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Liposuction is a form of cosmetic surgery where fat is removed from a particular area of the body by dissolving it with special chemicals and then sucking it out with a tube.

The main purpose of liposuction is to reshape one or more areas of your body and remove fat from your body using suction, not to reduce body weight or treat obesity since it will not get rid of cellulite or stretch marks. It is sometimes used in combination with other cosmetic surgery procedures, such as a “tummy tucks”, breast reduction, or face-lift. During liposuction, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around under the skin to target specific fat deposits.

Improved techniques have made liposuction safer, easier, and less painful and these newer techniques include:

  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction

This method uses ultra sound to liquefy the fat, which makes it easier to remove. It is majorly helpful in removing fat from the upper abdomen, sides, and back.

  • Tumescent liposuction

This method uses a local anesthetic which is used 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 performed

Liposuction is usually done as an outpatient procedure unless a large volume of fat being removed. After the procedure, the area of the body that was treated is firmly wrapped to help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. One might have to wear the compression garment or wrap for 3 to 4 weeks. Expect a lot of bruising and swelling for at least the first 7 to 10 days.

Liposuction may be used to treat a number of medical conditions which include:

  • Benign fatty tumors
  • Abnormal enlargement of the male breasts.
  • Problems with metabolism of fat in the body.
  • Excessive sweating in the armpit area.

Liposuction does not tighten the skin over the treated area. If one gains weight after the procedure the fatty bulges that were removed may reappear in a different place. After fat has been removed, the skin around the area may be somewhat loose. It may take up to 6 months for the skin to tighten around the treated area. Some people’s skin is very elastic and retracts more quickly than other people’s skin. Younger skin tends to have greater elasticity than older skin.

When Liposuction is done by an experienced doctor, it’s usually safe. However, there may be a number of side effects which include:

  • Temporary swelling, bruising, soreness, and numbness in and around the treated areas.
  • Irritation and minor scarring around the incision sites where the cannulas were inserted.
  • Baggy or rippling skin. The skin will usually tighten and retract after a few months. But in some people the skin may remain somewhat loose.

Liposuction should be done only by a doctor with special training in liposuction and surgery of the skin. Note that you will be at less risk for complications if liposuction is not done at the same time as other cosmetic procedures and also one should not attempt the procedure if you have severe heart problems or during pregnancy.

Liposuction results are long-lasting if you exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and stay at a healthy weight after the procedure.

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