Liposuction is an elective, cosmetic surgery procedure that improves the body’s contour by selectively removing excess fat from deposits between the skin and muscle, using a slender tube (cannula) and a vacuum device.
Excess fat may accumulate in any area of the body including the chin, neck, chest (men), breasts, arms, belly, hips, thighs, buttocks, calves and knees. These areas can all be enhanced, reduced and made more proportional with liposuction.
Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction is intended to enhance specific areas of the body by slimming and reshaping body contours and restoring body proportion. Liposuction surgery is not meant to treat obesity and should not be seen as a substitute for healthy nutrition and exercise.
Liposuction is best for individuals who are in decent physical shape, but have been genetically predisposed to accumulate excess fat in certain areas which makes that part of their body out of proportion to the rest of their body.
Potential patients for liposuction are healthy and close to their ideal body weight. They have some uneven or out of proportion contours or lack symmetry because of localized fat deposits, despite good health and a regular exercise routine.
Generally liposuction is performed as a single procedure, but it can be done at the same time as other cosmetic procedures:, natural breast or buttocks enhancement with your own fat, or a mini-tummy tuck.
The amount of fat that can be safely removed at one time is based on your physical exam, overall health and your doctor’s evaluation of how much anesthesia you need and can safely tolerate. There are recommendations by a number of respected medical Academies of how much anesthesia you can put in and fat be taken out at a time, that your doctor should understand and follow.
In most cases, liposuction is performed as an outpatient procedure in a licensed or accredited office, office based surgical facility or ambulatory surgery center, to be sure you have the greatest safety and least risk. General anesthesia is not recommend, as the surgeon needs to see you flex and bend the area to sculpt the best contour.
The area to be treated is marked while the patient is standing and then the patient is positioned on a special procedure table and prepped and sterilely draped. If conscious/twilight sedation is used, sensors for pulse, oxygen and heart monitoring are applied.
The areas to be treated are filled with a dilute solution of “tumescent” anesthesia which causes the treatment area to be profoundly numb from many hours. During liposculpting, you may be aware of touch and movement, but you should have no pain.
You will be able to help the doctor move to reposition or follow directions to flex or stand or sit up. When liposculpting is complete, a compression garment is applied and absorbent pads are positioned over the cannula insertion sites.
Once the patient is stable and awake, they can return home to recuperate that same day. Rest, but NOT bed rest is recommended and return to activity happens over several days to weeks depending on the person and how much fat was extracted.
Tumescent liposuction is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery in world and particularly in the United States. It can be performed safely, by well trained physicians in the outpatient setting. The results are generally quite gratifying.
Dr. Zimmerman of Las Vegas Laser & Lipo, has received the prestigious Award for Academic Excellence in Cosmetic Surgery Education from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. It is also important to remember that a healthy exercise routine and a proper diet are essential to maintain the loss of fat that is achieved through liposuction.