Liposuction is an elective surgical procedure. It reshapes the body through the removal of excess body fat.
Liposuction of the Abdomen
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Some common reasons for choosing to have liposuction include:
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have liposuction, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Liposuction results are not the same for everyone. Some factors that may affect results include:
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Your doctor will likely:
Leading up to your procedure:
There are two anesthesia options for liposuction. Your doctor will help you to decide which is best for you.
A special fluid containing saline (salt water), additional anesthetic, adrenalin (to minimize bleeding), and bicarbonate (to minimize pain from injection) will be injected into the fatty areas. You may have an incision for the fluid injection. One of the following three extraction techniques will be used:
After the fluid is added, a small incision will be made near the area to be suctioned. In traditional liposuction, the doctor will use an instrument called a cannula to suction the fat. A cannula is a hollow tube, like a drinking straw. A vacuum pressure unit, which is attached by a hose to the cannula, will provide the suction for the procedure. Once fat has been removed, the incisions may be sutured closed or left open to drain.
The following are different types of liposuction available:
The length of a procedure depends on:
Anesthesia numbs and relaxes the body. Let your doctor know if you experience pain during the procedure. Recovery from liposuction can be painful. Ask your doctor about pain relievers to help manage the pain.
When five liters of fat or more is removed, an overnight stay will be required.
Results of the liposuction will not be seen right away. Depending on the amount of fat removed and the body’s ability to heal, visible results may take weeks or months to appear. Typically, swelling begins to decrease within a few weeks of surgery. However, it may take months to fully subside. Bruising may last three or more weeks. Numbness may persist for several weeks before it begins to fade. After the swelling and bruising disappear, the true result of the procedure is seen. If postoperative weight is maintained, the results of the liposuction can be permanent.
If desired results are not achieved, or if the skin remains loose, additional surgery may be needed.
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
United States Food and Drug Administration
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
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Liposuction: considerations about body sculpting. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=42111054-10B3-486D-9B01D212AEC550B8 . Accessed September 15, 2005.
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Ultrasonic liposuction. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/cosmeticsurgery-sct/ultralipo.html. Accessed September 15, 2005.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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