The liposuction procedure targets problem areas and removes fat from them by using a high-pressure suction technique. During the procedure your surgeon will make tiny incisions and will insert small cannulas, which are thin, blunt-tipped tubes. The surgeon will manoeuvre the tubes under your skin in order to target particular areas with excess fat deposits, and suction out the fat. This will reduce the number of fat cell in that area. The amount of fat that will be removed is dependent on the volume of fat in targeted area and on how it looks. After the fat has been removed, the resultant shaping and contouring are permanent, so long as you are able to maintain a steady weight. Most liposuction surgeries take between one to three hours.
Recent developments have made the liposuction process easier, safer and less painful. The advancements include:
Tumescent liposuction – During the procedure, a local anaesthetic is applied to the fatty area that will be operated on and tubes will be inserted. After this, your surgeon will inject a large quantity of an anaesthetic solution into the fatty tissue before the operation in order to numb the area and shrink the capillaries to avoid blood loss and bruising. Then a small incision will be made on your skin and a tube which is attached to a vacuum will be inserted into the fatty pocket. This fat will then be suctioned out. After the fat has been suctioned out, your surgeon will use small drainage tubes in order to drain any excess fluid and blood.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction – This liposuction method uses a tube that produces an ultrasound which targets areas of fat which breaks down and liquefies it. This fat will then be suctioned out. This method may be particularly effective in eliminating fat from your upper abdomen, sides and back.
Laser-assisted liposuction – This method utilizes low-energy waves in order to dissolve fat, which is then removed through a small cannula (tube). This method results in less bruising and requires less time for healing.
Liposuction is usually conducted as an outpatient procedure. Unless the surgery is used to remove very large quantities of fat, it typically does not require staying overnight following the procedure. In some cases, you may receive a local anaesthetic. You may also be given a sedative in order to help you relax. In cases where a large amount of fat is being operated on, you may be administered general anaesthesia or a deep sedative as well as a local anaesthesia, in order to put you to sleep for the duration of the operation.
Following the surgery, your skin will set into the new contours of the operated areas. Skin with good elasticity will appear smooth and toned. Skin with less elasticity may appear slightly looser. Liposuction is not intended to treat cellulite dimpling, stretch marks or improve the appearance of other skin surface irregularities.