Liposuction, which is also known as lipo, is a plastic surgery procedure performed to remove extra fat deposits from the body of a patient. In general, the procedure is also referred to as a body contouring procedure. Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States. Patients often have liposuction to improve the shape or contour of their body. Usually, they have tried diet and exercise and have been unsuccessful at losing stubborn fat deposits on certain areas of the body. Liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that have been resistant to diet and exercise.
Liposuction – How is it Performed
The regions where liposuction is usually performed on the body include the thighs, chin, back, buttocks and abdomen. During the procedure, a physician inserts a hollow instrument known as a cannula into the skin and the fat is removed by a high-pressure vacuum that is applied to the instrument. Liposuction is often performed at the same time as other plastic surgery procedures including breast reduction and tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. Patients need to know that liposuction is not a weight loss treatment and will not result in a significant loss of weight from the body.
Patients that are interested in having liposuction and are not sure if it is a safe procedure, should take a look at the informative article below to learn how it is performed and the risks involved with the procedure.
Types of Liposuction Procedures
There are many types of liposuction techniques available to patients and they include the following choices:
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction – This technique utilizes ultrasound technology to liquefy fat. This method is best for removing stubborn fat from the back, upper abdomen, and sides.
- Laser-Assisted Liposuction – This technique uses a form of low-energy laser light to liquefy the fat before it is removed through a cannula.
- Tumescent Liposuction – For this method, the physician uses a local anesthetic. A saline solution that contains a mixture of lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the area of fat to be suctioned.
- Wet Liposuction – In this technique, fluid is injected into the targeted area to loosen the fat cells before they are suctioned out through the cannula.
- Power-Assisted Liposuction – With this method, a mechanical system is used to operate a special cannula. This special cannula moves back and forth at a fast pace for an easy removal of the targeted fat.
Patients will be given anesthesia during their liposuction procedure so they will not feel any pain during the surgery. Many liposuction surgeries can be done in an outpatient setting. Depending on the parts of the body being treated, patients might have a short hospital stay. They will likely experience soreness, numbness, swelling, bruising and pain after the liposuction procedure.
Liposuction is a serious surgery with multiple risks. Some of the most common risks during liposuction surgery include puncture wounds or injuries to other organs, anesthesia complications, burns from equipment and nerve damage.
Common risks after the procedure include blood clots in the lungs, infections, bleeding under the skin, swelling, necrosis, reactions to the anesthesia and heart and kidney problems.
Some of the risks during the recovery process include wavy/dimpled/bumpy skin, numbness, bruising, pain, swelling, soreness, and scars.
Liposuction – Potential Candidates
Patients that are interested in liposuction should talk to their doctor before making a final decision to see if they are an ideal candidate for the procedure. Many experts say that good candidates for liposuction usually have good skin tone and a high amount of skin elasticity. This elasticity helps the skin settle into its new contours after the procedure.
Potential patients for liposuction should be in general good health before undergoing the procedure. Keep in mind that the overall amount of fat that can safely be removed from a person is limited. Patients should avoid liposuction if they smoke, have a weak immune system, are overweight, have a history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or seizures or they take medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.
Liposuction – Consult with a Doctor
Anyone that is interested in having liposuction should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified doctor that is experienced in performing liposuction. The doctor will examine the patient to make sure the person is healthy enough to have surgery and has the stubborn areas of fat on the body to be removed using liposuction.
The patient should also discuss the desired results they want to see after the surgery. It is important for patients to have realistic expectations about the type of results they can expect to see after the surgery.
The liposuction technique performed on the patient depends on the type of results desired by the patient. Once the doctor and the patient are in agreement about the results that can be expected after the surgery, the type of liposuction can be chosen and then the surgery can be scheduled.