Liposuction is a procedure used to remove excess fats from the body using suction.
During the process thin, blunt-tipped tubes (also known as cannula) are inserted via small cuts in the skin. Fat is then suctioned out via these tubes as the surgeon moves the tubes around under the skin targeting specific fat deposits. New techniques have been introduced that have made liposuction safer, easier as well as less painful.
Among the newer techniques include:
a). Tumescent Liposuction: This procedure uses a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tube will be inserted. A large amount of anesthetic solution containing epinephrine and lidocaine is injected into the fatty tissue before the conventional liposuction is done. This liposuction procedure may not require the type of anesthesia that makes one to sleep through the procedure.
b). Ultrasounds-Assisted Liposuction: This procedure uses ultrasound to liquefy the excess fats, making the fats easier to remove. It may be particularly helpful in removing excess fats from the upper abdomen, back and sides.
c). Laser-Assisted Liposuction: The technique uses low-energy waves to liquefy the fats, which are then removed through a small cannula.
Liposuction is often done as an outpatient procedure in an ambulatory surgery center or hospital. The procedure can also be done in a properly equipped doctor’s office. Typically, the procedure doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay unless the amount of fat being removed is very large. Some liposuction cases require use of local anesthesia, and you can either be given a sedative to relax or none at all. In case a large volume of fat is being removed, which means a large area being treated, deep sedation with a local anesthesia may be used.
Why It Is Done
The main purpose of this procedure is to reshape one or more body parts. Typically, liposuction is used on “problem” parts that haven’t responded well to exercises and diet. These areas are often on the hips and outer thighs on women and the back and waist on men. The face, neck, back, abdomen, buttocks, legs as well as upper arms are other common areas treated. Liposuction is sometimes used together with other cosmetic surgery procedures, including “tummy tuck” (abdominoplasty), face-lift and breast reduction.
Liposuction can be used to treat certain medical conditions, including:i). Problems with fat metabolism (lipodystrophy)ii). Benign fatty tumors (lipomas)iii). Excessive sweating in the armpits (axilllary hyperhidrosis)iv). Abnormal female breast enlargement (gynecomastia/pseudogynecomastia)
Note: This procedure can’t be used to treat obesity because it won’t get rid of cellulite or stretch marks.
How Well It Works
Liposuction is usually effective at removing fat deposits in small areas. However, if you regain weight after the procedure, the fatty bulges that were previously removed are likely to reappear in a different part. Some improvements in body contour is often noticeable after the surgery, with the improvement set to continue for several weeks or even months while the swellings disappear. The full effects of undergoing a liposuction may not be visible for several months.
Apart from laser liposuction, other liposuction procedures do not tighten the skin over the treated area. The skin around the treated area may be somewhat loose after the fat has been removed and may take up to six months for the skin to tighten. However, some people have an elastic skin that retracts quickly. Younger skin tend to be more elastic than older skin.
Why You Should Be Selective When Choosing a SurgeonIn case you’re considering plastic surgery procedure, it pays not only to be informed but also selective when choosing your plastic surgeon. There are many physicians who claim to be cosmetic surgeons, but haven’t been trained or board-certified in plastic surgery. Selecting the right surgeon is critical to your safety, comfort as well as long-term satisfaction. By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, you’ll be sure you’ve chosen someone who underwent rigorous training in plastic surgery and has been doing plastic surgery for at least two years.
Secondly, make sure not to choose a surgeon who is certified in a different field, because it means he/she might not the right professional to attend to your specific need. Things can go wrong even if he/she is certified. Thirdly, you should also ensure the surgeon you choose have had enough experience. An experienced plastic surgeon is more likely to provide better and safer care. It is vital to keep in mind that liposuction is a manual skill that requires a surgeon to constantly refine his/her skills, and this can only be made possible through long working experience.