What Is Liposuction Surgery?

Woman Getting Liposuction

If you want to improve the look of areas of your body where you just can’t get rid of fat, despite dieting and exercise, you may want to consider liposuction surgery. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving body contours and proportion.  Areas that are commonly treated include the thighs, inner knees, abdomen, hips, and buttocks, back, and the chin and neck. Liposuction can be performed alone, or with other plastic surgery procedures. Liposuction is not an effective treatment for cellulite, or for loose, saggy skin.

People who are good candidates for liposuction are within 30% of their ideal body weight and have good muscle and skin tone. They should not have any life-threatening conditions or diseases that may slow wound healing. Liposuction should not be performed on smokers. If you have deposits of fat in specific areas of your body that do not respond to diet or exercise, then liposuction may be a good option for you.

What To Expect With Liposuction

Liposuction should be performed in an accredited hospital or surgical center by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with all aspects of liposuction. The procedure may be performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia. Small areas (for example, the neck or jowls) may be treated in an office setting. Large volume liposuction (greater than 5 liters of fat removed) requires an overnight stay in the hospital for postoperative monitoring.

There are several different liposuction techniques. The most common are Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL), which uses ultrasonic waves to break up fat cells prior to suctioning them out, and Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL), which provides a mechanical means of breaking up the fat cells prior to suctioning. Patients should be aware that many of the modern, “non-invasive liposuction” technologies that are advertised have limited success. The choice of a quality surgeon is the primary determinant of a quality result.

Recovery After Liposuction

With regard to liposuction recovery, after surgery, a compression garment or elastic bandages are worn for several weeks. This helps to control swelling and to compress the skin to the new body contours. Small sutures placed at the access sites will be removed in the first week after surgery. Most people return to their normal activity and exercise by two weeks after the surgery. Liposuction side effects include some pain that is controlled by a prescription or over-the-counter medication and may last as long as two weeks, depending on the particular procedure. Bruising will fade in the first two weeks. The swelling will subside in anywhere from two weeks to two months, while numbness may last for several weeks. People will see a noticeable difference within days or weeks as swelling subsides. However, the final results in your appearance are often not evident until three to six months after surgery.

Liposuction Risks

As with any surgical procedure, Liposuction is not free of risk. Liposuction risks include bruising, changes in skin sensation, fluid accumulation, infection, irregular contours or asymmetries, persistent swelling, and poor wound healing. Life-threatening side effects include complications from anesthesia, damage to deep structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs, and cardio-pulmonary complications such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and fat embolism. Some people request secondary procedures after liposuction to remove excess skin.

At Advanced Specialty Care, we perform liposuction in Fairfield County, CT, as part of our cosmetic surgery practice in Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, and New Milford. When you meet with one of our plastic surgeons to discuss liposuction, you should be prepared to talk about your areas of concern and surgical goals, as well as any medical conditions you are being treated for. Your surgeon will review your medications and supplements, and ask about prior surgical procedures. Photographs are often taken and become a part of your confidential medical record.

When performed by an experienced surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, liposuction surgery is a safe and effective means for eliminating unwanted areas of fat and improving the contours and shape of your body.


Topics: Blog, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery