Liposuction is a popular cosmetic procedure that can give you more uniform body shape and help to get rid of stubborn fat cells. People often get liposuction on their abdomen, buttocks, thighs, chin, neck, upper arms, calves, back, and on the back of the arms for a tight and toned look.
Liposuction is performed roughly 300,000 times per year in the United States alone. It’s also known as liposculpture suction, lipoplasty, lipo, or a lipectomy. The surgeon defines the problem areas and makes a small incision. They insert a hollow but rigid instrument, commonly called a cannula, into these incisions. When the cannula is in place, a high-pressured and powerful vacuum is applied. This vacuum breaks up the unwanted fat and sucks it out.
Depending on where you go to get your liposuction procedure done, it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 per liposuction procedure. Many people have multiple liposuction procedures done throughout the years to help reduce the amount of unwanted fat deposits they have in their bodies. It is not a weight loss procedure, and it won’t help treat obesity. This is a cosmetic procedure.
Liposuction has many benefits associated with having the procedure done. While most of the benefits are cosmetic in nature, there are a few medical benefits that could lead someone to have liposuction.
- Lipodystrophy Syndrome: People who have this syndrome have fat that deposits in one area of their body and leaves another. Liposuction can give them an even fat distribution back.
- Lipomas: A lipoma is a fatty tumor that is benign. They can develop all over a person’s body, but they routinely appear under the arms, neck, shoulders, and on your trunk. Liposuction can break up these fatty tumors.
- Lymphedema: Lymphedema is a chronic condition that affects people on a long-term basis. Lymph fluid collects and pools under the skin causing swelling in the person’s legs and arms. Liposuction can take out this pooled fluid, reduce the swelling, and reduce any discomfort.
- Weight Loss: People who have lost an extreme amount of weight may benefit from liposuction. It can break down any remaining stubborn fat deposits to give the person an even appearance.
- Tightening and Toning: Liposuction can get rid of and reduce the appearance of uneven fat deposits. As a result, you’ll get a tighter and more toned physique.
How Liposuction Works
When a person goes in for their liposuction procedure, the doctor may give them a general anesthetic. The procedure usually lasts between one and four hours depending on how much fat they want to remove. There are five general liposuction procedures used today.
Dry liposuction is one of the older liposuction methods, and it’s rarely used today. The cannula would be inserted, but there would be no fluid injection to help smooth the process along. As a result, there is a higher risk for bleeding or bruising during and after the procedure.
2Laser Assisted Lipolysis
This liposuction procedure is less invasive. It uses saline solution along with lidocaine and epinephrine to numb the area and constrict the blood vessels. The surgeon inserts a small tube that guides a small laser to the fat. The laser’s heat and energy breaks up the fat.
This type of liposuction procedure uses a rigid cannula that the doctor moves back and forth very quickly over the fatty area. This rapid movement helps to break up the fat, and then the doctor sucks it back out.
The surgical team pumps in several liters of a saline solution along with epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels and lidocaine to numb the area just under the surface of the skin where they want to suction the fat out. The fat is then sucked out through small tubes.
This procedure uses an ultrasound machine to energize the cannula. In turn, the fat melts away as soon as the cannula comes into contact with it. The liquefied fat can be sucked out.
Who Can Get Liposuction and Who Should Avoid It
You can get liposuction if you have areas of your body that you’re not happy with. However, it is recommended that you use liposuction as well as switching to a healthier lifestyle to help ensure your results. If you’re extremely obese, have a history of surgical complications, or if you’re pregnant, you should avoid this procedure.
Possible Side Effects
Liposuction is considered to be a relatively safe procedure, but it does have a few side effects you want to watch out for. If you’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to contact your physician.
- Bruising that can last for weeks
- Inflammation that can last up to six months
- Contour irregularities
- Friction burns
There are several myths surrounding liposuction.
- A tummy tuck and liposuction are the same thing.
Liposuction can be used to enhance the results of a tummy tuck, but they’re not the same thing. A tummy tuck can help with loose abdominal skin or muscle weakness, and liposuction is cosmetic.
- Liposuction is an excellent weight loss tool.
Liposuction does not make you lose weight. It is also not a weight loss tool. This procedure is for people who have already lost weight and who are at a healthy weight. It helps to get rid of stubborn pockets of remaining fat.
- The fat can come back after liposuction.
A liposuction procedure actually removes the fat cells from your body so that they won’t come back. However, you can gain the weight back if you don’t keep up with your diet and exercise routine.
- A liposuction procedure has no downtime.
There is going to be some downtime with your liposuction procedure. How long your downtime is depends on where on your body you had the procedure and how much fat was removed. Generally, recovery times vary from two days up to 10. Strenuous activity or lifting can take up to six weeks.
Liposuction is a great cosmetic procedure to help smooth our and contour your body. It’s vital that you do your research and talk to several doctors before you settle on the procedure that is right for your needs.