Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures. It is a very effective technique for removing areas of unwanted fat that are not responsive to diet and exercise. The procedure can be performed on a wide variety of body locations such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, chin, “saddle bags” and “love handles.”
If you have several areas on your body with more fat than you would like, then perhaps liposuction is a viable option for you. But before you can make the decision about pursuing liposuction, naturally you should know a little something about it. For example, how does liposuction get the fat out?
Before the procedure, the areas of your body that are going to be treated are first marked by your surgeon and then fluid is injected into in to these areas in order to make it easier for your plastic surgeon to remove the fat and sculpt the tissues. Anesthetic is injected into the same area as well to help reduce pain along with a medication that helps reduce bleeding.
Once the body area has been prepared, your plastic surgeon will then make several small incisions to access the fatty tissues beneath the skin. The incisions are strategically located in natural skin folds to reduce the visibility of the scars. Through these incisions, small tubes called cannulas are inserted to pull out the fat. Unlike a tummy tuck, there are virtually no scars with liposuction.
There are also several ways to perform liposuction as well. For example, the “traditional” method described above is called “tumescent” liposuction. There are also power assisted, ultra sonic and the new “smart” liposuction techniques as well. Each has its own risks and benefits and should be discussed in detail with your surgeon before proceeding.
In general, liposuction is an outpatient procedure. Following your surgery most surgeons ask their patients to wear a compression garment for several weeks. Applied properly, this garment will help speed healing and prevent fluid collections under the skin which can be a possible complication of the procedure.
It is important that all patients understand that liposuction is not a weight reduction procedure. In fact, liposuction is best applied to people of normal or near-normal weight who only want to address specific fatty areas and smooth away bulges on their bodies. Overall it should be looked upon as a refining technique and is not at all recommended for the grossly overweight or obese patient. Are you a candidate for liposuction? The best way to find out is a consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon.