Liposuction, is a cosmetic surgery operation to improve your body shape by removing unwanted fat from areas of the body. The hips are the most commonly treated site, but liposuction can also be performed on the tummy, thighs, inside of the knees, ankles, upper arms, neck and back.
Liposuction is a surgical technique that improves the body’s contour by removing excess fat from deposits located between the skin and muscle. Liposuction involves the use of a small stainless steel tube, called a cannula (from the Latin word for reed, tube, cane). The cannula is connected to a powerful suction pump and inserted into the fat through small incisions in the skin. Fat removal is accomplished as the suction cannula creates tiny tunnels through the fatty layers. After surgery, these tiny tunnels collapse and thus result in an improved body contour.
Liposuction can remove fat that you have not been able to shift with diet and exercise.
The fat cells will not be replaced by your body, so there should be a long-lasting change in your body shape, especially if you exercise, eat a healthy diet, and maintain a healthy weight after the operation.
Liposuction, also known as suction assisted lipectomy, liposculpture, and fat suction, is a technique used to sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body. These regions can include:

  • chin
  • neck
  • cheek
  • breast region
  • abdomen
  • “love handles”
  • buttocks
  • hips
  • thighs
  • knees
  • calves
  • upper arms

Best candidates for liposuction:

The best candidates for liposuction are people who are near their ideal weight and have firm, elastic skin with pockets of excess fat in certain areas.. Individuals with certain medical conditions may not be suitable candidates for liposuction.
The best candidates for liposuction are of relatively normal weight with firm elastic skin, but have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your expectations. Most important, having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final contour. Your age is not a major consideration. However, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin. Hanging skin will not reshape to your body’s new contours and may require an additional procedure to surgically remove the excess skin. Surgery that removes excess skin will leave visible scars.
Suction lipectomy carries greater risk if you have had recent surgery near the spot to be sculpted, if you have poor blood circulation in that area, or if you have significant medical problems such as diabetes, heart, or lung disease. You should also understand that liposuction will not improve cellulite (dimpled skin).

Common areas for liposuction

Women

  • under chin
  • stomach
  • buttocks
  • hips
  • thighs
  • under arm
  • breast region

Men

  • under chin
  • around the waist
  • “love handle” region
  • male breasts (gynecomastia)

Techniques

Liposuction techniques can be further categorized by the amount of fluid injection and by the mechanism in which the cannula works.

Amount of fluid injection

Dry liposuction

The dry method does not use any fluid injection at all. This method is seldom used today.

Wet liposuction

A small amount of fluid, less in volume than the amount of fat to be removed, is injected into the area. It contains:

  • Lidocaine: as a local anesthetic
  • Epinephrine: to contract the blood vessels and thus minimize bleeding
  • A salt solution: to make it saline, like our body fluids

This fluid helps to loosen the fat cells and reduce bruising. The fat cells are then suctioned out as in the basic procedure.

Super-wet liposuction

In this method, the infusate volume is in about the same amount as the volume of fat expected to be removed. This is the preferred technique for high-volume liposuction by many plastic surgeons as it better balances hemostasis and potential fluid overload (as with the tumescent technique). It takes one to three hours, depending on the size of the treated area(s). It may require either:

  • IV sedation as well as the local lidocaine, or
  • Complete anesthesia

Tumescent liposuction

In the classic tumescent technique, a large amount of fluid is injected into the area, perhaps as much as 3 or 4 times the volume of fat to be removed. It is the same saline fluid as the super wet technique, but it’s increased quantity creates space between the muscle and the fatty tissue, which creates more room for the suction tube (cannula) that the surgeon uses to remove the fat cells. Depending on the size of the area(s) being worked, this procedure takes longer than other techniques must as the large amount of infiltrate must be introduced slowly.
The high volumes of fluid and local anesthetic required for this technique have limited its use with larger people.

Laser assisted liposuction

Laser assisted liposuction is a type of liposuction that utilizes preliminary emulsification of fat using a canula tipped with a diode laser emitter. This fat is then removed with a traditional SAL technique. The advantages (if any) and risks associated with this type of technology are still being evaluated.
The patient should:

  • Drink enough water to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid using ice packs or heating pads on the treated areas
  • Postpone soaking the wounds until they are sealed (usually 48 hours for sutured wounds and a little longer for unsutured ones).
  • If any dizziness is experienced, the patient should take it easy: stand up slowly, get some help for the shower, remove the compression garment slowly, etc.

The suctioned fat cells are permanently gone. However, if the patient does not diet and exercise properly, the remaining fat cell neighbors could still enlarge, creating irregularities.
Sources: Wikipedia, Looking your best

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