Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the world. Over 287,000 liposuctions were performed last year.
Dieting and exercise can slim and tone your body but there still may be some areas that are resistant to all of your hard work. Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body, including: the chin, neck, and cheeks; the upper arms and above the breasts; the abdomen, buttocks, hips, and thighs; and the knees, calves, and ankles.
It is important to understand that liposuction should not be viewed as an alternative to a healthy diet and exercise routine, which still should be maintained after the procedure. Because each individual is different, one usually can’t expect to attain movie star figure proportions or your dream body contour. The best candidates are those who are of normal or near normal weight; it is not a cure for obesity.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure that usually lasts from one to three hours, depending upon the amount of fat to be removed. If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, Liposuction can often be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. A general anesthesia will be used for more extensive procedures or when it is performed in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures.
The area to be treated is marked by your surgeon prior to surgery. A small incision is made to allow the insertion of a hollow tube (cannula). The other end is connected to a device which suctions out the fat.
There are several liposuction techniques which are used. These newer procedures offer the benefit of better results, fewer side effects and faster recovery.
Tumescent Liposuction, a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into fatty areas before the fat is removed, is commonly used by plastic surgeons today. The fluid — a mixture of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels) – facilitates fat removal, reduces blood loss and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.
Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL). This technique utilizes sound waves to break up fat deposits. A special cannula is used which is connected to an ultrasonic generator. As the cannula is passed through the tissues, fat cells are ruptured, releasing their contents. The liquefied fatty emulsion is then removed.
UAL improves the ease and effectiveness of liposuction in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper back or the enlarged male breast. It is also commonly used in secondary procedures, when scar tissue is present and when enhanced precision is needed. In general, UAL takes a little longer to perform than traditional liposuction.
Occasionally, a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Don’t expect the final results immediately after surgery. Even though the newer techniques reduce some post-operative discomforts, you may still experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding, stiffness and temporary numbness. Any pain is controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon.
Liposuction in Seattle Washington performed by a board certified plastic surgeon. Information about Liposuction Surgery, Body Contouring Procedures and more.
*As with any surgery, liposuction may carry some risks along with the potential of side effects. These may vary by individual and will be fully discussed during your initial consultation with the Board Certified plastic surgeon, located in Seattle, Washington.