The Harley Medical Group

What Are the Different Types of Liposuction?

The world of body contouring procedures is crowded and complex, with a range of options that are predicted to surpass breast augmentation surgery in terms of popularity over the coming years. Here we will explore the various different types of liposuction that are available, who each type is most suitable for and what kind of results can be expected from each method.


The Different Types Of Liposuction

As with any medical procedure, developments in medical science and technology have driven refinement of the liposuction procedure over time. This has led to a range of options being available to patients, improved results, options with reduced recovery time and non-surgical alternatives.

Traditional liposuction

The technique that is most commonly thought of when it comes to liposuction is traditional, or suction-assisted, liposuction. In this method, small incisions are made in the skin to enable the insertion of a cannula. The surgeon then guides the cannula beneath the skin and ensures that it is placed in the correct location. The cannula is then used to break up the fat tissue and suction is applied to remove fat from underneath the skin. Traditional liposuction is most suitable in areas where a larger volume of fat needs to be removed.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction

Ultrasound assisted, or Vaser liposuction is a less invasive alternative to traditional liposuction. This technique combines liposuction with ultrasound technology to deliver a gentler, more efficient procedure. The ultrasound element of VASER liposuction applies vibration to the tissue which breaks down and melts the fat. This procedure enables precise, targeted removal of fat tissue that causes less trauma to the tissue underlying the fat and reduced bleeding. Click here to discover everything you need to know about Vaser Liposuction with specialist Dr Leonardo Fasano.

Laser-assisted liposuction

In a similar way to ultrasound-assisted liposuction, this method utilised a specialist cannula that harnesses laser technology to break down the fat tissue which can then be suctioned out. The main advantage of this technique is increased skin tightening which make it the ideal technique for patients with stubborn pockets of fat around the arms and inner thigh.

Power assisted liposuction

Power-assisted liposuction is similar to traditional liposuction aside from the addition of a device that allows the cannula to vibrate during the procedure. This helps to break up the fat tissue more easily, allowing for more efficient fat removal.

Tumescent liposuction

A technique involving injection of a large volume of dilute local anaesthetic agents under the skin prior to liposuction. Multiple smaller cannulas are then used to remove the fat.


Non-surgical liposuction

Although less invasive surgical options have been developed, non-invasive body contouring techniques are becoming increasingly in demand, perhaps due to the lack of requirement for anaesthesia, reduced risk and very little downtime.


Cryolipolysis, or CoolSculpting, is a non-invasive body contouring method that applies targeted freezing to specific areas of fat. Due to the high water content of fat tissue, fat cells are particularly susceptible to freezing. This feature also helps to ensure that other tissues are not injured during the process.


What results can be expected from each type of Liposuction?

The decision of which type of liposuction is best depends on the patient’s aesthetic goals and medical history, the amount of fat that needs to be removed and the areas that require treatment. At The Harley Medical Group, our experts work in partnership with patients to identify which procedure is most appropriate for any individual.

Traditional Vs Vaser:

Each liposuction technique comes with a number of pros and cons in terms of what can be achieved. Let’s compare traditional (suction assisted) liposuction with VASER.

Traditional liposuction

  • A larger volume of fat can be removed during the procedure
  • Suitable for patients with higher body mass index – although no form of liposuction should be treated as a method of weight loss.
  • Increased recovery time
  • Can cause damage to nearby tissues

Vaser liposuction

  • Allows for more precise fat removal
  • Less invasive
  • More time consuming
  • More suitable for smaller volumes of fat


You can view a range of before and after images from traditional and VASER liposuction procedures performed by our surgeons here.

If you would like to explore how The Harley Medical Group can help you achieve your body contouring and fat removal goals, you can find out more about liposuction, find a surgeon who specialises in liposuction, and book a free-no obligation consultation with a patient advisor today.

Posted May 12, 2022
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