(Lipoplasty; Suction Lipectomy; Body Fat Removal; Lipocontouring)
|Liposuction of the Abdomen|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Reshaping the body so that it is more in tune with an individual’s ideal body image
- Removing unwanted fat pockets that could not be lost with diet and exercise
- Boosting self-confidence and feelings about appearance
- Reducing the chest size of males with gynecomastia (breast enlargement not related to obesity)
- Removing fatty deposits known as lipomas
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Allergic reaction
- Darkening of the skin
- Irregular appearance of the area
- Firm scarring under the skin
- Fluid build up under the skin
- Age—Older patients may not see the same results as younger patients, because their skin is less elastic.
- Experience of the doctor—Doctors with more experience tend to have fewer problems.
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Evaluate you as a candidate for liposuction:
- Ask about your medical history, illnesses, medications, drug allergies, and previous surgeries
- You may be asked to stop taking some medications (including herbal supplements) up to one week before the procedure
- Discuss previous weight losses/gains and how they affected your body
- Have you identify the areas you would like to have suctioned
- Test your skin's elasticity (ability of the skin to stretch and return to normal)
- Estimate the amount of fat needed to be removed for best results
- Discuss your ideal surgical outcome and body image versus realistic expectations
- Determine your emotional stability—after surgery, some patients tend to become temporarily depressed
- Discuss the different types of liposuction available
Prepare you for the procedure by:
- Discussing surgical techniques and anesthesia options.
- Determining if the procedure should be conducted in a surgical center, at an outpatient clinic, or in a hospital—The location will depend on the amount of fat to be removed. When large amounts of fat are removed, it is safest to do the surgery in a hospital.
- Giving you instructions.
- Addressing your questions and concerns.
- Refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding diet.
- Arrange for a ride and for help at home.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- If advised by your doctor, take a shower in the morning or the night before the procedure. You may need to use special antibacterial soap.
- Local anesthesia—This numbs the area. You will be awake during the procedure.
- General anesthesia —You will be asleep during the procedure.
Description of Procedure
- Wet technique—The amount of fluid injected is less than the amount of fat to be removed.
- Super wet technique—The amount of fluid injected is equal to the amount of fat removed.
- Tumescent technique—Two or three times as much fluid is injected into the body as fat removed.
- Power-assisted liposuction—This involves the used of a vibrating cannula that disrupts the fat cells prior to their removal. The technique is especially useful in areas where the fat is more difficult to remove or in areas previously liposuctioned.
- Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL)—This involves the use of ultrasound energy provided via a probe under the skin. The fat cells are disrupted and the fat is then removed by traditional liposuction. There may be a reduction in bleeding and swelling and an increase in skin tightening with this procedure.
- Laser-assisted lipolysis—This involves the use of a laser fiber placed under the skin. Heat is used to liquefy fat prior to removal by traditional liposuction. The laser coagulates blood vessels to minimize bleeding and swelling, and it also causes the skin to tighten.
- Water-assisted liposuction—This involves the use of a special cannula that sprays water to gently disrupt fat cells prior to their removal. This is a newer procedure.
How Long Will It Take?
- Amount of fat to be removed
- Number of areas being suctioned
- Liposuction technique being used
How Much Will It Hurt?
- You will be taken to a recovery room for monitoring.
- IV fluids may be given to aid in hydration.
- You may be asked to take short walks to improve blood circulation.
- Pain medication may be prescribed to help manage discomfort.
- An elastic garment to help speed recovery will be given with instructions for usage.
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks while you are at the care center
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
- Walk around as directed. This will help blood circulation and prevent blood clots from forming.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Refrain from resuming activities until directed to do so.
- Take pain medication as prescribed.
- Wear the elastic garment as directed.
- Refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Arrange for follow-up doctor visits.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Persistent high temperature
- Oozing or discharge from incisions
- Redness or increased swelling
- Increased pain or tenderness
- Coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe nausea, or vomiting
- Signs of shock (pale clammy skin, confusion or weakness, rapid pulse)
- Symptoms of depression that last longer than 2 weeks
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.surgery.org
US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery http://www.plasticsurgery.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Hughes C. Reduction of lipoplasty risks and mortality: an ASAPS survey. Aesth Plast Surg. 2001;21(2):120-127.
Lipoplasty or liposuction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction.html. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Liposuction (lipoplasty). The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Smart Beauty Guide website. Available at: http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/body/liposuction. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Liposuction: What you can expect. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/liposuction/basics/what-you-can-expect/prc-20012579. Updated March 14, 2014. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Sasaki GH, Tevez A. Laser-assisted liposuction for facial and body contouring and tissue tightening: a 2-year experience with 75 consecutive patients. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2009;28(4):226-235.
Shiffman M, Di Giuseppe A. Liposuction: Principles and Practice. New York, NY: Springer; 2006
- Reviewer: Donald Buck, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 01/22/2014 -