The Problem: The patient has excess fat deposits that are diet and exercise resistant creating unwanted body contour.
The Goal: Liposuction improves body shape in various areas of the body; most commonly the trunk, thighs, arms, and neck. On occasion, other areas such as the buttocks, breasts, knees, calves, ankles, face, and armpits are also treated.
The Procedure: Small areas can be treated under local anesthetic; however, more commonly this surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The subcutaneous tissue and fat is first infiltrated with a solution composed of epinephrine, lidocaine, and saline. This helps decrease bleeding, postoperative pain, and facilitates a more even fat removal. Various tubes called cannula’s are placed through very small incisions into the subcutaneous tissue where the excess fat is located. These cannulas will then separate the fat from the surrounding structures and then suck them up out of the body to decrease the unwanted volume of fat. Most patients are able to return to work within a week of the surgery if liposuction is performed alone without other procedures. Compression garment is to be worn all the time for the first two weeks and then when up in about until the sixth postoperative week. Normal daily activities can resume usually at 1 to 2 weeks postoperative; however exercise and strenuous activity should be held off until at least one month postoperative. There is usually considerable swelling after liposuction; final results can take 3 to 6 months to see completely settled.