Liposuction – what really entails the procedure

Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery techniques practiced today. This type of surgery involves the removal of fat from certain areas of the body such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, and upper arms. It is often done in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures. The process of liposuction varies according to the patient’s preference and what the cosmetic goals are.

Liposuction: The Basics

You might be familiar with the term ‘liposuction’. However, specific knowledge of this procedure is often vague. For those contemplating liposuction, you must educate yourself to ensure that you achieve your cosmetic goal and do it safely.

To perform liposuction, fat cells are surgically removed from specific problem areas in your body. To do this, surgeons use a stainless steel suction tube known as a cannula. Aside from removing excessive fat, surgical liposuction procedures are also done for contouring purposes. This attests to the idea that liposuction is mostly done for cosmetic purposes.

Since liposuction was first performed in 1974, the procedure has experienced major transformation and advancements over recent years. The demand for doctors who perform body contouring liposuction techniques has grown exponentially.

According to data gathered by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in the year 1998 alone over 200,000 people have undergone liposuction. More people are considering this type of plastic surgery, especially now that the safety is improved along with advancements in tools and procedures.

Should You Undergo Liposuction?

The choice for undergoing liposuction is mainly your choice. However, this is not to say that you should not proceed with caution. Despite the recent technological breakthroughs that ensure the safety and success of this procedure, there is always some risk.

Before proceeding with this surgery, you need to set realistic goals. Dramatic results are indeed possible with liposuction, but it is a process. There are several factors to consider that help determine the success of the procedure such as age, weight, skin elasticity and your overall health condition.

Most doctors do not allow people with a weak immune system, artery or heart problems, diabetes, or other history of health problems to undergo liposuction. This is because of the health risks involved. Consult with a doctor first when you plan on undergoing liposuction and have them assess whether you are a healthy candidate. This is discussed in depth in an upcoming chapter.

Procedures for Liposuction

In concept, the process of liposuction is quite simple. The doctors vacuum out excess fats from your body. However, this is as complex as any other type of surgery. The actual procedure for liposuction involves three phases: the creation of an incision, surgical removal of fat, and closing off the incision.

First, your doctor administers anesthesia and some other fluids if necessary. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your doctor starts creating small incisions on specific areas in your body where fat is to be removed; the size of these incisions range from a quarter of an inch to 3 inches.

Once an incision has been made, a vacuum tube (called a cannula) is now inserted through the incision. This tube penetrates through the deep layers of the fat. The cannula moves back and forth in order to break down these fat cells. Once they are broken up, those fats are suctioned out through a syringe. Due to the excessive loss of blood through the procedure, patients are often given replacement fluids following the procedure.

Once the removal of fat is finished, the incisions are sutured closed.