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Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure which in its simplest definition is the vacuuming of fat. It removes unwanted fat from certain areas of the body that have not responded to diet and exercise and allows the overlying skin to redrape and recontour the body silhouette. Liposuction can be a great way to get rid of fat pockets, objectionable bulges or lumps, and redefine your image.
Liposuction has the lowest complication rate of any major plastic surgery procedure. The procedure can be done under local, sedation or general anesthesia.
In the standard method of liposuction, a small, straw-like cannula is inserted into the fatty tissue plane while a vacuum which the doctor uses creates the suction needed to draw the fat out. The surgical areas are first infused with a dilute amount of salt water and anesthetic (tumescent fluid) to permit easier fat removal and provide for a more pain-free experience during and after the procedure.
This is a type of liposuction which uses an ultrasound machine for assistance. The inserted cannula emits ultrasound vibrations into the injected area, breaking up fat cells and making it easier to suction them out. This was introduced in the 1990’s. It has not been shown to be more effective than the traditional method.
Introduced in 2005, a laser is inserted into the cannula permitting heat energy to help dissolve fat. This method also alleges a skin tightening effect as well. Laser liposuction does have some benefit to improve areas of the body which are more fibrous and dense like the area above the belly button and flanks. The procedure does, however, add an additional risk to the patient with the possibility of skin burns at the cannula site as well as overzealous fat removal from melted fat.
Power Assisted Liposuction
This method is essentially standard tumescent liposuction with energy assisted handpieces to reduce the work in liposuction when large volumes of fat are being removed.
A careful history and physical exam with your doctor to review your understanding of liposuction and to recognize any health risks which you may have.
Recognize that liposuction is not done for weight loss
Recognize that liposuction is a procedure done for body contouring and reshaping.
Consider that patients are not candidates for liposuction if the supporting skin is very loose, wrinkled or associated with large skin and fat folds.
Results of liposuction are visible immediately and tiny scars for cannula insertion points are small and nearly invisible and often hidden in skin creases.
After liposuction is done, the post-op recovery requires the use of compression garments to help compress the area where fat was removed allowing the skin to firm down. There is often some drainage from the incision sites and of course some black and blue and swelling which improves over the first 1-2 weeks. Rare complications could occur during or after any procedure and all patients are fully informed about the procedure, risks and benefits, and outcomes in lengthy consultations with Dr. Mazzara