How is it done?
Treatment time will vary depending on the size of the area and the amount of fat being removed. Liposuction may be performed under a local anesthesia which numbs the affected areas, usually combined with intravenous sedation. For more extensive procedures, a general anesthesia may be used. During the procedure the surgeon will insert a narrow tube called a cannula through a tiny incision, usually in the navel, or just below the bikini line. The cannula is pushed and pulled through the fat layer breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. Surgeons may use a “dry” technique, a “tumescent” technique (that introduces large amounts of fluid to the area being worked on). After surgery, you will be required to wear a supportive corset or pressure bandages around the treated areas.
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One of the major benefits of vaser liposuction compared to traditional liposuction methods, is the minimal amount of damage to surrounding tissues. Vaser liposuction uses a smaller incision and soundwaves to liquefy the fat before it is removed from the body. Liquefying the fat has the potential to increase the accuracy of the procedure and make the fat easier to remove. In addition to that, it could also minimise the damage inflicted upon surrounding tissues.
Fat cells removed during a vaser liposuction are specifically targeted which allows the surgeon to provide the patient with a smoother and a more sculpted end result. During the procedure, the surgeon is able to highlight and define certain muscles, which give the patient a more noticeable result. The procedure can also tighten the skin and target cellulite, since a combination of ultrasound and laser techniques can be implemented during the procedure.
Complications specific to liposuction are infrequent and usually minor. However, as with any surgery, there are risks, including the possibility of:
- Bleeding under the skin (hematoma) after the surgery
- Lumpy red scars
- Infection requiring antibiotics and in some cases hospitalization
- Irregularities in skin contour
- Permanent changes to the color of the skin, and some loss of normal feeling in those areas
- Pulmonary edema
- Allergic reaction in some patients to fluid used in tumescent liposuction
- Reaction to the anesthesia
There may be significant bruising and swelling after surgery which may take several months to settle completely. Risks can be reduced by following the surgeon’s instructions before and after surgery. The FAQ question “What are the risks of plastic and cosmetic surgery?” has additional details on risks and how to minimize them.
The surgeon may discuss alternative approaches to liposuction. However, the main alternative to liposuction is simply to leave the fat deposits as they are. Diet and exercise regimens may be of benefit in the overall reduction of excess body fat. Direct removal of excess skin may be needed in addition to liposuction treatment in some patients. [Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck]
The best candidates for abdominal liposuction are individuals of relatively normal weight who have excess fat in particular areas. Having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final result. The surgeon will make the final determination of each patient’s eligibility for the procedure after an examination and consultation with the patient. Patients with bleeding disorders or underlying severe medical problems may not be eligible for liposuction surgery.