Popular Liposuction Procedures

Also called lipoplasty, liposuction reshapes and slims body areas by the removal of excess fat deposits.  The body contour is improved and proportional.  Self-image is enhanced.  Localized fat deposits can occur in people with reasonable fitness levels and good health.  These are sometimes caused by heredity rather than lack of fitness or weight control.

Many body parts can accumulate stubborn fat pockets that can be removed with liposuction.  Examples include ankles and calves, chins and cheeks, chest, inner knee, back, neck, arms, buttocks, hips, thighs, waist and abdomen.

At times, liposuction is performed as a sole procedure.  It can be used in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures like a tummy tuck, breast reduction, or a facelift.

Good eating habits and regular exercise are not replaced by liposuction.  It is not an obesity treatment.  The dimpled skin that often appears on the buttocks, hips, and thighs is called cellulite.  Liposuction is not a treatment to effectively remove cellulite.  The best candidate for the procedure is someone who exercises regularly but has stubborn areas of fat.

Traditional Liposuction

Traditional liposuction begins with some form of anesthesia being administered.  General anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or local anesthesia is paired with a saline solution that is infused into the body area where liposuction will occur.  Medication to minimize bleeding and pain is contained in the solution.  A small incision is made into the fat layer below the skin.  Through the incision, a hollow tube that is connected to a vacuum is inserted.  The fat literally is sucked from the body.

Assisted Liposuction

Ultrasound and laser assisted liposuction, like the traditional method, is not intended for weight control of a solution to obesity.  Areas like paunchy stomachs and saddlebags that do not respond to exercise or diet can have the contour improved with ultrasound or laser.  Other common areas for these two treatments are arms, neck, knees, chin, cheeks, buttocks, and ankles.

These areas can be disproportionate in relation to the overall build of the patient.   After childbirth, some women have fat deposits remain.  Bringing the areas into alignment with the rest of the physique gives some individuals a sense of confidence and well-being.

When liposuction is laser assisted, technology and power of laser beams are put to use.  The fat is liquefied before it is sucked from the area.  Liposuction that is ultrasound assisted makes use of a special vibrating cannula that vibrates rapidly and emits ultrasound energy.  Ultrasound is administered below or above the skin.  An ultrasound cannula is used below the surface.  A special emitter is used above the skin.

Only certain devices get FDA approval or are cleared for liposuction.  Ensuring that FDA approval exists for the device being used is important before considering ultrasound or laser liposuction.  Potential complications of liposuction with laser are swelling, skin burns, numbness, minimal bleeding, infection, and bruising.

Firming of the skin can go on for six months following the procedure.  New layers of skin are being formed.  Fat cells that are removed will not be recreated.  If weight is gained, it is improbable that deposits of fat will expand in the area in which the procedure occurred.

When choosing a liposuction surgeon, be open to the surgeon’s advice.  An area thought to be troublesome may be caused by a subcutaneous pad of fat adjacent to the area at issue.  A doctor dedicated to a natural look is preferable.  Contouring the area to be proportionate with the body frame can boost self-esteem and improve the quality of life.

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