Liposuction: A Cosmetic Procedure For Body Contouring

Woman After LiposuctionLiposuction is a popular form of cosmetic surgery that removes fat deposits and helps shape the body. It is typically performed by a plastic surgeon. Liposuction removes excess body fat via suction with the use of special surgical equipment. It is intended to improve the appearance of the body and to smooth uneven body shapes. It can be used to contour a number of areas in the body – virtually the entire body, including the cheeks, chin, neck, upper arms, abdomen, breasts, back, flanks (“love handles”), hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, knees and ankle areas. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as body contouring.

How Liposuction Works?

In general, liposuction removes fat using a hollow tube called a cannula and a suction device known as an aspirator. To start with, the operative site is prepped and anesthesia (local or general) is administered. A small incision on the skin into the underlying fat layer is made to permit the insertion of a suction tube into the pockets of fat. The suction tube has a sharp end and is passed through the area of the fat being removed. The fat is vacuumed up by the suction tube. Large areas where fat is going to be removed may require several small skin incisions. The surgeon may access the areas from different directions to get the best results for contouring the body part.

The Different Liposuction Techniques

There are different procedures that can be used when it comes to liposuction. The most common one is tumescent liposuction, which involves the injection of fluid into the areas from where the fat will be removed. The amount injected may be three times the fat volume being removed. The injected fluid is made up of a combination of a local anesthetic, epinephrine as well as an intravenous salt solution. The local anesthetic numbs the area for the surgery and afterwards. Epinephrine is a drug that constricts blood vessels and helps to reduce blood loss, bruising and swelling by surgery. The salt solution makes the fat easier to remove, and gets suctioned out with the fat. A micro vacuum-suction cannula is inserted in through a tiny skin incision, and the excess fat is suctioned out. This liposuction procedure usually takes longer compared to the other methods.

The super wet technique is like tumescent liposuction but uses less fluid and takes less time. The fluid amount that is injected is equivalent to the fat volume being removed. This technique generally requires general anesthesia or IV sedation.

Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) uses ultrasonic vibrations to break down the fat cells, and then removes it with a suction. There are two ways it can be carried out. External UAL uses a special emitter above the skin, while internal UAL uses a small vibrating cannula below the skin. UAL generally needs more time than the super wet technique.

Laser-assisted liposuction is similar to UAL. It uses a thin piece of fiber to release laser energy that liquefies the fat cells, and the fat is then removed with suction.

Who Is Liposuction For?

People choose to have liposuction for a number of reasons, mainly for cosmetic purposes. Some people want to use liposuction to remove unwanted fat bulges, or love handles. Liposuction is also popularly used to improve body shape and appearance. It can be used on just about any part of the body, but is commonly used for the chin, buttocks, upper arms and thighs. Body shaping with liposuction may be appealing to people who feel that they can’t achieve it with diet or exercise. Suitable candidates for liposuction are normal weight individuals who have firm, elastic skin and pockets of fat in certain regions of their body.

As one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries there are, liposuction is intended to help people achieve their desired body shape by removing excess fat using suction techniques. There are several liposuction techniques which work in slightly different ways to achieve similar outcomes.

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