Liposuction is a form of cosmetic surgery that shapes specific areas of the body, most often abdomen, thighs and arms. There are a number liposuction procedures that are commonly performed, all of which use a tube (cannula) to remove fat cells.
In the tumescent technique, a local anesthetic and a medication to constrict blood vessels are injected into the area to receive liposuction. Also injected is a saline solution, which helps to separate the fat and the muscle. With this technique, the amount of saline used is about three times the amount of fat that is expected to be removed.
The super-wet technique is basically the same procedure as the tumescent. The difference is that, when the saline is injected, it’s done using the same amount of liquid as the amount of fat that is planned to be removed. Then, as in the tumescent, the cannula is pushed and pulled back and forth to break up the fat and then it’s vacuumed out.
Ultrasound and Laser-assisted
An ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasonic energy to liquefy the fat through the cannula. The fat is then suctioned out. A laser-assisted liposuction is done the same way, but it is a laser that liquefies the fat instead of an ultrasound machine.
A motorized cannula is used in power-assisted liposuction. The procedure would begin the same as one of the others, but the suctioning of the fat is done by a cannula that pushes and pulls while it suctions rather than the physician doing this motion manually.
A doctor can aid you in deciding which procedure is best based on your needs and medical history. Liposuction is not used as a weight loss tool, but as a complement in weight loss to help give men and women a more contoured body. Compression garments are often worn on the surgical area for the first week after surgery to hold in the area and help with the body contouring process.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure and not without risks. Infection, bleeding, even blood clots can occur. Be sure to check with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery to make sure your doctor is licensed to perform cosmetic surgery. Recover time varies with liposuction and will depend on the type of anesthesia, the area of the body receiving liposuction, how much fat was removed and the patient’s general health. It can range from days to months.