To better understand how liposuction works, we need to understand what the procedure entails, what techniques are used, and who are the best candidates.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes unwanted fat from specific parts of the body. It’s the ideal way to get rid of persistent fat pockets that won’t go away regardless of dieting and exercise.
Liposuction is carried out with the use of a cannula, a small tube that has a vacuum attached to it. The procedure can be done on various parts of the body such as: the chin and neck, upper arms, abdomen, flanks, thighs, and buttocks.
Are You A Candidate For Liposuction?
If you are considering liposuction you should be in good health, and no pre-existing conditions that could affect healing.
Liposuction candidates should also have realistic expectations about the outcome. You should discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon so that you clearly understand what you can realistically expect to achieve.
Candidates for liposuction should also be at or near their ideal weight, and have firm, elastic skin as well as good muscle tone. Although liposuction will tone and sculpt your body, you should not expect perfect results. In addition, if you are not yet at your goal weight its best to lose the extra pounds before having liposuction so that you will get the type of results you’re looking for.
People are not ideal candidates for liposuction include:
- Individuals that are not in good health (more likely to experience complications after the procedure.)
- Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Smokers, or people who take medication that can increase risk of blood loss
- People with loose skin (Liposuction is designed to remove fat below the skin, and could make loose skin more noticeable)
How Liposuction Works?
Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis normally taking 1-2 hours. Depending on the technique used, it may be done with either local or general anesthesia.
Small incisions are made through which the cannula is inserted under the skin and moved back and forth to break up the fat deposits. The vacuum is then used to extract the fat.
There are various liposuction techniques, including the popular tumescent technique in which a solution of local anesthetic is injected into the fat. This causes the fat to swell and become firm, so there is less bleeding and bruising during the procedure.
Less invasive liposuction techniques use laser, ultrasound, or radiofrequency energy to break apart the fat cells, ensuring that there is minimal tissue damage. Cannulas are then used to remove the fat. There is usually less downtime and post-operative pain with this form of liposuction.
Patients can expect to experience some swelling and bruising after liposuction. A compression garment is usually worn for about 3-4 weeks to help minimize swelling. Downtime can range from 5-7 days, depending on the technique used.