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Liposuction (Lipoplasty)

Liposuction (Lipoplasty) is a surgical procedure which improves your body shape. A tube and vacuum device are used. There are different techniques that can be used for this plastic surgery procedure, including tumescent technique and the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Liposuction can be performed in many places on the body. The most common are abdomen liposuction, buttocks liposuction, hips and thighs liposuction, and upper arms liposuction. These are just a few of the common places, but of course, consult with your plastic surgeon to find out what is best for you. This plastic surgery procedure can take anywhere from 1 hour to several hours. It is dependant on the exact procedure being performed.

Important Note: Every single patient is different, and has a different scenario. Because of that, it is very important that prior to making a decision, you contact a board certified plastic surgeon, and consult with them about your goals, desires and to see if you are a good candidate for this plastic surgery procedure.



Are you a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for Liposuction are both men and women who are not excessively over weight.

Is this you?

  • In pretty good shape, with firm, expandable skin but with pockets of fat in certain areas.
  • Are you physically healthy?
  • Do you have realistic expectations in reference to plastic surgery?

If you:

  • Have unrealistic expectations this may not be for you. You should discuss this with your plastic surgeon.
  • Are not physically healthy, you would not be a good candidate for liposuction.
  • There is higher risks for patients that have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
  • If the patient is under 18 years old, you should consult with your plastic surgeon in reference to your specific case. Plastic surgeons will want to wait until the minor has completed his or her growth spurt.

Understand that with liposuction, you have many different options of what may be best for you. The best way to make an informed decision is to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon, to find out all of your options. What you may think is the best surgery for you, may not be.




  • Reaction to the anesthesia.
  • Risks increase by the more areas being operated on, and the size of the operation.
  • Infection
  • Blood Clots that can travel to the lungs, which can lead to death.
  • Scarring is usually minimal but is different depending on the procedure.

It is important to note that you should discuss all options and each specific options risk with your plastic surgeon. Some techniques have higher risks than others.



The Procedure

Liposuction can take anywhere from 1 hour to several hours, and is completely dependent on the difficulty of the procedure, amount of fat being removed and technique.

There are numerous techniques that can be used by your plastic surgeon to improve the experience for you, and also to enhance your end result.

Liposuction involves the removal of deposits of fat to reform one or more areas of the body. Your plastic surgeon will create a tiny incision, and a narrow tube will be inserted into it, and it will vacuum the fat layer that is beneath the skin. It is then pushed in and pulled out through the fat layer, which breaks up the fat cells, and then it sucks them out. This same process will be done for each area that requires liposuction. During the procedure, critical fluid is lost with the fat, and it is vital that the fluid be restored during the plastic surgery procedure to prevent shock.



Liposuction Techniques

Fluid Injection is a technique commonly used by plastic surgeons, which injects a medicated solution into fatty areas, prior to the fat being removed. This fluid helps makes it easier for the fat to be removed. It also reduces bruising for the patient, reduces blood loss, and also provides anesthesia during the surgery. The amount of fluid inserted into your body, is where the techniques are different.

  • Tumescent Liposuction
    This technique involves large volumes of fluid being injected into the area, sometimes up to 3 times the amount of fat that will be removed. This procedure takes significantly longer than conventional liposuction. The surgery takes anywhere from 3-5 hours. The procedure was named after the "swollen and firm" state of the fatty tissues when they are filled with solution.
  • Super-Wet Liposuction
    The Super-wet technique is extremely similar to the tumescent technique, outside of the amount of fluids that are used. The Super-Wet technique actually uses less fluid, typically the fluid amount is the equal to the amount of fat that will be removed. This technique takes 1-2 hours of surgery time.
  • Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)
    This technique uses a special tube that produces ultrasonic energy. While the energy passes through the areas of fat, it blows up the wall of the fat cells, which in turns, turns the fat into a liquid. The fat is then removed with the conventional liposuction technique. This procedure takes longer than conventional liposuction to perform, but also is much more precise.



After surgery, your recovery

You will experience some fluid drainage from the incisions made by your plastic surgeon. In some cases, your plastic surgeon may insert a small drainage tube, to prevent fluid build up. To prevent swelling, it may be recommended for some type of surgical elastic garment.

Before you leave, you plastic surgeon will give you instructions on exactly what you can and can not do. To answer a couple common questions, your plastic surgeon will direct you on how to change your dressings, how to shower, and how to be most comfortable. Your stitches will be removed, or dissolve, usually within 10 days. You should be back to work within a couple days, but still with minor pain and discomfort.



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