Liposuction may be done to improve body shape by removing exercise-resistant fat deposits with a tube and vacuum device. It may be performed using the tumescent technique, where targeted areas are infused with saline (salt water) containing solution and a local anesthetic before liposuction to decrease post-operative bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Common areas for liposuction include chin, cheeks, neck, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, and knees. For fibrous spotty areas or scared areas ultrasound/assisted lipoplasty (UAL) may be performed.
It is important to remember that liposuction is intended to change contour and shape and not as a weight reduction method. The removal of fat includes the removal of fat cells, which do not return. That means that if the patient maintains his or her weight the contour change will also remain. It is a misconception that the weight goes to other areas. That may be the result of weight gain.
What to Expect
Anesthesia and Surgery Facility
Smaller areas of liposuction may be performed under local anesthesia with IV sedation but multiple larger areas are more often performed under general anesthesia.
Liposuction is more commonly performed on an outpatient basis. Extensive procedures may require a 23-hour inpatient stay. Operative time may vary depending upon the areas treated ranging from 1-2½ hours. The UAL approach may be 20-40% longer than traditional liposuction.