Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed.
Liposuction also falls under Body Reshaping. Liposuction is used when localised fat deposits develop in regions of the body and persist in spite of proper diet and exercise.
Liposuction works by removing excess fat tissue, helping to reshape body contours and create a slimmer appearance. Liposuction can be performed alone, but can also be combined with other procedures such as the tummy tuck.
Liposuction is not an effective treatment for cellulite or obesity, and it is not an alternative to exercise and diet.
The procedure may be performed under general or local anaesthetic. Not everybody is a good candidate for liposuction. Your surgeon will help you determine if liposuction is right for you.
Possible Liposuction Sites
In general, fat is removed with a cannula (a hollow tube), which is passed into the fatty tissue through a small incision in the skin. The cannula is then passed back and forward, removing fat with a suction machine. There are a number of techniques that vary the amounts of fluid injected into the liposuction site.
This does not use any fluid injection at all. It is seldom used and only for very small areas.
A small amount of local anaesthetic solution, less volume than the amount of fat to be removed, is injected into the area.
The volume of fluid injected is the same amount as the volume of fat to be removed. This is the preferred technique for high-volume liposuction by many plastic surgeons.
The surgeon injects a large volume of solution into the subcutaneous fat to be removed.
Mechanism of liposuction
Suction-assisted liposuction is the standard method. A small cannula (like a straw) is inserted into the fatty tissue through a small incision. The cannula is attached to a vacuum device. The surgeon carefully pushes and pulls the cannula through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and drawing them out of the body by suction.
PAL uses a specialised cannula with mechanised movement, so that the surgeon does not need to make as many manual movements. Otherwise it is similar to traditional liposuction.
There are other liposuction techniques, which your surgeon can discuss with you. It is important that your surgeon carries out a thorough assessment to ensure liposuction is appropriate for you.
Depending on the extent of the liposuction, patients can generally return to work any time from two days to two weeks. A compression garment or bandage is worn for two to four weeks. Any pain is controlled by mild to moderate painkillers. Bruising will fade after a few days, but may take as long as two to three weeks. Numbness over the liposuction area may last for several weeks. Normal activity can be resumed anywhere from several days to several weeks afterwards, depending on the procedure.