One of the more popular procedures offered at Women’s Institute of Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Illinois is liposuction. Some misconceptions about liposuction exist, though. People often assume that the procedure is for those who seek to lose extra weight. Liposuction is intended to remove stubborn fat from the bodies of people have are at a stable, healthy weight. It’s usually performed after weight loss to put the finishing touches on the body.
How Liposuction Works
Even after weight loss, some people struggle to lose stubborn deposits of fat in certain areas of the body. The amount of fat that a person has might depend more on her genetics than on her health or how much she weighs. Liposuction removes the fat, often permanently, as long as a person maintains her weight. The procedure is most commonly performed in the following areas:
- Cheeks and neck
- Upper arms
Candidates for Liposuction
Liposuction isn’t the right procedure for everyone. Like any surgery, it does have its risks. A good candidate for the surgery is a person who is at a stable weight, has elastic and firm skin, and who is in good health. Certain conditions make the procedure more risky, such as diabetes, heart disease, and weak immunity.
Getting Ready for Liposuction
Most plastic surgeons will meet with the patient first before performing the liposuction procedure. The initial consultation allows a patient to decide if the surgery is the right option for her. It also allows the surgeon to assess the patient’s health and fitness for surgery. There are cases where another procedure might better better suited to a patient and might allow her to reach her goals better.
During the consultation, it’s important that a patient tell the surgeon of any health concerns she has or of any medications she is taking. She might need to stop medication prior to the surgery. For example, some pain relievers, such as aspirin, increase the risk for bleeding. Patients are also advised to stop smoking before liposuction.
The Procedure Itself
There are several different methods of performing liposuction on a patient. In some cases, a patient will only receive a local anesthetic and will be awake for the procedure. Depending on where the surgery is performed, a patient might also receive general anesthesia, so that she is not awake during it.
Before the fat can be suctioned out of the body, it needs to be broken up. One way to break up the fat is to use a mixture of salt water, ephedrine, and an anesthetic. Another method is to break up the fat using ultrasound or a cannula .
The fat is removed from the body using a cannula. Small incisions are made in various areas and the cannula, or tube, is inserted into the cuts. The cannula is attached to a vacuum and used to suction the fat out.
Recovery and Results
After the surgery, the area is usually wrapped with a compression bandage to aid recovery. Bruising and swelling in the area usually fade after about four weeks. As long as a patient maintains her weight, the results from liposuction are typically permanent.
The above paragraphs just mention a few of the many questions one should ask before considering liposuction. A great place to start is with a consult from a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.