What are the different types of liposuction?

Our founder, Bryan Mayou, pioneered Liposuction and introduced it into the UK 36 years ago. The basic technique remains, but he has continued to develop and refine the procedure, so that now the Cadogan Clinic offers various liposuction techniques, but only those, which are considered safe and effective and have specific uses.

Traditional liposuction

We generally use traditional simple liposuction to remove small areas of fat and usually under local anaesthesia, such as a bulge or lipoma. It is particularly useful for treating the neck and the chin, as it is at least as effective as any other technique, is simple and has the fewest potential complications. We use this regularly to harvest fat for processing and re-injection as fat grafting.

BodyJet or Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL)

This is an enhancement of the traditional technique with the added ability to inject local anaesthetic fluid at the same time as carrying out the liposuction. This fluid pulses from the end of the cannula like a low-pressure washer helping to mechanically dislodge fat. Large volumes can be removed quickly and efficiently. It is particularly good with more difficult areas such as the breast, where the fat is more firmly fixed.

Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL).

MicroAire and Lipomatic are two of several mechanically enhanced techniques. They remove the fat as the motorised cannula moves back and forth, sideways or rotates. It is very effective and popular amongst surgeons, primarily because there is less physical effort involved.

Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL)

The most successful of these techniques is the Smartlipo, now in its third generation, Smartlipo Triplex. We are lucky to have the pioneer of this treatment, Mr Al-Ayoubi, with his huge experience using the technique in all areas. As in all liposuction, there is skin tightening, but the laser enhances this, particularly around the inner thighs and arms where the skin is thin.

Cellulaze

Subcision is the standard minor surgical technique in which tethering fibres are cut through tiny stabs. It has been recently popularised by an expensive adaptation called Cellfina. Cellulaze however, does all this by laser, but in addition has a second laser which shrinks the skin. It can also treat large areas at a single session.

We do not use ultrasound techniques, popularised in the UK such as Vaser, as we consider that it has no advantage and adds unnecessary complications.

Why do we not use ultrasound liposuction?

The founder of the clinic, Bryan Mayou, carried out two years research in the early days of ultrasound liposuction and developed the technique which became the most popular in the United States. There were however, many potential risks and it was recommended that ultrasound should only be used for short periods of time necessitating the use of traditional liposuction to complete the procedure.

Ultrasound liposuction in Bryan Mayou's opinion was merely a marketing tool and he did not adopt it himself.

Since this time ultrasound has reappeared in different forms of which the most popular in the UK is Vaser. As a centre for liposuction, the Cadogan Clinic has built up huge experience and therefore does see a number of poor results from elsewhere, requiring reconstruction. Almost all of these are where Vaser has been used. Bryan Mayou believes that trained surgeons can make different techniques work well for themselves, but it remains our experience that Vaser has problems. It is claimed to be quicker, more effective and less painful than other techniques. This is simply not true. We see lumpy results, and occasional burns. The frequent complication is the development of seromas or collections of fluid requiring drainage. He has never seen this in the thousands of treatments that he has carried out, and it is only Vaser that is still producing them. The Cadogan Clinic does not recommend its use.

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