Liposuction and Body Contouring

Liposuction Quick Facts

Remove small amounts of fat that are resistant to exercise and diet, and smooth out the silhouette.

1 to 2 weeks out of work, 4 to 6 weeks before strenuous exercise

Outpatient Surgery?:
Yes, in most cases

Liposuction is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery for both men and women. If you have a few lumps and bumps of fat that do not go away no matter how you diet or exercise, liposuction is for you. However, liposuction is not a replacement for diet and exercise. You should be within about 20% of your goal weight before you start to think about liposuction. If you are, liposuction can help you achieve the silhouette you have always wanted.

How Liposuction Surgery is Performed

The first step in liposuction is usually infusing the area to be treated with a fluid containing the drugs lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a vasoconstrictor that helps reduce bleeding). The surgeon then uses a thin tube called a cannula that is attached to a suction device. He or she inserts the cannula into the area of fat to be removed through a small incision. The cannula is moved back and forth in a fan pattern to break up the fat, which is then drawn out by the suction device. The surgeon may use several small incisions as insertion sites for the cannula, which are placed so that they will be hidden in natural folds of skin. There are several different liposuction techniques, with variations in the amount of fluid infused and whether other techniques are used to break up the fat, such as ultrasound.

Liposuction is generally done under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia as outpatient surgery and you go home a few hours after the end of the procedure. It can be performed in a hospital or in a surgical center.

The majority of liposuction procedures are done on the body and thighs, but liposuction can be performed on the neck and chin area to remove small amounts of fat there. Liposuction can also be combined with other cosmetic surgeries, such as breast augmentation or a tummy tuck.

Liposuction Recovery and Results

Recovery after liposuction takes a couple of weeks. There is some swelling and discomfort, but most people are able to control it with pain relievers. Most people return to work about 2 weeks after having liposuction, but this depends on the size of the area being treated and how active they are on their job. You are usually asked to refrain from active sports for at least 6 weeks.

Another type of problem after liposuction is that you are just unhappy with the results. You may have some ripples or uneven texture in the areas that were treated and need further liposuction.

Most swelling resolves within a week or two, but final results may not be seen for a few months. You can usually get a good idea of your new look after about 2 weeks.

Other Procedures of Body Contouring

Other forms of body contouring include lift procedures, such as arm lift, thigh lift or body lift. A lift procedure is often done after weight-loss surgery to remove excess skin that hangs loosely after a great deal of weight is lost. In an arm lift, a surgery removes the excess skin on the upper arm. In a thigh lift, excess skin and some fat are pulled up and removed. With a body lift, an incision is made around the body just above the hips. Excess skin and tissue is removed and pulled upward and the incision is closed. Lift procedures are serious surgery, but they can be a big help for people who have lot large amounts of weight and are left with loose sagging skin. Butt implants surgery is becoming a very popular procedure for reshaping and contouring the buttocks area.

Liposuction Risks

Liposuction and body contouring procedures are not without some risks. There is the chance of serious bleeding, infection, and reaction to the anesthetic. A serious complication of liposuction is the formation of embolisms, or bits of matter that get into the bloodstream and cause a clog in an artery or vein. An embolism could lodge in the lungs, heart, or brain and cause breathing problems, heart attack, stroke, or death.




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