Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed specifically to contour and/or diminish poorly proportioned pockets of fat in certain areas of the body. Although the procedure is intended to remove fat, it should be clearly understood that liposuction is not a weight loss program. There is no substitute for a reasonable diet and regular exercise. This procedure is for individuals who possess fat deposits that are resistant to both diet and exercise. In fact, an ideal candidate for the procedure is one that is no more than 10 pounds over their ideal weight. Liposuction can restore balance to bodies that are physically fit, but out of proportion in a few areas. For women, those areas can include the abdomen, flanks, and inner and outer thighs. For men, it is typically the “love handles” on their flanks and the protruding stomach.
Liposuction is meant as a body contouring procedure. It can be used to slim the hips and thighs, flatten the abdomen, shape the calves and ankles or eliminate a double chin. Most patients that undergo liposuction find that they can fit into a wider variety of clothing and are more at ease with their body.
During a traditional liposuction procedure, the surgeon first makes small incisions near the area to be suctioned. Then the surgeon places a slim, hollow tube called a cannula through the incision so that the tip of the cannula penetrates the underlying fat. Once the cannula is connected to a suctioning machine, the surgeon moves the cannula back and forth through the fat, which is then vacuumed. There are several techniques in which liposuction is performed. Other techniques include the tumescent technique and ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL). The liposuction technique that best meets the patient’s needs would depend on upon certain factors that he/she and the surgeon will discuss during the consultation.