Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, is the most popular plastic surgery procedure at present. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported that in 2005, hundreds of thousands of patients underwent liposuction.
The procedure involves removing fat from different areas of the body such as the abdomen (usually called tummy tuck), thighs, buttocks, neck, arms and other specific areas using a cannula and an aspirator.
Liposuction surgery generally gets rid of fat but it should not be used as an alternative to exercise and diet. It is not a weight loss method. The amount of fat removed in the process depends on the patient, the method, and the doctor. Usually, less than ten pounds or equivalent to five kilograms of fat is removed. The reason behind this limit is that lumpiness and dents may appear in the skin if the surgeons will go beyond the measure.
Basic liposuction employs a small cannula that is inserted into the body through a small incision. The cannula is attached to a vacuum device while the surgeon does a push and pull motion through the fat layer. This process breaks up the fat cells and draws them out of the body by suction.
The basic technique is normally done when the patient has already received a fluid injection. This is a pre-requisite step because it helps loosen the fat cells and reduce bruising. Moreover, the fluid injection contains a salt solution, local anesthetic, and Epinephrine.
After the surgery, bruising and swelling may occur. Patients may also experience some numbness, soreness and a burning sensation, but all these are expected of the operation. However, these things are temporary and the swelling and bruising will subside after a few days. Most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities within one to two weeks, though more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for two to four weeks.
The results of liposuction surgery will be maintained through proper diet and exercise. It is important that patients have to do a thorough consultation with their liposuction surgeons in order to ensure a safe and effective liposuction surgery, which would eventually produce the desired results.