Liposuction is a surgical procedure that entails the removal of excess fats from certain parts of the body. Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. This surgical procedure is done to improve a person’s physical contours by removing excess fat that is impossible to get rid of through exercising and dieting. In this regard, liposuction is carried out in areas of the body where stubborn fat deposits collect. Some of the common areas where fat deposits collect include the thighs, hips and buttocks, upper arms, the abdominal area, chest area, cheeks and the neck area. More often than not, liposuction is carried out along with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as a facelift or a tummy tuck.
The process of removing excess body fat entails the use of a small stainless steel tube known as a cannula. Before the insertion of the cannula, a solution of anesthetic and medication are injected into the area where fat is to be removed. The solution acts as a general anesthetic and reduces blood loss during the procedure. Another solution of lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the fatty area to break down the fat. The fat is then sucked out using the cannula which is attached to a vacuum machine. This is the most common type of liposuction.
Related: Different Liposuction Techniques
In some instances, ultrasound assisted liposuction is used in the removal of fat. This kind of liposuction entails the use of ultrasound to liquefy fat making it easier to remove. This technique is recommended for removing fat from the neck area, the abdominal area, and the back. Another method used in the removal of fat is the use of a laser. This technique entails the use of a laser to create vibrations or waves to liquefy fat. The fat is then removed using a cannula.
After the procedure, patients are required to wrap the affected area firmly. The wrapping is done to reduce bruising, reduce swelling and pain. Elastic bandages are used for covering the treated area. Alternatively, a special girdle may be used to cover the treated areas. Depending on the area treated, a patient may be required to have the affected area covered for up to 4 weeks. Expect bruising and swelling within the first 7 to 10 days after the procedure.
Liposuction is effective at removing fat from small areas of the body. Therefore, this method is not used in treating obesity. Additionally, this procedure is recommended for persons of average body weight. The main purpose of liposuction is to reshape a specific part of the body. In this regard, the procedure is conducted around problem areas mentioned in the introductory paragraph. While the procedure is predominantly used for reshaping specific body parts, it can also be used to treat certain medical conditions.
Some of the conditions that liposuction can be used to treat include lipomas, pseudogynecomastia, lipodystrophy, and axillary hyperhidrosis. By definition, pseudogynecomastia is a condition that affects men and is characterized by the unusual enlargement of male breasts. On the other hand, Lipodystrophy is a condition that leads to problems with the body’s fat metabolism. Axillary hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating in the armpit area. See also Who Are The Best Candidates For Liposuction?