Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove localized collections of fat. Liposuction can be effective for shaping the body, but it is not recommended for weight loss.
In recent years, improved techniques have made liposuction safer, easier, and less painful. These techniques include:
- Tumescent liposuction. This involves the injection of fluid and local anesthetic into the area being treated; the wet and super-wet techniques are variations of this type of liposuction.
- Ultrasound-assisted (ultrasonic) liposuction (UAL). This technique uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat before it is removed. The tubes move more smoothly under the skin after the fat has been liquefied. UAL can take two to four hours longer than traditional or tumescent liposuction. Less blood is lost during UAL, so larger amounts of fat can be removed safely.
- Power assisted liposuction (PAL). This method employs a motor-powered suction tube (canula), which allows the surgeon to use smaller movements.
- Laser-assisted liposuction. A laser liquefies the fat, making it easier to remove. This procedure is faster and causes less swelling and discomfort than traditional liposuction.
Who is a candidate?
- Have localized collections of excess subcutaneous fat that is resistant to diet and exercise.
- Want to change the contours of their bodies.
- Are near their ideal weight and desire permanent contour changes.
- Desire permanent improvement in contour abnormalities caused by excess fat.
- A permanent improvement in the contour and proportion of the treated areas.
- A more flattering figure or physique, in or out of clothing.
- The procedures are done on an outpatient basis.
- General anesthesia is usually used for safety and comfort.
- Small suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted through very short incisions placed in inconspicuous locations near the fat deposits or remove excess fat.
- If very large volumes of fat are to be removed, the patient will probably have to donate one or two units of blood and take supplemental iron before surgery.
Recuperation and Healing
- The patient usually goes home with a compression garment (or tape) covering the treated areas. Compression is advised for about a month, since it helps reduce swelling and helps you achieve the final result more quickly. Once pain and soreness decrease, it is frequently more comfortable to wear lycra or spandex exercise pants.
- Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
- Bruising and swelling usually subside in two or four weeks. The final result takes shape over two or three months.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast reduction, breast lift, breast augmentation, thigh lift, or buttock lift.
The liposuction procedure is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. The patient is responsible for payment.
The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.