Liposuction [ Body Contouring ]
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, is the simple concept of removing unwanted fat through a vacuum apparatus to reduce fat bulges or pockets. It can also be performed using the tumescent technique. Common sites for liposuction include chin, neck, arms, abdomen, thighs, buttocks and even calves and ankles.
Several factors limit the amount of fat that can be safely removed in one session. Ultimately, you and your physician will decide on the best approach. There are negative aspects to removing too much fat. The more fat removed, the higher the surgical risk.
Liposuction is the most popular aesthetic surgery procedure according to both the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. From the use of ultrasound to lasers, liposuction involves the removal of fat with suction through small incisions that allow your plastic surgeon to sculpt and shape the curves of the body. This is a surgical procedure that requires general or local anesthesia with intravenous (IV) sedation, and should be performed in an accredited surgical facility. The area to be treated is infused with fluid to facilitate fat removal, and the actual surgical time can vary widely.
Liposuction gets rid of unwanted fat bulges when diet and exercise don’t work. “It’s the gold standard for correcting figure flaws and bulges,” says Pittsburgh, PA, plastic surgeon Dennis Hurwitz, MD. However, liposuction is not a substitute for dieting, nor will it give you the same type of results. “Liposuction should be performed after you’ve lost the extra pounds. It’s used more to contour the body and not to lose weight,” says Ft. Lauderdale, FL, plastic surgeon Zoran Potparic, MD.
“The essence of liposuction is the vacuum extraction of fat,” says New York plastic surgeon Gerald Pitman, MD. “Liposuction takes advantage of the low density of fatty tissue. When a surgeon applies a vacuum to fat, the fat is removed by the vacuum but the denser nerves and blood vessels stay intact,” he says. What remains is a latticework of blood and lymphatic vessels, along with nerve and connective tissues encased in a supportive structure. “In other words, liposuction selectively removes fat without cutting or injuring the surrounding tissue,” says Dr. Gerald Pitman.
Anesthesia: Local with IV sedation, regional or general
Average Treatment Cost: $1,500-$5,000 per area
Duration Of Results: Long-lasting
Procedure Time: Varies based on area
Recovery Time: 3-21 days; strenuous activity in 3-8 weeks