In most developed countries liposuction is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery. Modern diet and lifestyle leave us with more lumps and bumps of fat than we’d like. Men typically have a large belly and women complain about their hip and thighs.
What is liposuction
It removes those fatty areas that seem resistant to diet and exercise around the tummy, knees, arms, thighs, neck, and back. This gives you a boost and combined with a balanced diet and sensible, regular exercise you can get a body you’re proud of.
How is liposuction performed
- Body fat is removed from under the skin using vacuum suction. Usually, a hollow metal tube called a cannula is used. Saltwater (saline) is injected into the area and water and fat sucked out.
- Ultrasound probes and lasers are now used to perform liposuction. They are claimed to be less invasive and damaging although they have not been thoroughly researched as yet.
- Most liposuction requires a general anesthetic and a period of recovery in hospital but often you can go home the same day.
Types of liposuction
- Wet liposuction – The commonest technique used. Saline is injected under the skin and sucked out along with the same volume of fat. A blunt cannula is used which cuts down bleeding and helps break up the fat cells. The surgeon moves it around rapidly to remove fat.
- Tumescent Liposuction – Similar to wet liposuction but adrenaline is added to the saline to reduce bleeding even more. Twice as much saline is injected for the same amount of fat removed.
- Power-assisted liposuction – A small motor moves the cannula so the surgeon doesn’t get as tired.
- Ultrasound liposuction – An ultrasound cannula is used under the skin first to break up the fat before saline is injected. Often used on more difficult areas to treat such as the back.
- External ultrasound liposuction – An ultrasound probe is used over the skin to break down the fat underneath before liposuction using a normal cannula and saline. This is a new technique and still being evaluated to determine if the results are better than standard wet liposuction
- Liposculpture – A thin cannula is used but it’s joined to a large handheld syringe. The surgeon has good control but it is slower to do. The big advantage for patients is that usually only a local anesthetic is needed.
- Laser liposuction – A laser cannula is used and the laser light bursts the fat cells, which are then removed using vacuum suction. It is usually done under a local anesthetic. It is a new technique but shows promise.
How will you feel after the operation?
When you wake up after the operation you’ll be swollen, bruised and a bit sore. You will probably have pressure bandages over the area to stop fluid from collecting around the operation site. You’ll need this for a few weeks while you recover.
Rest for 24 to 48 hours and then get moving again. Walking is good for recovery as it’s gentle but effective. Ant stitches will be removed after seven to ten days but you probably won’t be able to exercise for at least a month but your surgeon will advise you on that.
Liposuction is a great body contouring procedure but not an aid to weight loss. Remember that and you’ll be delighted with the results.