As a person ages, there can be some stubborn fat, as well as excess fat, that gathers on certain areas of the body such as the thighs, chin, abdomen, hips, neck, buttocks and flanks. Diet and exercise are not always enough to get rid of stubborn fat so some patients turn to liposuction to target and remove isolated deposits of fat. In general, patients that are ideal candidates for liposuction include patients that are within 25 pounds of their ideal weight. In addition, good candidates for liposuction include patients with deposits of fat that have not responded to diet or exercise but they are in general good health. Ideal candidates for liposuction should be aware of the fact that liposuction is not intended to be used as a weight loss procedure. Liposuction will not eliminate stretch marks or cellulite from the skin. Instead, liposuction removes localized concentrations of fat while also providing a better contour to the body.
Cosmetic Liposuction Techniques
When it comes to performing liposuction, there are multiple liposuction techniques that can be performed by a surgeon:
- Traditional Liposuction – The surgeon makes an incision in the skin in order to insert a cannula, which is a thin tube, into the skin of the patient. The cannula is moved back and forth by the doctor to more easily break apart the targeted fat while the doctor also injects fluid into the treated area. Once the fat is ready to be removed, it is taken out of the body via the cannula.
- Tumescent Liposuction – This is a liposuction technique that is much like traditional liposuction. The main difference is that the surgeon injects a solution made of lidocaine, salt solution and epinephrine into the targeted area of fat. In tumescent liposuction, the amount of fluid injected into the patient is normally three times the amount of fat that is scheduled to be removed.
- Super-Wet Liposuction – A liposuction technique that is a variation of tumescent liposuction because it requires less of a fluid injection. The amount of fluid removed from the patient is usually equal to the amount of fat the surgeon removes from the patient.
- Power Assisted Liposuction – The cannula that is used during power assisted liposuction uses a vibrating tip to break up the fat cells.
- Ultrasonic Liposuction – A liposuction technique that uses a cannula that emits ultrasonic sound waves into the fat deposits targeted by the doctor. The sound waves work to liquefy fat cells so they are easier to remove. Ultrasonic liposuction also allows the surgeon to remove larger fat deposits as well as tighten the surrounding skin.
- SlimLipo – A minimally invasive liposuction technique that uses a laser to melt fat cells.
- CoolLipo – This liposuction technique is a minimally invasive liposuction procedure that removes fat from more sensitive areas of the body such as the neck, chin, arms and jowls. CoolLipo uses a laser to break apart fat cells.
- Abdominal Etching – A form of liposuction that is performed to enhance the abdominal muscles which helps to give patients the look or appearance of “six-pack abs”. The surgeon will outline the muscles along with the thin layer of fat that can actually cover these muscles. A liposuction method (that will be determined by the surgeon) removes the targeted fat and enhances the overall look of the abs.
Liposuction can also be performed at the same time as other surgical techniques so patients can enjoy even greater results when it comes to their appearance. Liposuction can be combined with various procedures such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift, breast reduction, body lift, arm lift and fat grafting.
Results of Cosmetic Liposuction
The final results that are provided by cosmetic liposuction are visible several months after the surgery. There will be some initial results that can be viewed right after the surgery but the final results will not be seen immediately thanks to swelling and bruising. In addition, the body takes several months to achieve its new, slender shape. In other words, the skin will have a loose appearance immediately after the procedure is performed.
The swelling and bruising that occurs after liposuction can last anywhere from one to three months. It takes about six months for the final results to be visible to the patient and to the public. Patients will want to maintain the final results so they should follow a healthy diet and also exercise on a regular basis. The targeted fat that is removed from the area treated by liposuction will not return after it is removed. However, fat can still be a problem for patients in the areas of the body that surround the portion of the body treated by the liposuction procedure.
Before making the final decision to undergo liposuction, patients should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified surgeon that is experienced in performing liposuction. The cosmetic surgeon can examine the patient and determine the best liposuction procedure to perform that will provide natural looking results that last a lifetime.