As advances are made in surgical techniques, there are now a range of ways to perform the ever-popular fat-removal process, with love handles and tummies, muffin tops, thighs and upper arms topping the list of popular areas for surgical correction with liposuction.

More comfortable and minimally invasive than procedures of the past, three new methods of liposuction in particular are currently taking the cosmetic surgery world by storm – power assisted, vaser and smart liposuction.

Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) Liposuction

Power Assisted Liposuction uses a device powered by either compressed air or an electric motor to vibrate the rod used to remove the fat during liposuction. Unlike physical liposuction often seen on TV this is a far more gentle method of removing fat and more comfortable for both the surgeon and the patient. It works in a similar fashion to an electric toothbrush vibrating to remove fat, and because it is much more controllable than traditional manual liposuction it is much easier to obtain smooth results.

Vaser Liposuction

Also known as LipoSelection, vaser liposuction was also introduced as a substitute for traditional liposuction. Areas which respond well to vaser liposuction include the stomach, thighs, knees, arms, chin and neck.

Vaser Lipo is used by those who do not necessarily need to lose weight but are looking to sculpt or contour their bodies.

Saline solution is mixed with anaesthetics and injected into the area requiring Lipo. This is followed by ultrasound high frequency vibration which causes the fat cells to fall apart. Again this technique is less harsh than traditional procedures with less bleeding and bruising taking place. In addition, there is no need for a general anaesthetic, which makes it safer and cheaper than other methods.

Smart Liposuction

Smart Lipo or laser Lipo is a technique which uses a laser to destroy the fat cells before they are removed using liposuction. Smart Lipo has the advantage that, along with destroying the fat cells to be removed, it also heats up the lower layers of skin. This heating then causes new collagen to form within the skin and therefore the skin to appear thicker and to tighten during the first few months after the procedure. One of the main advantages of Smart Lipo is that it is very controllable and the surgeon can select the temperature they would like to heat the skin up to, over which the laser cuts out. This controllability makes the procedure very safe and complications rare. Bruising is reduced and blood loss is lessened. Smart Lipo can be used with a local anaesthetic, which, like vaser Lipo, makes it cheaper, safer and more convenient than traditional methods. The latest version of Smart Lipo is the Smart Lipo Triplex system, which actually uses three different lasers to melt fat, tighten the skin and reduce bruising.

Other techniques

There are a multitude of other techniques on the market, including the global standard - the ‘tumescent technique’ – which is simply the name for the type of local anaesthetic injection used with all modern liposuction techniques, including all those named here.

Body tite is a technique which uses a powerful radio frequency generator to destroy fat cells and works very similarly to Smart Lipo. The technique is actually more powerful that Smart Lipo but doesn’t have the controllability and therefore, although very good results can be achieved, it is vital that only very experienced practitioners use this device to reduce the risk of serious burns.

CoolLipo uses cannulas and lasers to dissolve fat. It is suitable for treating the face, chin and neck and like vaser Lipo is best suited to those people who are looking to sculpt and contour their bodies.

Being a less invasive procedure, CoolLipo is often used as a good option for those people who think they may need a facelift but could be helped with laser Lipo instead.

Finally comes water jet assisted liposuction (Body Jet).

This type of Lipo is, once again, more suited to those wanting to sculpt and contour rather than shift a lot of excess weight.

A local anaesthetic and jets of saline are used to loosen fatty deposits and cells. The fat is then removed gently with little bruising, making it a fierce contender in the race to the top of the new breed of mildly invasive Lipo techniques. Similarly to Vaser, however, skin tightening is not a feature of Body Jet.