Liposuction procedure steps

Liposuction procedure steps

28th Jan 2018

Getting thinner overnight is a dream that can keep many people up at night, especially if they have been battling with extra weight for a while now. Sometimes a liposuction procedure looks like the ideal solution to losing the excess fat that has accumulated in the body, but are all the patients aware of the risks entailed by such a procedure and can anyone undergo it?

If there is such a thing as a general remedy against obesity that works for everyone, is accessible and without major side effects, probably no one would bother maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercise on a regular basis ever again. But so far, the only recipe that works in most cases is a combination of exercise and diet, with a dash of plastic surgery on top to perfect the results. Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure that can help give your body the most desirable shape, but only after the patient has reached a normal weight and has sustained it for at least six months.

Liposuction is not a way of losing weight. It does not get rid of the excess kilograms but instead eliminates the fat deposits that are resistant to dieting and physical exercise. Liposuction has nothing in common with the surgical interventions performed on obese people to help them lose weight. The liters of fat that are removed during liposuction are not usually correlated with a significant drop in body weight. More than this, for the first few months after the surgery, the patient’s weight might be the same or a little more than before the intervention because the volume of fat that is removed during the procedure is replaced with a liquid that will disappear during the recovery period.

Risks associated with liposuction

Before scheduling the intervention, certain requirements must be met. Your plastic surgeon will ask if you have recently undergone surgery, if you suffer from cardiovascular diseases, or if you feel the need to lose more weight.

One of the most important risks of liposuction is not getting satisfactory results after the procedure, and this can occur if the patient doesn’t fully understand what liposuction is about. Don’t think that liposuction will transform you overnight as a supermodel. Don’t think that after undergoing liposuction your cellulite issues will be a thing of the past. These things, even if they are advertised by some plastic surgeons, are false. Your body contour will be improved after liposuction; imperfections will be eliminated and the curves will be more appealing, but this doesn’t mean that liposuction will take away 10 centimeters from your body contour. Clothes will fit you more nicely and you will probably be able to wear items you couldn’t even consider before, but you will not lose weight. You will only have an enhanced contour. Moreover, liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite. In some cases, cellulite will be reduced after the procedure, and in some cases, it can look even worse. The effects that liposuction has on existing cellulite depends on the quality of your skin. Your plastic surgeon will give you more details about this after evaluating your condition prior to undergoing the procedure.

Aside from not achieving the results you desire, there are other general surgery-related risks such as bleeding, infection, and fluid and blood accumulation at the surgical site. The incisions made during the procedure are quite small and greatly reduces the risks of developing an infection. However, there is always a possibility, especially when the patient does not practice proper hygiene. After the procedure, the surgeon will give you recommendations to avoid the risk of your skin being unable to retract to the new contours.

If the patient is not consistent in following the surgeon’s advice, there is also the risk of putting on more weight after liposuction. Moreover, the fat distribution will be different compared to what it was before the surgery and can result in a different body shape. After the procedure, the fat will tend to accumulate in other areas of the body and not the ones targeted by liposuction. Of course, for massive fat accumulation, changes will be seen in the areas treated as well. To be able to sustain the results of the procedure, your plastic surgeon will advise you to avoid weight fluctuations that are over 5 kg.

After the procedure, the elastic girdle needs to be worn for at least four weeks. The patient is advised to avoid intense physical exercise for another three weeks.

Steps involved

Before undergoing the procedure, the plastic surgeon will mark the areas where fat will be extracted. For a complex intervention wherein several areas of the body will be targeted, general anesthesia might be recommended to make the patient feel more comfortable during the procedure.

Local anesthesia, tumescent solution, and sedation are preferred when the fat removal is performed in just one area. There are plastic surgeons that favor general anesthesia over other types of anesthesia, but considering the risks involved and the lengthier recovery, it is not always the best solution.

The liposuction procedure, whatever methods used to extract the fat (aside from tumescent method) usually last between one and two hours. The duration varies on the method used, the areas targeted, and the amount of fat to be extracted.

Traditional liposuction

When traditional liposuction is performed, the plastic surgeon will mark the areas where the incisions will be drawn. A talented plastic surgeon will know how to perform the incisions in areas where they will be less visible. A small tube called a cannula is then inserted through the incisions. The cannula is used to dislodge the fat, and the surgeon will perform back and forth movements with it. At the same time, the cannula is connected to a suctioning device that will suck out the fat once it is dislodged. The dimensions of the cannula are variable, and the plastic surgeon might use more sizes during one session of liposuction. Once the fat is removed and the plastic surgeon is pleased with the results, he will suture the incisions.

Traditional liposuction has been performed for many decades by plastic surgeons around the world. It has the advantage of having a history, and many surgeons have performed it long enough to be quite experienced in it. However, liposuction requires considerable physical effort from the surgeon to be performed properly.

Traditional liposuction now uses tumescent solution, which is a modern method that has the benefits of a reduced recovery period and less bleeding and swelling. When tumescent liposuction is performed, the plastic surgeon will use a tumescent solution (saline solution and anesthetic substances) that reduces bleeding and also facilitates the dislodging of fat cells. Nowadays, experienced plastic surgeons choose to perform tumescent liposuction instead of a traditional liposuction because of the many advantages associated with it.

Aside from traditional liposuction, there are plenty of other methods such as water-assisted liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, and laser-assisted liposuction. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but the steps are pretty much the same for all techniques.


Many people are interested in liposuction, but not all of them are aware of what are the steps, the risks involved, and the results to be expected. Your plastic surgeon should offer you detailed information about the method he plans to use and also provide details about the steps.

Whatever the method, the steps are the same: the areas targeted are marked before the intervention, then anesthesia or tumescent solution is injected. The surgeon then starts performing the small incisions used to introduce the cannula. With the cannula, he will perform back and forth movements that are meant to dislodge the fat cells. The fat is then suctioned by the device connected to the cannula.

While liposuction has become a commonly performed plastic surgery, there are still risks associated with it such as bleeding, infection, seroma, and hematoma and unsatisfactory results. Make sure to choose an experienced surgeon for your intervention.

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