Most of us have areas in our body that we’re not super happy with, and stubborn fat tends to be an issue for a lot of people. Many times, we work hard and maintain a healthy weight, but we’re stuck with belly fat or bulges around the bra line. When good, old-fashioned diet and exercise aren’t giving you the shape you want, it might be time for some help. Liposuction can target specific areas to sculpt your body into the figure you want to see in the mirror.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure in which a plastic surgeon removes pockets of excess body fat with suction. It can be done virtually anywhere that excess fat might accumulate. Before the fat is removed through the cannula, the suction tube inserted into a small incision in the skin, it has to be broken up. This is typically done in one of four ways, depending on what’s right for you, your doctor and the treatment area.
Tumescent liposuction is the most frequently-used method. A large amount of a solution that consists of local anesthetic, epinephrine to contract the blood vessels and salt solution is injected around the fat to be removed. This solution helps to remove the fat more easily and is suctioned out through the cannula with the fat. The super-wet technique is similar, but not as much fluid is used, so it takes less time.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasonic vibrations to liquefy fat cells, which are then easily removed by the cannula. This method is perfect for dense areas in the upper back but takes longer than the other methods and may require follow-up with the tumescent technique.
Laser-assisted liposuction liquefies fat cells with the help of a laser. This method requires a smaller cannula than the other methods and is thus preferred for more confined areas, like the chin and face. The laser stimulates your natural production of collagen, which is a structural protein in your skin that diminishes with age. This loss of elasticity can be an issue after liposuction when skin is loose, but this boost in collagen can help reduce sagging and the need for additional procedures.
Within the first couple of weeks of recovery, you’ll start to see the sculpted figure you and your doctor were aiming for. Treated areas should be smooth and slimmer than before. The reduction in the number of fat cells in the treated areas will be permanent, and you’ll retain your new figure, as long as you avoid any dramatic weight fluctuation.
Dissatisfaction with results is usually caused by incomplete liposuction, in which case it would be difficult to tell that the procedure was done at all, excessive liposuction that creates an unnatural appearance, an uneven fat removal that creates lumps and depressions, and large scars. Choosing your doctor carefully and discussing the practicality of the results you’re hoping for will help to avoid these issues and ensure total satisfaction.