There are several different methods currently available for patients seeking liposuction treatment. New technologies have improved the accuracy of this procedure for both patient and doctor, and allow patients to achieve their desired results through a much less invasive procedure. Liposuction is performed through a tumescent technique, and may also include the assistance of ultrasound imaging or laser energy.
Prior to undergoing Liposuction Surgery
It is important to adhere to all instructions provided by the surgeon. This will greatly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome and reduce the risk of encountering a complication.
Where is the procedure performed?
The liposuction procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in an accredited ambulatory surgery center.
Will I need anesthesia?
For most patients, a local anesthesia is used, which may be accompanied by intravenous sedation. If necessary, general anesthesia may be provided instead in cases for which that medication will better meet the patient’s needs and comfort level.
How long is surgery?
The surgery typically lasts somewhere between one and three hours, depending on the extent of the treatment. After it is completed, patients are monitored in a recovery room for several hours until they are ready to be discharged and return home.
The Liposuction Procedure
Once the skin at the treatment site has been cleansed and prepared, marks may be made around the area to indicate precisely where the liposuction will take place. The doctor will make several tiny incisions in natural skin folds or other inconspicuous spots to minimize their visibility.
An injection of saline solution containing a local anesthetic and other medication to minimize trauma and reduce bleeding is administered through the skin. This tumescent solution will help expand and firm the fat tissue, making it easier to remove. The cannula is then inserted through the incisions. It moves rapidly within the deposit of fat to loosen and release it, and the surgeon suctions out the fat from the area. Careful attention is paid to the volume of fat as it is being removed to ensure the correct amount is eliminated.
In laser-assisted tumescent liposuction, a laser is used to liquefy the targeted fat before it is removed, allowing for an easier and less painful removal. The laser may also be used to tighten skin in the treated area after fat is removed. Similarly, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasound energy to break up pockets of fat before they are suctioned out in order to achieve a smoother, more efficient removal process.
After the fat tissue has been removed, the surgeon can withdraw the cannula. No stitches are generally needed after a liposuction procedure since the incisions are small enough to heal thoroughly on their own.
Results of Liposuction Surgery
A liposuction procedure typically produces results that smooth and reshape the contour of a particular area of the body in a more aesthetically pleasing way. It can provide a slimmer, sleeker look more in proportion to the rest of the body. The final results are not evident immediately following liposuction surgery, however, as there is often some swelling that needs to resolve. Over the course of one to three months after the procedure, patients undergo a healing process. When that is complete, the outcome is a more sculpted area than what existed previously.
View our Before and After Photo Gallery.
The results created through liposuction are long-lasting because the fat cells have been removed. This means that even if a patient eventually gains weight, the treatment area will continue retain a slimmer, more contoured appearance. However, weight gain can impact other regions of the body that still contain a normal amount of fat cells. In addition, the effects of aging and other factors may change the appearance of all parts of the body over time, including the area on which liposuction has been performed.