Liposuction, or body contouring, is a common cosmetic surgery that eliminates extra fat to enhance body shape. Liposuction serves as a strategic approach to target and eliminate resilient fat accumulations that are resistant to traditional methods like dieting and exercise, rather than being a conventional weight loss solution. This revolutionary process can be performed on different body parts like the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms, and neck, resulting in a more refined body shape and boosted self-esteem.
Basic Steps Involved in a Liposuction Procedure
- Consultation: The process begins with a consultation with a plastic surgeon. In this meeting, you’ll talk about your objectives, the available choices, potential risks and benefits, as well as expenses involved. Additionally, your health will be assessed by the surgeon.
- Preparation: Before the surgery, you’ll be given instructions on how to prepare, which may include diet and alcohol restrictions.
- Anesthesia: You may be given a local anesthetic (numbing only a small area) or general anesthesia (you’re asleep during the procedure). The type of anesthesia used depends on the specific procedure, the area being treated, and your personal preference.
- Incision: The surgeon will make small incisions in the area where the fat is to be removed.
- Fat Removal: A slender tube known as a cannula is introduced via the surgical cuts to break down surplus fat with a regulated reciprocal movement. The liberated fat is subsequently extracted from the body using a surgical vacuum or a syringe connected to the cannula.
- Tumescent Lipoplasty: In this popular method, the surgeon infuses a solution into your fat-laden areas prior to fat extraction. The solution, comprising saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine, leads to swelling and hardening of the targeted zones.
- Laser-Assisted or Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty: These methods utilize laser power or ultrasound waves to melt the fat, which is subsequently extracted from your body.
- Closure of Incisions: Once the fat has been removed, the surgeon will close the incisions. In some cases, the surgeon may leave the incisions open to drain fluids.
- Recovery: After the surgery, you may need to wear a compression garment to control swelling. You’ll also need to take some time off from work and restrict your activities.
- Follow-up: You’ll have follow-up visits with the surgeon to check on your recovery and progress.
The Main Types of Liposuction Procedures
- Tumescent Lipoplasty: This is the most frequently performed lipoplasty procedure. The surgeon introduces a sterile mixture into the region where the fat will be eliminated. This mixture comprises saline (salt water), lidocaine (a local painkiller), and epinephrine (a medication that constricts blood vessels). The solution simplifies the process of fat suction, reducing blood loss and discomfort.
- Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL): This method employs ultrasound waves to melt the fat, simplifying its removal. It can be especially beneficial for extracting fat from the upper abdomen, flanks, and back. UAL enhances the simplicity and efficiency of lipoplasty in fibrous regions of the body, minimizes blood loss, and promotes superior skin retraction.
- Laser-Assisted Lipoplasty (LAL): This method utilizes low-intensity waves to melt the fat, which is then extracted via a tiny cannula. The laser energy disrupts the fat cells, leading them to discharge their stored fat to be drawn out or drained away. An additional advantage of LAL is its ability to tighten the skin.
- Power-Assisted Lipoplasty (PAL): This technique employs a mechanical apparatus that oscillates swiftly, enabling the surgeon to extract fat with less effort. PAL provides superior accuracy, reduced swelling and bruising, and a faster recuperation period.
- Suction-Assisted Lipoplasty (SAL): This is the conventional approach to lipoplasty. The surgeon employs a suction device to extract the undesired fat. SAL can be used on nearly any part of the body and is effective at removing larger volumes of fat.
- Radiofrequency-Assisted Lipoplasty (RFAL): This technique uses radiofrequency energy to heat and liquefy fat cells, making them easier to remove. The heat also stimulates collagen production, which can help tighten the skin over time.
Candidates for Liposuction
- Highly Individualized Candidates: Lipoplasty is a personal choice and should be done to fulfill one’s own desires, not someone else’s. It’s important that the decision to undergo this procedure comes from a place of self-improvement, not external pressure.
- Candidates for Assisted Lipoplasty: Candidates for laser- or ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty may benefit from advantages such as sedation. These advanced techniques can offer more precision and potentially smoother results.
- People with Stubborn Fat Pockets: Lipoplasty is most beneficial for people who have made an effort to lose excess fat through diet and exercise but still struggle with stubborn pockets of fat that won’t budge.
- Candidates with Good Skin Quality and Elasticity: The evaluation of a candidate for lipoplasty also includes assessing the quality and elasticity of their skin in the area they want suctioned. Good skin elasticity can lead to better contouring results.
- Adults Close to Their Ideal Weight: A good candidate for lipoplasty should be over 18 years old and ideally close to their ideal weight. Stable weight is crucial to maintaining the results of the procedure.
- Candidates in Good General Health: Candidates should possess overall good health. Conditions such as heart disease or circulatory issues may pose risks during the procedure.
- Candidates within 30% of Their Ideal Body Weight:The perfect candidate for lipoplasty should be within 30% of their optimal body weight. This is because drastic weight fluctuations can impact the long-term results of the procedure.
Areas of Body Targeted by Liposuction
- Face and Neck: Lipoplasty can be utilized to extract fat accumulations in the face and neck, enhancing the shape and distinctness of these regions.
- Upper Arms: Excess fat in the upper arms can be stubborn and resistant to exercise. Lipoplasty can help to slim and reshape this area.
- Chest/Breasts: In men, body contouring can be used to treat a condition known as gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts). In women, it can be used to reduce breast size.
- Abdomen: The abdomen is one of the most popular areas for lipoplasty. Removing fat from the upper, lower, or the entire midsection can create a slimmer, more defined waistline.
- Thighs: Inner and outer thigh lipoplasty can help to achieve a more proportionate and toned lower body appearance.
- Hips, Waist, and Flanks: Known as “love handles,” excess fat in these areas can be effectively reduced with liposuction, enhancing the body’s overall silhouette.
- Back: Lipoplasty can target fat deposits in the back, often referred to as “bra bulge,” creating a smoother back profile.
- Under the Chin: Also known as submental lipoplasty, this procedure can eliminate a double chin and improve the angle between the chin and neck.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.