Liposuction is a procedure used by physicians to remove unwanted, excess fat from defined parts of a patient’s body. The best locations for liposuction are smaller areas covered with taut skin, however it is also often performed on abdomen, back, and buttock areas to better shape those areas. Depending on the type of method used, the procedure may be done with a local anesthetic or under a general anesthetic at a surgery center. Either way, the general procedure is the same.
An incision is made near the area with excess fat to be removed. Often times a mixture of saline, anesthetic and epinephrine (to control bleeding) will be injected into the area. This helps to dislodge fat cells so that they are more easily removed.
A cannula is then inserted into the incision. This is a small tube filled with holes and attached to a vacuum device. It is moved around in the incision to remove fat from all affected areas. This is the body-shaping portion of the procedure; as fat is removed, the shape of the area changes until the desired effect is achieved.
Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, and the size of the body area, the procedure may take an hour or several hours.
After the procedure, the wounds are dressed (drains may be in place to remove excess fluid), and compression garments are worn to reduce swelling and keep the area taut.
Recovery happens quickly, although optimum results may not be seen for several months.
Dr. Usha Rajagopal at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center is an expert in liposuction procedures. Call her office for more information about these procedures and which would be right for you.