The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)

Liposuction has consistently remained one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for men and women who wish to re-contour localized parts of their body. Even with the introduction of alternative body contouring treatments like SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction, liposuction ranks among the top three most sought after procedures. There are several different liposuction techniques board-certified plastic surgeons can use to target accumulated fat cells, but today, I want to talk about fighting unwanted fat with PAL (Power-assisted liposuction).

The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)In 2015 alone, the reported number of liposuction procedures jumped 5% with over 222,000 procedures performed just in the U.S.* – and ranking it second just behind breast augmentation. Starting with the basics, traditional liposuction patients typically treat areas that have become resistant to exercise and healthy eating like: thighs, love handles, abdomen, chin, buttocks, etc. Utilizing the tumescent liposuction technique, which uses an injected anesthetic fluid to make fat removal smoother, quicker, and safer, a small incision hidden within the natural contours of the body is made to allow a very thin tube (called a cannula) to reach the fatty tissue. It’s with the help of the cannula that I’m able to manually suction the fat out effectively.

What is power-assisted liposuction (PAL)?

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) uses a special mechanical cannula that creates rapid vibrations within the layers of the fat. The vibrations break up the fat cells and make it much easier to suction out affected cells from the treatment area. The benefits of PAL include:

  • Allows more precise excess fat removal which lead to better liposuction results
  • Can sculpt once harder to reach areas like the inner thighs, male breasts, and around the belly button + harder to suction, more fibrous fat
  • Micro-movements let me target specific areas of fat without damaging the surrounding tissue
  • Quicker treatment times – means less time you spend in the operating room and the faster you get to rest easy in your own home
  • Less bruising
  • Reduced recovery time

What else can power-assisted liposuction (PAL) be used for?

Using a patient’s own harvested fat during cosmetic procedures has opened the doors for more ways to augment the body (specifically the face, breast, and buttocks) in recent years. I personally have been interested in using power-assisted liposuction beyond body contouring and have found this technique to be particularly advantageous during fat transfer procedures. I’ve found it can provide great benefits when used during Brazilian Butt Lifts and have even developed my own technique that has attracted worldwide attention. This technique not only reduces the amount of pressure and damage to the fat cells, which results in potentially improved survival when added to its new donor site, but also has been proven to reduce a patient’s operation time by as much as 45 minutes to an hour.

As board-certified plastic surgeons, we are constantly researching new techniques and implementing those that help increase not only a patient’s safety, but their happiness with their results. Patients that are physically and mentally sound, have small amounts of localized fat, and aren’t seeing toned results, despite eating properly and staying active, make good candidates for power-assisted liposuction. The best way my patients can keep their svelte look after their liposuction procedure is to keep this reminder in mind: once I remove the fat cells, they’re gone forever – but that doesn’t mean fat cells can’t accumulate in other surrounding areas if you experience significant weight gain. Liposuction is not a weight-loss solution and requires your active participation in leading a health and wellness-conscious lifestyle if you want to get the most out of your liposuction results.

Popular Fat Transfer Procedures

Plastic surgery comes with a plethora of options – both surgical and nonsurgical. This diversity is great because it gives patients the opportunity to customize their surgical plan to not only help them get the plastic surgery results of their dreams, but it also gives them more of a say on how they choose to get there. One such procedure that has opened many doors for many plastic surgery patients is fat transfer. Best known as a procedure that harvests fat from a patient’s donor area (like their thighs for example), then goes through a purification process before it is skillfully reinjected into areas that need some extra volume. Most notably useful for the face and the body, let’s take a look at some of the most popular fat transfer procedures today.

