Liposuction is a popular cosmetic surgical technique used to remove the excess body fat located between skin and muscle in order to improve the body’s contour, smoothing distorted or irregular body shapes. The result is an improved body appearance.
It can also be referred to as fat removal or suctioning. Liposuction is usually performed to contour the cheeks, neck, chin, breasts, upper arms, abdomen, hips, knees, thighs, buttocks, and ankle or calves areas.
However, it is a known fact that due to being a serious surgical procedure, liposuction may involve painful recovery. Therefore one should think carefully before deciding to have this surgery.
Types of Liposuction Procedures
There are three main types of liposuction procedures:
1. Tumescent liposuction
This is the most common procedure and it is also called fluid injection. The procedure consists in injecting medicated solution in large quantities (sometimes up to 3 times the volume of fat to be removed) in the areas where you want to remove excess fat. The solution is a mix of epinephrine (to contract the vessels), IV (intravenous salt solution) and lidocaine (local anesthetic); it is meant to numb the area, reduce the loss of blood, bruising, and swelling caused by the surgery. This procedure usually takes longer than the other ones.
2. The super-wet technique
This is similar to the previous technique. The main difference is that during the surgery the amount of injected fluid is less, being equal to the fat to be removed. Although it takes less time, this procedure often requires general anesthesia or sedation with an IV.
3. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
This fairly new technique has only been used in USA since 1996. It consists of using ultrasonic vibrations to liquefy fat cells in order to get them ready to be vacuumed out. There are two ways to do this procedure: internal (with a small cannula below the skin’s surface) or external (using a special emitter above the skin’s surface). UAL can be helpful removing fat from fiber-filled, dense body areas like enlarged male breast tissue or the upper back. The procedure is often combined with the tumescent technique for greater precision, in follow-up procedures. It is a longer procedure than the super-wet technique.
Why Is Liposuction Performed?
Some of the uses of liposuction are the following:
– Body shaping – for people with irregularities or fatty bulges that cannot be removed by exercise or diet.
– Cosmetic reasons – fat bulges, abnormal chin lines,…