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Fat removal - suctioning
Liposuction is the removal of excess body fat by suction using special surgical equipment. A plastic surgeon typically does the surgery.
Liposuction is a popular type of cosmetic surgery. It removes unwanted deposits of excess fat, to improve body appearance and to smooth irregular or distorted body shapes. The procedure is sometimes called body contouring.
Liposuction may be useful for contouring under the chin, neck, cheeks, upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and ankle areas.
However, liposuction is a serious surgical procedure and may involve a painful recovery. Because liposuction can have serious or occasionally fatal complications, you should carefully think about your decision to have this surgery.
Several different liposuction procedures exist:
A liposuction machine and special instruments called cannulas are used for this surgery. The surgical team first preps the operative site and administers either local or general anesthesia. Through a small skin incision, a suction tube with a sharp end is inserted into the fat pockets and swept through the area where fat is to be removed. The dislodged fat is "vacuumed" away through the suction tube. A vacuum pump or a large syringe provides the suction action. Several skin punctures may be needed to treat large areas. Your surgeon may approach the areas to be treated from several different directions in order to get the best contour.
After the fat is removed, small drainage tubes may be inserted into the defatted areas to remove blood and fluid that gather during the first few days after surgery. If you lose a lot of fluid or blood during the surgery, you may need fluid replacement (intravenously) or, very rarely, a blood transfusion.
The following are some of the uses for liposuction:
Liposuction is generally NOT appropriate for these uses:
Many alternatives to liposuction exist, including a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), removal of fatty tumors (lipomas), breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty), or a combination of plastic surgery approaches.
Burns JL, Blackwell SJ. Plastic sursgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 73.
Kucera IJ, Lambert TJ, Klein JA, et al. Liposuction: contemporary issues for the anesthesiologist. J Clin Anesth. 2006;18(5).
Pelosi MA, Pelosi MA. Liposuction. Obstetrics and gynecology clinics of North America. December 1, 2010; vol. 37: pp 507-519.
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