In the battle of the bulge, many people are interested in exploring the option of liposuction as a way to get rid of unwanted fat. Liposuction is not a quick fix substitute for exercise or eating a healthy diet. Although the concept of suctioning excess fat may seem simple, liposuction is actually a complex medical procedure. The main challenge is to remove the right amount of fat without upsetting surrounding blood vessels and tissue. Also the surgeon must make sure to maintain the patient’s fluid balance.
Different Liposuction Procedures
In order to suction fat, the tissue must be broken up before it is suctioned through a straw-like tool called a cannula. Liposuction procedures differ in the way they accomplish this. Here are some examples:
1. Suction Assisted Liposuction
In Suction Assisted Liposuction, the physician manually breaks up the fat tissue by moving the cannula back and forth prior to removing it with a vacuum apparatus.
2. Power Assisted Liposuction
Power Assisted Liposuction uses a motor which enables the surgeon to break up the fat mechanically as opposed to moving the cannula back and forth.
3. Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction
With Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction, sound waves are used to emulsify the fat
4. Thermal Lipolysis
Thermal Lipolysis applies laser energy to break up the fat tissue. Although laser is a form of light, it converts into heat energy within the body.
5. Water Assisted Liposuction
Water Assisted liposuction applies a fan shaped water beam to loosen the fat tissue.
What is Tumescent Liposuction
Many people are under the impression that tumescent liposuction is a type of liposuction procedure. In actuality, it is a process that is used prior to the actual liposuction technique for safety purposes.
Tumescent liposuction requires the preparation of a specialized solution that is injected intravenously in the area of the body where liposuction will be performed. The amount of solution depends on how much fat will be removed. Larger volumes of fat require larger quantities of solution.
Lidocaine and epinephrine is mixed together into a saline solution. The purpose of the lidocaine is to help minimize the level of pain experienced by the patient. Epinephrine’s function is to constrict the blood vessels so that there is less bleeding and bruising.
The tumescent process allows the liposuction procedure to be performed at the doctor’s office instead of a hospital setting.
Who Is A Candidate For Liposuction
In order to be considered for liposuction, candidates must be in a general high state of health. Liposuction is for patients who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, but are not able to shed pounds and achieve their desired body shape through their own efforts.
Since it is crucial to avoid causing trauma and imbalances in the body’s overall system, being in a sound state of health is important for the success of the procedure.
Liposuction is contraindicated in patients with diabetes, infections, heart conditions and low levels of skin elasticity. Tummy tucks are usually recommended for patients who wish to eliminate fat in their midsection and have poor skin elasticity. Tummy tucks are also complicated procedures and cannot be done in conjunction with liposuction.
Patients are required to stop smoking several months before their liposuction treatment.
Liposuction can be used on different areas of the body such as:
- Chest area (in men)
Liposuction has evolved into a relatively safe procedure. And it can offer wonderful results for individuals who meet candidacy requirements. It is important for patients to educate themselves on the general aspects of the procedure and maintain realistic expectations of the outcomes.