If you’ve considered liposuction to get rid of love handles, trim down your thighs or lose excess fat around your buttocks or abdomen, you may have come across a procedure known as power-assisted lipoplasty. Power Assisted Lipoplasty (PAL) is more commonly used as a complement to traditional liposuction procedures for areas that require only small amounts of fat removal.
Conventional liposuction is fairly invasive and requires extensive incisions and surgery; PAL offers a less invasive alternative, and is quickly becoming a popular choice for many patients who only need to have small amounts of fat removed from areas such as the flanks, inner thighs and arms.
How Power Assisted Lipoplasty Works
The PAL procedure differs from conventional liposuction because of how the cannula, or suction device to remove the fat, is used. In conventional liposuction, the surgeon uses his hands to move the cannula back and forth along the tissues to scrape and suction out the fat. This typically results in extensive swelling, bruising and discomfort, and the result may not be a smooth and sculpted appearance.
With PAL, the cannula is powered by electricity which means the cannula turns into a powerful suction device that quickly removes fat cells within a few short minutes. This reduces the risk of swelling and excessive scarring because the cannula is not ‘attacking’ the skin and surrounding tissues with excess amounts of pressure.
Power Assisted Lipoplasty has been deemed safe and effective by many plastic and cosmetic surgery professionals and continues to be the leading fat removal procedure at many plastic surgery offices around the country. Some surgeons prefer to use a combination of PAL and ultrasonic liposuction to treat larger areas of the body and remove only the necessary amounts of fatty tissue to achieve aesthetically-appealing results.
Key Benefits of Power Assisted Lipoplasty
Since PAL can be performed relatively quickly, the skin and tissues will not have a chance to become significantly damaged which makes healing and recovery much faster than the averge. Power Assisted Lipoplasty can also help the surgeon focus more on smaller areas and perfect their technique for body-sculpting; since they are no longer responsible for suctioning the fat out on their own, they can focus solely on placing the cannula in exactly the right area and reducing the number of complications as a result. In most cases, the results from PAL are much better than those achieved with conventional liposuction treatments.
Drawbacks of Power Assisted Lipoplasty
While Power Assisted Lipoplasty does present several benefits for patients who want to lose only localized fat, there are some risks and complications involved with the procedure. PAL still involves a significant amount of surgery, and the patient will need to be under anesthesia when the surgery is performed. The effects of anesthesia vary by patient, but there can be complications associated with the entire process.
Learn more about fat removal surgery and liposculpture in our information guide, or consult with a plastic surgeon in your area for their perspective on PAL and treatment options available.