What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure to improve body contour by removing fat from specified areas through tiny incisions. It is recommended to reduce excessively stubborn localized fatty areas where dieting and exercise have failed. Liposuction may be combined with other weight loss treatments such as a tummy tuck or a facelift.

Which areas are usually treated by liposuction?

The different areas that may be treated by liposuction include the abdomen, back, upper arms, cheek folds, jowls, neck, chin, hips, thighs, calves and ankles. These areas are usually genetically determined to accumulate fat.

How is the procedure performed?

Your doctor will perform a thorough evaluation and discuss whether this procedure is right for you. The areas of concern are marked with you in the standing position so that they may be easily identified and treated while you are lying down.

A small incision is made in the skin for each area to be treated. A narrow metal tube (cannula) is inserted through the incision into the fatty area and by working the tube back and forth, the fat is shaved off in tunnels and evacuated through attached tubing to a suction machine or suction syringe. When fat tissue is suctioned from under the skin, it leaves small tunnels and empty pockets. A compression garment or girdle may be worn to collapse these areas so that your body heals with the desired contour. Compression also reduces swelling and bruising which normally occur following the procedure and supports the loose skin which redistributes itself evenly without sagging or irregularities.

What can I expect following the procedure?

Following the procedure, the treated area may be slightly tender to touch and you may feel a little stiff but most of the pain and swelling subsides in a few days. Sitting may produce some discomfort after an abdominal procedure. Bruising usually subsides in a couple of weeks.

When will I notice improvement from the procedure?

The fat cells that are suctioned away are gone forever and when the swelling settles the results will be noticeable particularly in previously tight clothing. The results can be maintained by making appropriate lifestyle changes which include diet and exercise.

What are the limitations of liposuction?

Liposuction can improve body contour but is not a treatment for obesity or lax skin tone (cellulite).