Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past 20 years, you should know
that liposuction is a procedure that sucks out fat. Sounds disgusting. What
exactly do they do?
In most liposuction procedures a small incision is made on the area where
fat is to be removed. This can be the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees,
upper arms, chin, cheeks, neck, and even back. Pretty much anywhere. After the
incision is made, a fluid is injected into the area. The solution usually
contains salt, lidocaine (for local anesthesia) and epinephrine (to contract
your blood vessels). This fluid helps your fat come loose; also preventing
excess bleeding and bruising.
After the fluid is injected, a wand-like device (cannula) is inserted and
swept back and forth over the area, collecting the fat into a tube.
Thanksgiving dinner (swipe), chocolate cake (swipe), entire package of Oreos
(swipe), swipe, swipe. Of course, the actual procedure is not quite so
dramatic. The amount of fat actually removed varies, but is never significant
enough to cause a big drop on the scales.
There are newer techniques available. Notably, tumescent, super-wet, and
ultrasound-assisted (UAL). In both tumescent and super-wet, large volumes of
the medicated solution are injected into the site. UAL uses a special cannula
which produces ultrasonic energy to liquefy fat. All three of these newer
techniques take 2-3 hours longer than traditional liposuction. They generally
are used on very fibrous areas of the body such as the upper back or male
breast. Your doctor will help you choose the right technique for you.