Plastic surgeons perform more than 500,000 liposuction procedures in the United States each year, making it one of the most popular types of surgery, as well the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure. Why do you think so? Are people becoming more and more unable to control their weight? Or has liposuction become the main treatment for excess fat in the body? These questions will probably cover different topics altogether. For now, let’s focus on how the liposuction procedure works.
Most people know that liposuction involves removing fat from certain parts of the body but that’s it. How exactly does it work?
Liposuction can be performed in a plastic or cosmetic surgeon’s office, an outpatient surgery center or in a hospital. Smaller and less complex liposuction procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis, which tends to be less expensive.
Before the procedure, the doctor marks the skin to indicate from which areas the fat will be removed. Then, as with most types of surgery, the surgeon then administers an anesthetic. But the type of anesthesia depends upon how much of the body is being worked on.
During a liposuction procedure, the plastic or cosmetic surgeon makes a tiny incision and inserts a hollow, stainless-steel tube called a cannula into the deep fat layer. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as it moves around under the skin to target specific fat deposits. In a typical procedure, the doctor pushes and pulls the tube through the fat layer and it breaks up fat cells. Then, a vacuum pump or syringe removes the fat with suction.
Other types of liposuction include:
This is done by injecting a local anesthetic to numb the area of your body where the tube will be inserted. Next, a large amount of an anesthetic solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the fatty tissue before traditional liposuction is done. The difference with traditional liposuction is that Tumenescent liposuction does not require general anesthesia.
This is a technique which uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat under the skin, which makes it easier to remove. This technique may be particularly helpful in removing fat from the upper abdomen, sides, and back.
Laser-assisted liposuction is yet another type. This technique involves using low-energy waves to liquefy the fat, which is removed through a small cannula.