What is Liposuction?

Are you finding it difficult to lose those last few inches from your waistline?  Liposuction can reduce belly fat and trim that waistline for you.  In the battle against the bulge, liposuction is one of the most effective tools, which is the reason it is among the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the US. But what is liposuction, and how does it work. 


What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes subcutaneous fat from various parts of the body to enhance body contours.  It is especially beneficial for fat that is resistant to diet and exercise.  

Liposuction targets stubborn fat in areas such as the abdomen, flanks, submental area (below the chin), upper arms, and outer thighs.  

Traditional liposuction is performed using a small, stainless steel instrument called a cannula that has a high-pressure suction attached to it.  The cannula is used to break up the excess fat deposits just beneath the skin.  The disrupted fat is then suctioned from the body.

Liposuction is done on an outpatient basis and takes 1-2 hours to perform.  Depending on the technique used, liposuction can be performed under general or local anesthesia.  

Liposuction Techniques

There are various liposuction techniques, including tumescent liposuction, VASER liposuction, and power-assisted liposuction. 

Tumescent Liposuction

At the start of tumescent liposuction, the surgeon will inject a sterile solution into the fat cells being targeted, causing the tissues to become firm and swollen.  The tumescent solution also constricts the small blood vessels in the treatment area and minimizes bleeding and bruising during and after surgery. 

VASER Liposuction

VASER liposuction uses ultrasonic frequency waves to break up and liquefy unwanted fat deposits. The VASER lipo probe is inserted below the skin through tiny incisions and is moved back and forth to liquefy the fat cells.  The fat cells are then removed using a suction process. 

Power-Assisted Liposuction

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) is performed in the same manner as tumescent liposuction but is done with a power-assisted cannula.  The power-assisted cannula uses rapid vibrations to break up the fatty tissue.  It requires less manual effort by the surgeon and is gentler than traditional liposuction.  There is less trauma and bruising during PAL, so recovery is faster.  PAL is recommended for removing large volumes of fat.

If you are considering liposuction, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to determine which technique would be best suited for your goals.  

Is Liposuction Helpful For Weight Loss?

While liposuction will result in the loss of a few inches in the targeted areas, it is not a weight loss solution.  Weight loss reduces the size of the fat cells but liposuction removes the fat cells from the body.  

Liposuction targets localized fat deposits and contours the body.  That’s why the best candidates for the procedure are men and women close to their ideal weight.  Doctors typically advise people that are obese to lose the extra weight before considering liposuction. 

How Soon Will I See Results?

There is typically some swelling and bruising after liposuction, which takes a few weeks to resolve.  After this time, the treated areas will be noticeably leaner.  This process usually takes 1-3 months. 

How Long Do The Results Of Liposuction Last?

The results of liposuction can last for many years if patients adopt a healthy lifestyle after treatment.  

The body has a specific number of fat cells and the cells removed with liposuction are gone for good and don’t grow back.   Therefore, it’s possible to ensure long-lasting results by maintaining a stable weight. 

If you have a few areas of stubborn fat that you’ve tried to tackle without success, liposuction can change your body shape and give you the slimmer silhouette you desire.  

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