Factors like drastic weight gain, pregnancy, and aging often lead to the accumulation of stubborn fat pockets in different parts of the body, especially the abdomen, sides, flanks, love handles, thighs, back, and face. Diet and exercise can help shed some weight, but they will not eliminate stubborn fat deposits. Fat deposits are highly resistant to diet and exercise, causing many men and women resort to liposuction. Liposuction is a very effective and popular body contouring procedure that sculpts the body by removing stubborn fat pockets from localized areas. Liposuction is a safe procedure and is a proven method of contouring the body. Millions of men and women have already enhanced their overall aesthetic appearance via liposuction. Many people opt to combine it with other plastic surgery procedures such as a tummy tuck and breast enhancement. With liposuction, you can turn back time and restore your youthful figure. The procedure removes the fat deposits from the body by using a small tube called a cannula, connected to a suction pump and inserted into the target area through a tiny incision. The motion of the cannula sets the fat cells free, after which the suction pump is used to remove the fat. Target areas for liposuction Many people think of liposuction as a weight loss method, whereas the reality is that it is a pure body contouring procedure. The fat removed during the procedure is not as substantial to result in drastic weight loss. The procedure is only effective when the plastic surgeon uses it to sculpt and contour the body. While liposuction can be used to treat a number of body parts, the most common areas treatable by liposuction include the abdomen, sides, flanks, love handles, thighs, buttocks, and arms. The procedure is very effective when it comes to ridding the abdomen of stubborn fat deposits. Weight gain and pregnancy often accumulate fat in the abdomen that is resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction contours the abdomen so that it can accentuate your overall figure. Fat collection in any part of the body can negatively affect your aesthetics, which is why plastic surgeons recommend the use of liposuction to treat these areas. Liposuction procedure While the concept behind liposuction may appear pretty straightforward to many people, the procedure is quite complex. Liposuction is a major surgery, which is why patients are advised to have their procedure done by highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons only. The procedure is normally performed under local and tumescent anesthetics, which is a mixture of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine. This type of anesthesia helps reduce swelling and bruising. The patient will remain awake throughout the procedure, but the pain and discomfort will be minimal since the target areas will become numb from tumescent anesthesia. However, there are many surgeons who also perform the procedure under general anesthesia. When performed under general anesthesia, the patient will remain asleep throughout the procedure. After administration of the anesthesia, a small incision will be placed in the target area. The plastic surgeon will then insert a tube called a cannula inside the target area. The cannula, which is attached to a suction pump or syringe, is then moved back and forth between the fat layers to loosen up stubborn fat deposits. Using a suction pump, the fat deposits will then be removed and the incision will be sutured. This process will be repeated for all target areas. Recovery and aftercare After the procedure, your surgeon may recommend you to wear compression garments. This is important as it can help decrease the extent of inflammation, bruising, and discomfort. You may be required to wear the compression garments for a few days or weeks. The first week after surgery will be marked by bruising and swelling of the treated areas. During this time, you may also experience some pain and discomfort. People with higher pain tolerance will experience little to no pain at all. You may also experience a discharge of fluids from the incision sites. Your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to decrease your chance of contracting infection. Most patients are able to stand up and walk right after liposuction. However, many surgeons advise patients to wait for the effects of the anesthesia to subside before walking. You can resume daily activities within 4 to 7 days after the surgery, depending on your healing speed and quality. However, it is important to move carefully for the first two weeks after the surgery. Engaging in strenuous activities like sports, exercise, and weight lifting is strictly discouraged during the first three weeks after the surgery as these activities can trigger bleeding or excessive fluid discharge from the incisions. Walking is encouraged because it helps avoid blood clotting. The results When performed by an experienced and skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon, the results of liposuction are very effective. After the surgery, your body will become contoured and complement your overall figure. While some of the results of liposuction will be noticeable immediately after the procedure, the complete outcome of the surgery will show only after the swelling and bruising have disappeared. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. While liposuction can sculpt your body, it will not tighten the skin of the target area. If the skin becomes excessively saggy after the procedure, you can make it firmer through other plastic surgery procedures such as a body lift and tummy tuck. If the sagging is mild to moderate, it will naturally tighten within six months after the procedure. After the surgery, patients will be able to enjoy their new, contoured, and well-defined body. You will appear younger and full of energy after liposuction. However, it is important to understand that the results of liposuction can also differ from one patient to another. In most cases the outcomes are positive and the patients experience a boost in self-esteem and productivity after the surgery. There are many people who think that liposuction gives them the license to eat excessively without exercising. An unhealthy lifestyle can negatively affect the results achieved via liposuction, triggering the expansion of existing and new fat cells. After the procedure, make it a point to join an exercise program and follow a healthy lifestyle. Risks, side effects, and potential complications Liposuction is a major operation that involves many risks, side effects, and potential complications. Patients are therefore advised to discuss the risks with their plastic surgeons ahead of the surgery. Common side effects, complications, and risks of liposuction include seroma, excessive bleeding, infection, change in or loss of skin sensation that may be temporary or permanent, nerve damage, tissue damage or injury, internal organ injury, fat embolism, and uneven body contours. These risks are higher for patients who are already suffering from serious diseases like heart problems, respiratory issues, blood disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, if you are taking certain medications like aspirin, you will be at higher risk of experiencing excessive bleeding during or after the liposuction surgery. The risks are also higher for patients who combine other plastic surgery procedures with liposuction in a single surgical session. Conclusion Liposuction is a very effective plastic surgery procedure to contour your body by doing away with the stubborn fat deposits in localized areas, such as the abdomen, sides, flanks, thighs, back, calves, neck, and face. Fat often accumulates in these areas as a result of pregnancy, drastic weight gain, medications, and illnesses. Diet and exercise are not enough to rid your body of these stubborn fats. Liposuction is a body contouring surgery that enhances your overall look, making you appear younger and energetic. The results of liposuction are sustainable as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and do regular exercise. As liposuction comes with a number of risks and side effects, you should discuss the procedure in detail with your plastic surgeon during the initial consultation. Also, make sure to choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. Doing so will not only decrease the risks but also ensure better aesthetic outcomes.