Two main apparatus are used in the liposuction procedure, namely; a cannula (hollow tube) and an aspirator (a suction device). The procedure can be categorized by the amount of fluid injection during the procedure and the mechanism in which the cannula works.
Dry Liposuction: This method is almost completely obsolete today. It is a method in which no liquid is injected at all.
Wet Liposuction: A small amount of fluid which contains lidocaine (anesthetic), adrenaline- contracts the blood vessels and thus minimizes bleeding and a salt solution to make it isotonic. This fluid is responsible for loosening the fat cells and reducing the bruising. The loosened fat cells are then suctioned out.
Super-wet liposuction: The infusate volume in this method is the key to the procedure and is about the same as the volume of fat to be removed. Most plastic surgeons prefer this method for high-volume liposuction as it better balances homeostasis and potential fluid overload. The procedure lasts for about two or three hours depending on the size of the area to be treated.
Tumescent liposuction: In this procedure the surgeon injects high volumes of a solution of a local anesthetic and a vasoconstrictor. This is injected directly into the subcutaneous fat that is to be removed.
Laser assisted liposuction (LAL): This is a liposuction procedure that makes use od thermal and photochemical energy to affect lipolysis. The use of the laser is said to positively affect the skin tightening effects through tissue coagulation.