How Does Liposuction Work?
What Are The Risks Of Liposuction?
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
What Are Liposuction Alternatives?
- Consistently one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries
- Not for weight loss
- New forms using lasers or ultrasonic technology are available
Liposuction is the procedure used to remove excess areas of fatty tissue from specific areas of the body. It can be performed on just about any area of the body including cheeks, jowls and neck, chest and breast area, upper arms, back, waist, hips, buttocks, inner and outer thighs and knees, calves, and ankles.
Back to Top
The procedure was originally performed dry, meaning the surgeon inserted the cannula and began suctioning out fat, breaking it up with sharp tips at the end of the cannula. This procedure removed more blood than fat and caused a great deal of damage to the internal structures.
Now, all liposuction is tumescent, meaning fluid is pumped into the treatment area that is a combination of pain killer, adrenaline (to constrict blood vessels and reduce blood loss) and saline solution. The amount of fluid injected varies depending on the patient, amount of fat to be removed, and the surgeon's preferred technique. Typically, a volume of liquid equal to the amount of fat to be removed is used, though some prefer 'very wet' or 'super wet' techniques in which the surgeon injects a greater amount of fluid than fat to be removed.
The cannula is inserted under the skin and first introduces the tumescent solution which helps break the fat away from the surrounding structures such as blood vessels and nerves. The fat is then aspirated, or suctioned out via the cannula. The surgeon will typically mark the areas to be treated before surgery so that he can 'map out' the area to ensure the right amount of fat is removed. Some surgeons actually weigh the amount of fat removed from each area to ensure he has worked symmetrically.
After the fat and fluid are removed, the surgeon will stitch or staple the incision. Depending on the amount of fat suctioned, the patient may go home the same day or stay at a recovery center for observation.
Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is best suited for patients who are not excessively overweight and have firm healthy skin. Good candidates for liposuction also have a realistic attitude about their appearance and recognize that the procedure will not drastically change their lives. Individuals with multiple risk factors such as poor circulation or heart disease may not be able to undergo liposuction safely.
Before your surgery, you will be asked to refrain from smoking. You will not be able to use certain over-the-counter medications like aspirin due to a risk of increased bleeding. Your doctor will discuss your individual precautions with you in advance of the procedure.
After the surgery, be sure someone can take you home and stay with you for at least a night. You will not look or feel great right after this surgery, but in time the results will be evident. Some pain, swelling, bruising, or fluid retention may occur and a drainage tube may be placed under the skin to prevent excess fluid from building up. Many patients feel stiff and sore for several days following surgery and some are asked to wear an elastic compression garment to provide support. Strenuous activities may be restricted for a while, but normal life should resume within a week or two.
Back to Top
The cost of liposuction depends on the size of the patient, the volume of fat to be removed, where the fat is being removed from as well as the market and location of the practice. Costs may include non-surgical fees for general anesthesia, operating room, tests, garments and supplies on top of the cost of the surgery itself. It is important to discuss with your physician in detail what you expect from the liposuction and how much the grand total will be.
Back to Top
There are several liposuction alternatives, some of which include:Back to Top