Power Assisted Lipo (PAL) W/ Ultrasound Assisted Lipo (UAL) - Newport Beach, CA
After several months of consideration and research...
- 30 May 2012
After several months of consideration and research & 4 different consults, I decided to do Power Assisted Lipo (PAL) w/ Ultrasound Assisted Lipo (UAL). I was very confused about all the different kinds of lipo procedures out there and I am NOT a doctor, nor did any one I know cop up to getting lipo so I could pick their brain. I am so thankful for the people who were caring enough to share their stories/experiences on RealSelf as each post was extremely informative. That's why I'm doing too.
Again, I am not a doctor so I can only share my personal reasons and beliefs (after my research) as to why I chose PAL w/ UAL. When I started looking into lipo, the hottest thing was the Laser Lipo. A lot of people seem to rave about it and the before and after photos of the doctors who were doing it were amazing. There was also the Water or Hydro Assisted Lipo. Same thing - patients raved and results seemed amazing. This was the same for PAL & UAL.
So I started looking into the pros and cons of it all. Laser & UAL claim to provide the benefit of skin tightening in addition to fat removal. Water and PAL claim to be able to remove higher volumes of fat than Laser & UAL. ALL claim to be safe. Here's what I decided. . . . .
(1) I choose not to do Laser. The concept and procedure itself (IF DONE BY A HIGHLY HIGHLY SKILLED DOCTOR) is great as patients have reported great localized fat removal and some skin tightening. But laser is maneuvered by a doctor/human and is subject to error. I learned that Laser quickly burns and kills the fat cells upon contact. Sometimes (or even often times) too much fat get killed, including the skin smoothing layer right underneath the skin. Also there is a risk of burning and damage to the skin itself. If you look at some of the before & after photos, it leaves the skin looking sort of weird . . . . older or dimply, not smooth. There are some doctors out there who are very skilled in doing Laser lipo, so it may be okay. But in my personal opinion, I would rather choose a procedure that reduces the risks of human error since there are so many unskilled quacks and scammers out there. Also, I heard that if a doctor claims that he can do fat grafting/transfer after Laser lipo, to be weary of the doctor because, supposedly, you can transfer dead/non-viable fat cells.
(2) I choose not to do Water Assisted Lipo because I learned that, although a little gentler than the other lipo procedures, is somewhat less effective and offers no skin tightening. I learned that there is a doctor who used to be a spokesperson for this procedure, traveling the country and training other doctors on this procedure. However, when I contacted this doctor about the procedure, his office informed me that he no longer does this procedure because he found that it was not as effective. I still don't know what that means. It could be that he had a falling out with the company/companies that makes the machines for Water Assisted Lipo. But either way, I decided that if a spokesperson has now decided against it, I would pass on it too. Besides, I was not pleased with the place where I went for a consult on this procedure. They sent a sales girl in and I never saw a doctor, took off my clothes for evaluation or anything. I just got the speech on how great this procedure was and a price. I have heard, however, that the Water Assisted Lipo was good for harvesting viable/usable fat in case you are considering fat grafting/transfer.
(3) I decided to go with the Power Assisted Lipo followed by some Ultrasound for skin tightening. PAL has been around a bit longer that the other procedures and have gotten consistently good reviews. As I understand it, it provides for more even fat removal because the machine does the tugging and pulling while the doctor determines the location. Also, the risk of too much fat removal or burning is minimized. Of course, as with any procedure, you will get the small percentage of hack doctors who ruin your body. But if you decide to do lipo, you are making a decision knowing that there could be negative consequences.
I wanted fat removal, but I still wanted to have the little bit of layer of fat underneath my skin to look more natural so opted for the PAL.
The procedure lasted about an hour. I asked for a very very light amount of IV sedative (Versed?). I didn't want to be totally knocked out. I was in extreme pain post-operation for about 3 hours. Then I took Tylenol and by the 5th hour post-operation, my pain level went down to a level 4 (tolerable). So far not so bad. I will say this . . . . the better shape you are in pre-op, the better your recovery will be. So before you decide to do lipo (as a "finishing" or "fine tuning" procedure), please please please do all you can to exercise and eat better.
I will post more on my recovery and before and after photos when I get the chance.
I just had the procedure today, so I don't know if it'll be a thumbs up or down yet.