Liposuction is the surgical removal of fat cells through a stainless steel suction tube called a cannula. Liposuction can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck.
There are several types of liposuction procedures available. All of these techniques use a wand-like instrument called a cannula to remove unwanted fat.
Tumescent liposuction involves the injection of a large amount of anesthetic into the area being treated; the wet and super-wet techniques are variations of this type of liposuction. In ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL), sound waves are used to liquefy the fat before it is removed. LipoSelection® uses the same concept without disturbing the surrounding tissue. Power assisted liposuction (PAL) employs a motor-powered cannula, which allows the surgeon to use smaller movements and make the experience more comfortable for the patient.
The basic liposuction procedure involves the insertion of a small, tube-like instrument called a cannula through tiny incisions made by the surgeon. The cannula then breaks up and sucks away unwanted fat deposits beneath the skin. Local or IV sedation will be used, depending on the type and number of liposuction procedures you undergo.
After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. Occasionally, a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Healing is a gradual process. You will be advised to start walking around as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed or dissolve on their own within the first week to 10 days.
Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.
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