What is Liposuction?
The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the US, liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat that has not responded to diet and exercise from areas such as the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks, neck and upper arms. Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used, and the procedure can last anywhere from one to five hours depending on the amount of fat being removed.
What is the Liposuction Procedure?
There are several different methods surgeons use when performing liposuction, including ultrasound-assisted lipectomy (UAL) and suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL). In both types, fluid is injected into the area to be treated. Then a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible, and a cannula (small tube) breaks up the fat layer and suctions it out.
Recovery From Liposuction
After liposuction, patients experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Compression garments or elastic bandages are typically worn to help reduce these symptoms as the area heals. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks.
Risks Of Liposuction
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery, risks associated with liposuction include the following:
- Loose or rippled skin
- Worsening of cellulite
- Contour irregularities
- Pigmentation irregularities
When large amounts of fat are removed, surgery to remove excess skin may be necessary.
Results Of Liposuction
Results of the liposuction procedure may not be apparent until swelling and bruising subside, which usually takes a week; swelling should completely subside within a few months. Incisions are rarely sutured, and scarring is almost nonexistent, because the incisions used for the cannula are so small. The results of liposuction are long-lasting, unless a substantial amount of weight is gained.