SPS-Fat-Transfer

There are several benefits to fat transfer that body contouring, breast enhancement, and facial rejuvenation patients find appealing:

  • Fat transfer plastic surgery results are safe, natural, and long-lasting.
  • Is a noninvasive alternative to surgical procedures so the required downtime is significantly less
  • This procedure is a good alternative to temporary fillers but can also be used in conjunction with other nonsurgical facial rejuvenation treatments like Botox®, Juvéderm®, etc.
  • Fat transfer uses a patient’s own material so it greatly reduces the chance of adverse reactions that accompany any procedure where a foreign object is introduced into the body (for example, in the case of breast augmentation that would be the body’s reaction to new breast implants – although rare).

As fat transfer patients begin to heal, the injected fat creates its new blood supply where it is able to thrive in its new home. Successful fat transfer procedures can produce permanent results but for some patients, a percentage of the fat may not take to the new environment and may require touch-up procedures before desired results can be seen. To further improve this procedure, I’ve developed a new system for injecting fat in less time and less trauma (using a pulsating technique which reduces pain and potentially increases the fat’s survival). This is something we would discuss during your fat transfer consultation and revisited during any follow-up consultations we have scheduled to monitor your progress.

If you’re interested in fat transfer procedures or any of the additional cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed at Southern Plastic Surgery, don’t hesitate to contact us at 770-622-9100. Be sure to stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, and the rest of the SPS team on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery trends and special cosmetic surgery savings announcements.

Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures: Belly Button & Below

To me, plastic surgery is such a diverse field.  I am able to work with men and women of all ages and walks of life and each person has their unique desires and motivations for enhancing their lives physically and mentally.  When it comes to body contouring, as an Atlanta cosmetic surgeon I have worked with patients ranging from a mother who is hanging up her pregnancy hat and ready to get her pre-baby body back to men who have lost significant weight and want to add the finishing touches of eliminating excess skin.  From tummy tucks to liposuction, there are many cosmetic plastic surgery procedures within the body contouring umbrella and I wanted to share two of the most popular procedures that accentuate the body from the belly button, down:

plastic surgery-tummy tuck - buttock augmentation atlanta georgiaTummy Tuck considerably the most popular of the body contouring procedures, tummy tucks (also known as abdominoplasty) are designed to create a smoother midsection.  I still utilize the traditional method of removing excess skin and fat and retightening the abdominal muscle that may have become weakened due to pregnancy.  My preferred method is a “no-drain” abdominoplasty which eliminates the extra space within the abdomen that collects fluid (and subsequently requires a drain to help clear out the fluid during recovery) by suturing the remaining skin and fat together down towards the muscle.  What this does is it not only allows my tummy tuck patients to have better control of their abdominal movements (because you’re not delaying the natural healing of the fat to the muscle when you twist or contort the body) but also makes recovery much less complex or difficult.

In addition to the no-drain abdominoplasty, I utilize a special Scarpa fascia waist contouring technique that I developed over the past several years to produce a flat, smooth contour for a patient’s midsection.  This is significant because previously these results were only possible with liposuction alone; now, I am able to improve the contours and shape of the abdomen with the Scarpa fascia technique so the stomach and waistline is shapelier than traditional tummy tuck results can produce.

Buttock Augmentation Buttock augmentation has seen a surge of popularity in recent years and I would argue that we can thank popular culture for this increasing trend.  Also known as Brazilian butt lift, this procedure is commonly performed through a fat transfer process for patients who wish to enhance the shape of their derrières.  The fat transfer process uses injections consisting of the patient’s own fat from other areas obtained through liposuction around the buttocks, thighs, hips or abdomen.  Once I have taken an ample amount of donated fat, it is then purified and re-injected into the predetermined areas of the buttocks.   A benefit of fat transfer is that by using a patient’s own fat, it allows me to sculpt the injected fat into a more naturally-prominent buttock, plus, the fat transfer technique for Brazilian butt lift also significantly decreases the risk of complications associated with the introduction of a foreign object into the body, like butt implants.

To learn more about body contouring procedures I perform including thigh lift and arm lifts, or any of the additional plastic surgery procedures available, contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C today to schedule your complimentary consultation.  Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, news and information.