Liposuction Procedure

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There are very many different forms of liposuction and these will involve different processes although they are very similar in nature.  Generally:

  • You will sign a consent form on the day of the surgery, indicating your knowledge of the procedure and that you have had the relevant consultations and know what you are doing
  • The areas that are being treated will be marked on the body while you are in a standing position
  • An hour before the surgery starts you will be given some form of antibiotic, to reduce the risk of infection.  Sometimes this is given about an hour after the surgery has take place, when you receive this depends on your surgeon
  • The area will be sterilized using a solution such as Betadine
  • Either a local or a general anaesthetic will be applied and sometimes you will be given a sedative either orally or through an IV injection.  This is often used to help keep you relaxed so that there is little movement while the procedure is being performed
  • Throughout the procedure you will be attached to an IV fluid line, (or a ‘drip’) to ensure that the fluids being lost through the procedure are being replaced.  As well as this you will be monitored throughout your liposuction so that your surgeon can stay aware of your heart rate, blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your blood
  • Tumescent injections are applied, containing a mixture of local anaesthesia, adrenaline, saline and epinephrine, to ease the detachment of fat cells from their surrounding tissue
  • A probe is inserted through small incisions, (of about a quarter to a third of an inch long), and depending on the type of liposuction being performed, some form of fat cell breakdown will occur
  • A cannula is used to suction out the distressed and severed fat cells
  • The incisions are left open, being very small, and covered with sterile dressings

Sometimes, if very small areas are being treated, no incisions need to be made and the fat is left to disintegrate on its own.  The injections or application of lasers or sound energy can be enough to budge the stubborn fat cells alone.

During the procedure you will feel little movement of the cannula or any other devises, due to the use of anaesthetics.  You might, at most, feel a slight rasping or scraping sensation from any tools being used, but this shouldn’t cause you much discomfort.

Liposuction can be used alone, or in conjunction with other treatments such as face lifts or abdominplasties (tummy tucks).  It is often used as the final treatment for someone who has had a lot of weight removed surgically, as well as being used as a reshaping method for people who want to refine their muscle tone or body shape.  When this is the case the procedure is likely to be performed under a general anaesthetic and is more likely to require you to stay in hospital or in a clinic overnight.  With liposuction on its own, without general anaesthesia, you are normally able to get up, walk around and go home on the same day as the procedure has been performed, although you will be unable to drive due to the amount of drugs used. 

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