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Liposuction Procedure

The liposuction procedure is an option for women who want to remove bulges of fat that otherwise won't seem to go away, regardless of diet and exercise regime. The areas most frequently treated during the liposuction procedure include the hips, abdomen, thighs and buttocks and face. The liposuction procedure will remove fat, but does not remove cellulite. A good candidate for a liposuction procedure should have realistic expectations about the outcome of this procedure, as well as the basic qualities consisting of overall good health, average or slightly above-average weight, firm, elastic skin, and concentrated pockets of fat that won't respond to diet and exercise.

People with large amounts of cellulite are not good candidates for the liposuction procedure because they may develop skin irregularities due to over-correction, or under-correction for that matter, of localized fat deposits. Age can become a factor in liposuction procedure only because older patients often have less elasticity in their skin. They may not attain the same success from liposuction procedure that a younger patient with skin elasticity.

Arranging a consultation with your surgeon is the first step of the liposuction procedure. The consultation will be used to discuss which options are best for you, your skin type, and the effectiveness and safety of the procedure. Also the potential financial cost, since health insurance doesn't cover plastic surgery, and what your expectations should be will be discussed. Feel free to ask any questions during your consultation, and don't be shy, because this is the time to clarify all of your concerns.

Once you've decided to go ahead with the procedure, your surgeon will give you any instructions you will need to prepare for the liposuction procedure. Restrictions usually pertain to diet or alcohol consumption, or the taking or avoiding of certain vitamins. Notify your surgeon of over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as herbal supplements you are currently taking.

The type of liposuction procedure you are undergoing will determine if it is performed as an outpatient procedure at the doctor's office or surgery center. The removal of large amounts of fat require the liposuction procedure to be done in a hospital and may require an overnight stay.

Prior to the liposuction procedure you will be given anesthesia. The amount of anesthesia depends on the type of liposuction procedure being performed. Anesthesia varies and may only be locally applied, or it may require a general application, in which case the surgery will be done while you are under sedation.

Once under anesthesia, your liposuction procedure will begin using a suction device attached to a small, stainless steel instrument called a cannula. The cannula is inserted through small incisions and into fatty areas between skin and muscle. This is where it removes excess fat using a suction pump or a large syringe. The length of the procedure will vary with the amount of fat needing to be removed. The resulting appearance is a smoother, improved body contour ready to be perfected with a little exercise and diet.

There are two main types of liposuction procedures performed by surgeons today. One is tumescent liposuction and the other is ultrasound-assisted liposuction. During the tumescent liposuction procedure, a solution is injected into the target fatty areas before the fat is removed. It is made up of a saline solution, a mild painkiller, and epinephrine, which is a drug that contracts your blood vessels. The solution helps the surgeon remove the fat more easily, helps reduce blood loss, and provides pain relief during and after surgery. During ultrasound-assisted liposuction, ultrasonic energy is used to heat and liquefy the fat, making it easier to remove it from the body. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction does however require general anesthesia.

When the liposuction procedure is done as an outpatient, the recovery is usually quick. You can return to work in only a few days and perform normal activities within a couple weeks, however, bruising, swelling, and soreness will last for at least a few weeks. Every patient's results will vary based on factors such as volume of fat cells removed and area of removal. Your doctor will discuss what results you can expect to achieve from your liposuction procedure and how to best maintain your new body shape.