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What is Liposuction ?

What is liposuction

Liposuction is a surgical procedure used to remove extra body fat. The fat is removed through an intrusive process when it is far too stubborn to go away on its own. Only with the help of cutting-edge technologies is it now feasible to get rid of excess and undesired body fat, which is challenging to lose even when one leads a healthy and active lifestyle.

Dr. Priya Bansal share her views on why liposuction is done, what are the risks associated with it, how one can prepare and what one can expect in liposuction, various types of liposuction, its recovery period and covered everything else about liposuction. Let us begin this article by understanding – 

Why liposuction is done?

Liposuction is a procedure done to remove excess fat, and this procedure can be done on any part of the body that hasn’t been well responsive to exercise and a healthy diet. 

Parts of the body where liposuction or fat reduction surgery can be performed:

  • Abdomen
  • Upper arms
  • Buttocks
  • Calves and ankles
  • Chest and back
  • Hips and thighs
  • Chin and neck

Also, liposuction can also be used to reduce the size of the breast or in the treatment of gynecomastia. 

Simply put, when you gain weight the fat cells also increase in size and volume, and here liposuction comes in picture, it reduces the number of fat cells in the affected or specified area where there is excess fat. The amount of fat that needs to be removed will always depend on the location of the fat and off course the volume of the fat in the area. 

What are the risks associated with liposuction ?

Liposuction though is a cosmetic surgery, but is way too complex and serious surgery which surely comes with its own set of pros and cons associated with it. Before proceeding with the surgery, it is always advisable to consult with your plastic surgeon with respect to the risks that can occur during or post surgery.

Risks during surgery

The risks during the surgery include:-

  • Complications after anesthesia 
  • Injuries to other neighboring organs
  • Patient may go in state of shock if some or the other nerve is damaged
  • Skin burns from the equipment 
  • Nervous damage or punctured 
  • Loss of life

Risks after the procedure

The risks after the procedure include:

  • Inflections from fat removal surgery
  • Fluid leaking under the skin
  • Heart & kidney problems 
  • Side effects from anesthesia, numbing cream or any other drugs
  • Swelling (edema)
  • Blood clots & excess fluid in lungs
  • Death

Risks during recovery

The risks during recovery include:

  • Infections
  • Not much recovery after surgery
  • Changes in skin color
  • Bruising, swelling and soreness
  • Uneven and bumpy skin

What Should You Know Before?

Liposuction is a surgery which might work for some and might not be appropriate for others. Every individual’s body is different and not every individual will be the right candidate for the surgery. Before starting with the procedure it is very important to discuss all your skeptical thoughts that you might have in your mind.

Before moving ahead with the decision of liposuction, below are some things you should know before hand. 

Suitable for people with elastic skin

People who have 30% of their ideal weight, are above 18 years of age have do not have any serious medical conditions that may affect the healing process are suitable for liposuction.

As per doctors suggestion, it is important for the individual to quit smoking to increase the chances of successful surgery.

Not an alternative to weight loss 

Liposuction is not an alternative or a quick solution to losing weight quickly. In fact, the best candidate for fat removal surgery are people who are actually almost close to having a healthy body weight as per their height. The goal of the stomach fat removal is to get rid of unwanted stubborn fat deposits and which surely can’t be removed by diet and exercise alone. This method works well on patients with skin that is reasonably firm. 

Set reasonable and realistic expectations 

It makes sense that individuals would have high expectations for the procedure given that it is a cosmetic procedure. But it’s crucial to have reasonable expectations and not just wait around hoping for a swift recovery from the procedure. In reality, the liposuction is part of a reshaping or sight contouring procedure. Though inner beauty is where true happiness rests, outer beauty may be necessary to boost one’s self-esteem and love of oneself.

Post surgery, restrain certain activities for some time

After the surgery, many people return to their daily activities but doctors advise that after the liposuction surgery, the patient should avoid any strenuous sports and other activities. The only activity that can be done is slow walking. The soreness and inflammation caused due to the liposuction surgery  takes time to heal and therefore to appreciate the results of the fat removal surgery it is important to rest as much as possible.

Types of Liposuction

There are different types of liposuction, your surgeon will be the best person to recommend which type of liposuction will suit you depending upon the area of the body and medical history.

Tumescent liposuction 

This is one of the most common types of liposuction.  This form of liposuction surgery involves the surgeon injecting a significant volume of a medicated solution, which is a combination of salt water that helps with the removal of extra and stubborn fat. An anesthetic and a painkiller are also included in this medicinal solution/fluid. Before the procedure, the anesthesia is given that helps to numb the area. The pain reliever helps to lessen blood loss and edema. And finally, the salt water, or IV solution, is used to remove the fat more quickly. This type of liposuction requires a lengthier time than other types.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) 

As the name explains itself, in this type of liposuction the surgeon uses ultrasonic vibrates/waves to convert the fat cells into its liquid form.  Post that, the cells can be vacuumed out. This liposuction technique may help in removing the fat from areas that are dense, and fiber filled areas of the body like upper back or male breast tissues that are enlarged.

Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) 

Similar to ultrasound-assisted liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction works by liquefying fat cells so they can be vacuumed out or drained through smaller tubes but this is done by using the laser technology rather than ultrasonic vibrations. This LAL is used in more constrained areas including the chin, face, and jowls because the tubes used in the technique are smaller in size. LAL may have an advantage over other liposuction methods due to the fact that it stimulates collagen synthesis and may help reduce skin sagging after liposuction.

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)

This liposuction technique is recommended for patients who have had liposuction in the past. This technique helps to remove a significant amount of fat more quickly and readily because of its vibration. The cannula used in the liposuction moves quickly back and forth which allows the surgeon also to work at a much faster pace with greater accuracy.

How Long Is Recovery?

Post the surgery, swelling usually takes a few weeks to subside. During the recovery period, once the swelling is reduced the area where surgery was done might start looking less bulky.  Within a period of few months, the treated area might start appearing more leaner and better.

Are the Results Permanent?

Results of fat removal surgery is usually permanent but if you feel even a slightest discomfort then you should seek immediate help. Doctors explain that though the bodily skin has a natural tendency to lose sits firmness with age but the post liposuction the results remain permanent if you maintain the right weight.


  • How long does Liposuction last?

        Liposuction is a permanent procedure, but there are chances that you might gain weight if not taken care of your eating habits.

  • Does liposuction hurt?

        No, liposuction is not a painful procedure. As long as anesthesia medications are used before the procedure, liposuction is a relatively pain-free experience.

  • Does liposuction permanently remove fat?

        Yes, after liposuction the fat is removed permanently as long as the patient is able to maintain the weight.

  • How much weight do you lose with liposuction?

        It depends on how much fat is being removed from the body.  Usually, the patient loses approximately 4.5 kilograms.

  • Will my waist get smaller after Liposuction?

You will see a significant change in your waist size. You may even lose between 1 – 3 inches from your waist.

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