Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. During the past decade liposuction, which is also known as “lipoplasty” or “suction lipectomy”, has benefited from several new refinements. Today, a number of new techniques including ultrasound assisted lipoplasty (ULA), the tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique, are helping many cosmetic surgeons to provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn area of fat that do not respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
Often used in conjunction with other plastic surgery techniques, liposuction removes pockets of fat from troublesome areas such as the thighs, hips, abdomen and upper arms. Liposuction procedures vary depending on what your ultimate cosmetic goal is and whether you are combining liposuction with other plastic surgery procedures.
What is Liposuction?
Many Americans have only a vague concept of what liposuction is. Simply put, liposuction is the surgical removal of fat cells through a stainless steel suction tube called cannula. Liposuction was first performed in 1974 and was a tremendous improvement over previous surgical body contouring techniques. There have been many advances in liposuction procedures over the last few decades, making it one of the safest and most popular body contouring surgeries in the world.
Are you a good candidate for liposuction?
If you are considering liposuction, it is important that you have realistic expectations. Although dramatic results can be achieved, they may not be as immediate or obvious as you would like. As with all plastic surgery, the success of liposuction will depend on a number of individual factors such as age, skin elasticity, weight and overall health. Liposuction is not appropriate for people with a weakened immune system, diabetes, heart or artery problems or a history of blood clots or restricted blood flow. You are a good candidate for liposuction if you are of normal weight, have healthy elastic skin and have specific “trouble areas” such as the tummy, thighs and butt that will not respond to changes in diet and exercise. Liposuction is also appropriate for women who are considering breast reduction and for men who suffer from gynecomastia or male breast development.
Areas of the face and body treatable with Liposuction
Liposuction works best for areas of the face and body with stubborn fat deposits resistant to overall weight loss such as the infamous “love handles”. The thighs, abdomen, buttocks, flanks, hips, upper arms, chin, jowls, and neck generally respond well. Men and women may also choose liposuction to reduce breast size, a procedure that results in less scarring than other types of plastic surgery. Liposuction can be performed consecutively on many different sites.
Types of liposuction
There are several types of liposuction procedures available, all of which use a wand-like instrument called a canula to remove unwanted fat. Tumescent liposuction involves the injection of a large amount of anesthetic into the area being treated; the wet and super-wet techniques are variations of this type of liposuction. In ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL) , sound waves are used to liquefy the fat before it is removed. LipoSelection® uses the same concept without disturbing the surrounding tissue. Power assisted liposuction (PAL) employs a motor-powered cannula, which allows the surgeon to use smaller movements and make the experience more comfortable for the patient.
The Liposuction Procedure
The basic liposuction procedure involves the insertion of a small tube-like instrument called a cannula through tinny incisions made by the surgeon. The cannula then breaks up and vacuums away unwanted fat deposits beneath the skin. Local or IV sedation will be used depending on the type and number of liposuction procedures you undergo. As with any plastic surgery, you should prepare for liposuction carefully and allow yourself plenty of recovery time.