A number of terms describe the procedure commonly known as liposuction. Sometimes this surgery might be called lipoplasty, liposculpture, or suction-assisted body contouring. Whatever the terminology utilized, this operation can remove fat from various areas of the body. Pockets of excess in the abdomen, hips, thighs, and neck can disappear after a brief operation.
This type of surgery is a common choice for many patients. With this procedure, the physician will mark the areas for removal on the patient’s skin. Later in the operating room, the physician will inject tumescent solution under the skin. This special chemical works to puff up the fat cells so they are easier to see. Another key ingredient of the solution helps to constrict blood vessels, which minimizes swelling and bruising. An anesthetic in the solution helps with postoperative pain.
After allowing the solution to take full effect, the surgeon inserts a cannula into the marked area through incisions. The cannula vacuums out the fat cells to remove them. It’s important to perform this process carefully to ensure smooth contouring of the fat left behind. After completing the vacuuming, the doctor sutures the incisions with dissolvable stitches.
Another type of liposuction involves the use of ultrasound energy to diminish fat cells. This surgery is effective for excess male breast tissue and excess flesh on the flanks and back. Before vacuuming up the fat, a special wand emits ultrasound energy to target areas to prepare it. After this process, the remaining operation is the same as the standard liposuction procedure.
Patients will experience some degree of discomfort after this surgery. Swelling is also a common after-effect. Doctors may prescribe pain relievers for patients to use during the initial days after liposuction. After a few days, most people are able to switch to over-the-counter pain relievers to control the discomfort. Bruising will appear on the skin, and it will likely last for up to three weeks after the procedure. Numbness in the surgical area is typical, and this may last for several weeks.
Patients will need to wear special compression garments to control swelling. Doctors recommend wearing the compression garment continually for the first three to five days because this is the period when people experience the most inflammation. It’s best for patients to wear the compression garment as much as possible for the first six weeks after the operation. This garment is especially effective for helping to create the most attractive contour.
Most people return to work within a few days of having the operation. People should resume their everyday activities when they feel physically ready. A patient may need to wait a few weeks before resuming exercise.
As with any surgery, liposuction has limitations and risks. Anyone contemplating this type of operation should consult with a physician to learn all the details involved. This professional can assess the individual patient and make a recommendation for an effective treatment plan. This consultation can also provide important information about recovery and long-term results.