Frequently Asked Questions About Liposuction
Most people who are considering liposuction have many questions about the procedure. This information is not meant to take the place of a professional consultation, but it can help to clear up some general questions you may have.
Q: What is liposuction?
A: Liposuction is the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery in the world. It is a simple procedure that improves the shape of your body by removing unwanted or excess fat cells. the procedure is performed by inserting a wand attached to a medical vacuum machine into areas of the body through a small incision.
Q: Who can receive liposuction?
A: Most everyone can be considered a good candidate to receive liposuction. Above all, a candidate should have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for them. Good candidates will have overall good health, be slightly above-weight and have supple, elastic skin. Liposuction works best for people who have pockets of unwanted fat that have not responded to dieting and exercise.
Q: How do I prepare for liposuction?
A: Everything you need to know to prepare for liposuction will be discussed during an initial consultation with your surgeon. The surgeon will assess your health and discuss a few options that may be available. The safety and the most-likely outcome of the procedure will also be discussed. Once you decide to go ahead with the procedure, the surgeon will give you specific instructions that must be followed in the weeks leading up to date of the operation.
Q: How is liposuction done?
A: Patients are usually given a general and local anesthesia before the procedure. The surgeon will mark the spots on the body where incisions will be made and where the fat will be removed. After each incision, the surgeon will insert a small, hollow, steel tube called a canula under the skin through the incision. The canula is attached to a vacuum that pulls the fat into the canula to a collection container.
Q: What are the different techniques?
A: Several different techniques exist for performing liposuction. Two of the different techniques are described below:
• Tumescent Liposuction – This technique calls for the surgeon to inject a solution into the fatty areas to be treated before the canula is inserted. The injection contains a mixture of saline solution, a local anesthetic and a medication that contracts blood vessels. The injection has several purposes. It loosens the fat, it reduces blood loss, it reduces bruising and it anesthetizes the area.
• Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction – In this technique, a special canula is used that has an ultrasound generator attached to it. The ultrasonic waves liquefy the fat cells, making them easier to remove. This method allows for more detailed body sculpturing and a quicker recovery time. Trauma is minimized with the result of less bruising and blood loss.
Q: Are there any risks associated with liposuction?
A: Liposuction is a surgical procedure, and all surgical procedures inherently have an element of risk. Some complications that can be caused by liposuction include infection, bleeding, swelling and pain. The risks associated with the procedure are minimal when compared to other types of surgery. An experienced surgeon in a properly equipped operating room rarely sees serious complications set in.
Q: What type of anesthesia is used for liposuction?
A: If only a small amount of fat is being removed, local anesthesia and a light sedative may be all that is required. Larger areas typically require that general anesthesia be administered. Your surgeon will discuss anesthesia options with you before the procedure.
Q: What areas of the body can be targeted?
A: Any areas with fatty deposits can be targeted by liposuction. The most common areas are the abdomen, hips, thighs, upper arms, neck and legs.
Q: What is the recovery time?
A: Recovery time varies by individual and by the amount of fat removed from the body. Recovery time also depends on the technique used to perform the liposuction. Most people are able to return to work within a few days and can fully resume their usual lifestyle in two to three weeks.
Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: Liposuction usually takes one to four hours to perform, depending on the area or areas treated. It is usually done on an outpatient basis, but an overnight hospital stay may be recommended in some situations.