Liposuction, commonly known as lipoplasty or body contouring, is a cosmetic procedure that reshapes areas of the body by removing excess fat and improving body contours. It targets areas of the body where fat tends to collect, such as the arms, belly, buttocks, thighs, back and under the chin. It offers great results, but to maintain your new body shape, you must exercise and maintain a healthy diet.
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure, which means that it comes with its own share of risks. To qualify for liposuction, you must at least:
• Be within 30% of your ideal weight
• Have good muscle tone and firm elastic skin
• Be a non-smoker
• Have a positive outlook and realistic expectations for the results
Doctors don’t recommend the procedure to patients with health conditions that could impair healing. If you have blood flow issues, heart disease, diabetes, or a weak immune system, liposuction may not be the best option for you.
Types of liposuction
There are four main types of liposuction:
1. Tumescent liposuction
This is the most common liposuction technique. The surgeon injects a sterile solution containing saline, along with lidocaine and epinephrine. Lidocaine is an anaesthetic used to relieve pain, and epinephrine causes blood vessels to constrict, preventing blood loss. The surgeon then makes a small incision and inserts a cannula under your skin. The cannula is attached to a vacuum that suctions fat and fluids from your body.
2. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction
This liposuction technique uses sound wave energy to rupture fat-cell walls and break down the fat for easier removal. It can be used in conjunction with traditional liposuction to emulsify fat in fibrous areas such as the male breast and back.
3. Laser-assisted liposuction
Laser-assisted liposuction, also known as SmartLipo, uses laser energy to liquefy fat before it is suctioned out. During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a laser fibre through a small incision to emulsify fat deposits, which are then removed through a tiny cannula.
4. Power-assisted liposuction
This type of liposuction uses a specialised cannula that moves in a rapid back and forth motion, allowing the surgeon to pull out fat faster and more easily. It is suitable for patients with large volumes of fat or those who have had a previous liposuction procedure. Power-assisted liposuction causes less pain and swelling.