Difference between Liposuction and Lipolysis

Key difference: The terms liposuction and lipolysis are obesity related terms. Liposuction is a surgery carried out to remove the extra fat whereas; lipolysis is a method of hydrolysis of lipids.

Liposuction is a medical surgery; it evolves the work from the late 1960s from Europe. The invention of modern liposuction procedure is linked to the name of two Italian gynecologists, Arpad and Giorgio Fischer, who created the blunt tunneling method in 1974.

Liposuction is a surgery, wherein; the extra and bulky fat from body is removed by surgery treatment. The extra fat in the body is believed to create a imperfection in a person’s appearance, and it is also not good from health point of view. Hence, this fat is removed through surgery by consulting a doctor.

Liposuction is used commonly to bring body into proper shape. Those parts of body which become too bulky and heavy, because, of the fats formation are removed by extracting the fats by a proper and systematic surgery.

  • To abstract the right amount of fat.
  • To cause the least disturbance of neighboring tissue, such as blood vessels and connective tissue.
  • To leave the person’s fluid balance undisturbed.
  • To cause the least discomfort to the patient.

The fat is removed by a hollow tube (cannula) which sucks the fat from the part. After the liposuction, the person is able to recover within two weeks. There are some side-effects observed after the liposuction.

Liposuctions are of following types:

  • Suction-assisted liposuction (SAL).
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL).
  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL).
  • Twin-cannula (assisted) liposuction (TCAL or TCL).
  • External ultrasound-assisted liposuction (XUAL or EUAL).
  • Water-assisted liposuction (WAL).
  • Tumescent technique.

In organic chemistry, lipolysis means ‘the hydrolysis of lipids’. In lipolysis, there is a break-down of lipids, which are a form of proteins. It involves the hydrolysis of triglycerides, which gets converted into glycerol and fatty acids.

The glycerol and fatty acids obtained are then soluble in the blood. The hormones which carry out lipolysis are epinephrine, norepinephrine, ghrelin, growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisol. These hormones activate the adenylate cyclase, which results in the increase of production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAmp). This also activates the protein kinase A, which further activates the lipases found in adipose tissue.

In lipolysis, the triglycerides are first carried to the appropriate tissue by blood. The triglycerides are present in low density lipoproteins, which undergo lypolysis by a cellular lipase, resulting into the glycerol and free fatty acids. These acids are then supplied to the other tissues along with the albumin. The serum albumin acts as a major carrier of free fatty acids in the blood. The glycerol thus obtained enters the blood-stream, and is absorbed by the liver and kidney. The liver and kidney then converts the glycerol into glyceraldehydes 3-phosphate (GA3P). This rejoins the glycolysis and gluconeogenesis.

Comparison between Liposuction and Lipolysis:




General description

It is a medical surgical method.

It is a process, wherein the hydrolysis takes place.


Here fats are extracted.

Here the hydrolysis of triglycerides takes place.


The bulky and fatty fats are removed through a tube.

Here the triglycerides are made soluble by disintegrating them.

Body parts involved

It is carried out in the:

Abdomen, Breasts, Hips, Outer thighs (saddlebags), Flanks (love handles), Back, Inner thighs, Inner knees, Upper arms, Submental (chin), (gullet), Gynecomastia (male breast tissue).

After the hydrolysis it is carried to the Kidney and Liver.


Here the hormones are not involved.

Here the hormones play a vital role.


Here the transportation is not carried out.

There is a transportation of contents to the other parts of the body.

Application point of view

It is generally carried out to maintain the physical structure of the body.

It is method which takes place on its own.

Image Courtesy: wikimedia.org, dswfitness.com

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