A lot has been said and written about liposuction over the past 15 years. Lipoplasty or body contouring, as it’s also known, has long been a cosmetic procedure firmly in the public’s eye. Much of the talk revolves around which celebrity got lipo and so on, but liposuction is not a procedure for the rich and famous only. It can be a great option for improving self-image and confidence in people whose weight is generally stable but want to get rid of excess fat in a specific area.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is the fourth most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the US, with over 200,000 procedures performed annually. The body contouring procedure generally only requires local anesthetic, though larger operations require general anesthesia. Liposuction is performed through a few slightly different methods, the most common being tumescent liposuction. This method involves the surgeon injecting a sterile solution — a mixture of salt water, which aids fat removal, an anesthetic (lidocaine) to relieve pain and a drug that causes the blood vessels to constrict (epinephrine) — into the targeted area. The surgeon then makes an incision and inserts a thin tube called a cannula under your skin. The cannula is powered by a vacuum that suctions unwanted fat from your body.
Usually you can expect to spend an hour or two in the surgical facility after the procedure to ensure everything is going well. Depending on the extent of the procedure you may need to stay overnight for routine monitoring. You should expect some pain and bruising in the targeted area for a few days after the procedure. You will likely be asked to wear some sort of compression garment to reduce swelling and help the tissues contract. You might need to take a few days off from work and wait a while to get back to your exercise routine. Once the area heals, you will be able to see clearly the slimmer appearance of the targeted area. Liposuction results are generally long lasting when paired with a healthy lifestyle.