Liposuction - How it Removes Fat

Posted August 30, 2023
Learn how liposuction removes fat

There are times when the body has stubborn fat that does not respond to a diet or exercise plan. In order to eliminate this fat from the body, some patients turn to liposuction to give the body an improved look and contour. Interested in learning how this cosmetic surgery procedure is performed and the results it can provide? The answers can be found in this informative article and our look at lipo starts with liposuction facts patients need to know:

Liposuction facts

Keep reading for more liposuction information!

Liposuction – What is it?

Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that removes fat from targeted areas of the body. Some of the most popular areas for liposuction include the stomach, thighs, back, neck, and buttocks. Besides eliminating stubborn fat from the body, the contour of the treated area improves as it gains a new shape after the treatment. It can also be performed to reduce extra breast tissue in male patients. and this is a condition known as gynecomastia.

It is important for patients to know that liposuction is not performed as a method to lose weight. Anyone who wants to have the surgery for this reason needs to discuss alternate methods of weight loss with their doctor.

Liposuction is able to reduce the amount of fat cells in a treated area of the body. Once the fat cells are removed, the skin of the patient will mold itself to better reflect the new shape of the area where liposuction was performed. Someone with a good amount of skin tone and elasticity will enjoy a smooth look in the treated area. If the patient has skin that is considered to be thin and not very elastic, the final results of the skin in the treated area can have a look that is loose.

Liposuction is not able to remove stretch marks on the body and it also does not improve the look of skin that is dimpled due to cellulate.

Liposuction – Different Liposuction Techniques

The method in which a liposuction procedure is performed depends on the technique used by the surgeon. The technique is determined by the desired final results, the section of the body to be treated, and the amount of fat cells that will be removed. Here are some of the most common liposuction techniques:

  • Traditional Liposuction – In this technique, the surgeon injects a mixture of salt water, epinephrine (a drug that narrows/contracts the blood vessels) and lidocaine (a local anesthetic). The salt water, known as saline, aids in the removal of fat. Once they are injected, the surgeon creates a number of small incisions in the skin in the targeted area of the body. Then, a thin and narrow tube known as a cannula is inserted under the skin. This tube is connected to a vacuum that removes fluids and fat from the body.
  • Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL) – This is a liposuction technique where the surgeon places a laser fiber though an incision in order to break up fat deposits in the treated area. Then, the fat is removed using a cannula.
  • Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL) – This liposuction technique is sometimes performed in combination with a traditional liposuction procedure. During UAL, a metal rod is used to place ultrasound energy under the skin. This energy is able to break down fat in the targeted area for easier removal.
  • Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) – The cannula used by the surgeon is moved back and forth which allows the vibration created by the moving cannula to remove fat more easily from the body. This technique also allows the surgeon to remove fat more accurately, so it is often a good option for patients who need to have a larger amount of fat removed.

No matter the type of liposuction that is performed, the final results are permanent and the fat that is removed from the body will not return as long as the patient maintains a healthy weight.

Liposuction – Recovery Period

Once the procedure is over, there will be some swelling and bruising as well as pain felt by the patient. Each of these conditions will resolve on their own as time passes. The surgeon might place some drains in the body to help remove excess fluid from the body. The patient will also likely need to wear compression garments for a few weeks to help reduce the amount of swelling after the surgery.

Once the swelling goes away, the area treated by the doctor should look slimmer and less bulky. This will also be the time period when the remaining fat settles into its position on the body. It can take three to six months (or more) to see the final results.

Liposuction – Possible Risks

There are certain risks associated with liposuction that patients should know about in advance. Common liposuction risks include numbness, irregular contour to the treated area, seroma (buildup of fluid), fat embolism, infection, and a loss of elasticity to the skin.

- MA


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