Liposuction

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific areas of the body, such as from the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Liposuction also shapes (contours) these areas. Other names for liposuction include lipoplasty and body contouring.

Liposuction isn't typically considered an overall weight-loss method or a weight-loss alternative. If you're overweight, you're likely to lose more weight through diet and exercise or through bariatric procedures — such as gastric bypass surgery — than you would with liposuction.

In addition, liposuction is sometimes used for breast reduction.

When you gain weight, fat cells increase in size and volume. Liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The amount of fat removed depends on the appearance of the area and the volume of fat. The resulting contour changes are generally permanent — as long as your weight remains stable.

After liposuction, skin molds to the new contours of the treated areas. If you have good skin tone and elasticity, your skin is likely to appear smooth. If your skin is thin with poor elasticity, however, skin in treated areas might appear loose.

Liposuction doesn't improve cellulite dimpling or other skin surface irregularities. Likewise, liposuction doesn't remove stretch marks.

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Risks Of Liposuction

Risks

As with any major surgery, liposuction carries risks, such as bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. Possible complications specific to liposuction include:

  • Contour irregularities. Your skin might appear bumpy, wavy or withered due to uneven fat removal, poor skin elasticity and unusual healing. These changes might be permanent. Damage beneath the skin from the thin tube (cannula) that's used during liposuction might give the skin a permanent spotted appearance.
  • Fluid accumulation. Temporary pockets of fluid (seromas) can form under the skin. This fluid might need to be drained with a needle.
  • Numbness. You might feel temporary or permanent numbness in the affected area. Temporary nerve irritation also is possible.
  • Infection. Skin infections are rare but possible. A severe skin infection might be life-threatening.
  • Internal puncture. Rarely, a cannula that penetrates too deeply might puncture an internal organ. This might require emergency surgical repair.
  • Fat embolism. Pieces of loosened fat might break away and become trapped in a blood vessel and gather in the lungs or travel to the brain. A fat embolism is a medical emergency.
  • Kidney and heart problems. Shifts in fluid levels as fluids are being injected and suctioned out can cause potentially life-threatening kidney and heart problems.

The risk of complications increases if the surgeon is working on larger surfaces of your body or doing multiple procedures during the same operation. Talk to your surgeon about how these risks apply to you.

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How you prepare

Food and medications

Before the procedure, discuss with your surgeon what to expect from the surgery. Review your medical history, list any medical conditions you have, and tell the surgeon about any medications, supplements or herbs you're taking.

Your surgeon will recommend that you stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or NSAIDs, at least two weeks prior to surgery.

Other precautions

If your procedure requires the removal of only a small amount of fat, the surgery might be done in an office setting. If a large amount of fat needs to be removed — or if you plan to have other procedures done at the same time — the surgery might take place in a hospital followed by an overnight stay. In either case, arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/liposuction/about/pac-20384586

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