Power-assisted Liposuction: What is PAL?

What is the meaning of PAL Lipo?

Doctor Answers 14

PAL (liposuction)

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With this unit, I find that I can be more precise in my fat removal and in less time with less fatigue. It is also great for high volumes because the unit helps to remove the fat with a lot less trauma that trational liposuction. The basis is a oscillating liposuction to ease fat removal rather than manual forcing the canula through the fat in traditional liposuction.

Power-assisted Liposuction : What is PAL?

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There are different technics and devices, currently available to a qualified plastic surgeon to remove stored and undesirable fat deposites beneath the skin. PAL is using a solid probe which has a longitudinal ossilating device inside a tube( moving back and forth) to facilitate fat removal in dense area. This reduces the time for liposuction and reduces fatigue for the operating surgeon especially when a large amount of fat need to ne removed.


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Power assisted liposuction (PAL) is just the use of a vibrating handpiece and cannula to help reduce the energy a surgeon needs to expend to complete a liposuction procedure. I started using PAL last year to help limit how much I was sweating in the OR. Not only did it make the procedure less burdensome for me, but I have seen better results when using it. I have seen notably less bruising and swelling after the procedure because I am using less force to drive the cannula through the tissue. I was a bit of a skeptic before I started using the technology, but now truly believe that it improves my results. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews


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Power assisted liposuction involves the use of a vibrating cannula to reduce the surgeon's arm movements-think electric toothbrush. Its results are no different from conventional liposuction and doesn't remove the fat any better. More important is surgical judgment.

PAL liposuction explained

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PAL lipo is Power Assisted Liposuction, using a power device to produce either a rapid in-and-out movement or a spinning rotation of an attached liposuction cannula. The amount of time in the operating room is less and use of PAL requires less recovery time and causes less bruising and swelling for patients.

Donna Rich, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Power Assisted Liposuction is OK

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PAL or Power Assisted Liposuction is one of many techniques offered to remove fat.  The surgeon uses a power tool that oscillates the liposuction cannula rapidly and helps to remove the targeted fat.  Other types of liposuction:

  • Standard liposuction
  • Tumescent liposuction
  • Laser liposuction
  • UAL-Ultrasound assisted liposuction
  • Smart lipo
  • Vaser lipo

And many others, the bottom line is the suction removal of fat through small metal cannulas, make sure the surgeon you choose is board certified in plastic surgery.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

What is Pal Lipo?

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Liposuction is like photography: the skill of the operator is MUCH more important than the technology.

Having said that, I do like power-assisted liposuction (PAL) for fibrous areas where it's more difficult to remove the fat: the upper back and the male breast are two areas where I do use PAL.

The oscillating tip facilitates the fat removal and reduces surgeon fatigue. I used to do a great deal of ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL); I find PAL offers the same advantages in difficult areas at less cost and with greater safety.

Good luck!


PAL is only a pal for the surgeon

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Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) was designed to decrease the work of the surgeon during liposuction. The cannula oscillates forward and backward so that the surgeon Downs't have to thrust his or her arm back and forth as much.  The results are no different than standard liposuction. Having tried PAL, I found it to be rather slow and I was not that happy with the selection of cannula's that were available.

If a surgeon is trying to lure you in claiming better results or faster recovery, go somewhere else.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

What is Pal Lipo?

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P = power, A = assisted, L = liposuction. PAL is a vibrating motor attached to the lipo cannulae. I use it in fibrosis fat areas. Some docs say it obtains purer fat for grafting but I have not seen that effect. 

PAL -What Is It?

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Power Assisted Liposuction or PAL is a form of liposuction where the cannula is attached to a power source that vibrates the cannula in a back and forth motion at hundreds of RPM.  This mechanical action has the benefit of making removal of the fat easier and less fatiguing for the surgeon.  Like all forms of liposuction, it is merely another tool in the armamentarium of the plastic surgeon for performing liposuction.  Still the key to obtaining a good result is not the type of liposuction being used but the person doing the liposuction.  Ask to see their results before agreeing to surgery.  Make sure your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery.  Hope this helps.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.