Reshape Your Body
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure that involves the removal of fat in the body using suction. The procedure works by inserting small, thin tubes through tiny incisions made in the skin. After which, fat is suctioned out through the tubes while the doctor continually maneuvers the tubes underneath the skin in order to reach targeted sites of fat deposits.
What is tumescent liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction is a liposuction method wherein a tumescent local anesthesia is used. This technique has ruled out the dangers that liposuction has been associated with in the past.
What are other newer techniques of liposuction?
Other improved techniques that have made this procedure easier, safer, and less painful include:
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction. With the use of ultrasound, fat in the body is liquefied; thus, it becomes easier to remove. This technique is preferred especially when it involves fat removal in sites such as the upper abdomen, back, and the sides.
- Laser-assisted liposuction. In this method, low-energy waves are used to liquefy fat and then removed with the use of a small cannula.
Why is liposuction done?
Liposuction is done most often for cosmetic purposes. This is used to smoothen out certain areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, back, calves, and arms – particularly areas that have not responded to exercise and diet. Other than that, liposuction can also be done to reduce the size of male breasts as well as to remove abnormal fatty deposits or fat tumors.
You should take note that the purpose of liposuction is not to lose weight, but only to reshape the body. Real weight loss can only be achieved through appropriate diet and exercise.
Dr. Randall Barnett of Alpine Plastic Surgery Clinic in Salt Lake City, UT can answer more of your queries regarding the procedure.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
You will most likely get positive results from liposuction if you:
- Don’t have a lot of excess fat. People with excess fat are more likely to have inelastic skin than those with normal weight. Liposuction done on obese patients will more likely result to sagging skin.
- Are in generally good shape.
- Don’t have a history of an infection, a bleeding disorder, a heart condition, poor circulation, or diabetes mellitus.
- Are not on medications such as aspirin, heparin, and warfarin, which are blood thinners and can affect the process of blood clotting during the procedure.
How is liposuction done?
Liposuction involves the following steps:
- Cannulas and a liposuction machine are used in the procedure.
- Your body is prepared by the surgical team before the start of the procedure.
- You are placed either under local or general anesthesia, depending on your and your surgeon’s preference.
- Your surgeon creates a small incision on your skin where a suction tube is inserted and swept through the part where fatty deposits have gathered.
- Fat is then vacuumed through the suction cannula using a vacuum pump.
- Larger areas may require several skin punctures. Depending on the technique of your surgeon, other areas may be approached from different directions to achieve optimal results.
- Once fat is removed, smaller tubes may be inserted to the same areas to drain blood and fluid that have collected.
What should I expect after liposuction?
- You may be advised to wear a special girdle or any other firm-fitting garment to firmly wrap the treated area. Doing so reduces bruising, swelling, and pain after treatment. These side effects may last up to 3 to 4 weeks. However, it is expected to have a lot of swelling and bruising during the first 7 to 10 days.
- To reduce your infection risk after liposuction, you may be prescribed with antibiotics.
- As long as you already feel comfortable, you may resume normal daily activities several days after the procedure. Most liposuction patients are able to return to work after a few days. Then again, the duration of recovery depends on the extent of the treatment.
What are the possible side effects of liposuction?
Your risk for complications may increase if you are treated in very large areas of the body. Liposuction may cause common side effects, which include:
- Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, and soreness around the areas treated
- Irritation and scarring on the incision sites where the suction tubes were inserted
- Baggy, wrinkled skin, which usually tightens after a couple of months
Other side effects which are less common are:
- Uneven skin surface on the areas treated
- Permanent skin color changes
- Nerve and skin damage, which may happen in ultrasound-assisted liposuction as the heat may burn and damage the tissues