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What is Liposuction or Lipoplasty Surgery

Oct 11, 2007
Liposuction is the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States. Invented in the late 1970s, it was introduced in 1982 to the United States, where it is now performed on more than 400,000 people annually.

Liposuction is also known as "lipoplasty" or "suction-assisted lipectomy." All of these refer to the removal of unwanted lumps, bulges, and areas of fat using a thin suction metal tube or a "cannula." This instrument is inserted into subcutaneous body fat through small incisions. A strong vacuum is then applied through a hose attached to the cannula, which draws fat from under the skin.

Liposculpture Information
The term "liposculpture" refers mostly to the practice of liposuction where the body parts are contoured and shaped into a slimmer profile. Because it involves sculpting and contouring, your plastic surgeon should be one who is blessed with a strong artistic sense. It is, after all, not the latest liposuction technique or machine that will give you the ultimate figure. Rather, it is the skills of the plastic surgeon who uses them!

Liposuction Candidates
The first group includes those who are large and wish to reduce their size, for many reasons, including being able to feel good in their clothing. These include women who gained much weight after pregnancy, or who take medications or hormones that cause weight gain. This also includes people who have gained much weight due to a bodily injury or disability that prevents them from exercising. And finally, there are many people who gain weight with aging.

The second group includes those who are generally fit, but who are frustrated with disproportionate fat buildup in specific areas, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, knees, upper thighs, cheeks, and neck. The reason for fat growth in these stubborn areas is genetic and therefore, cannot be reduced much -- even through exercise or starvation.

The third group includes men who have gynecomastia - an excessive breast growth. Although some of this breast growth is the result of the actual enlargement of breast glands, there is also extensive growth of the fatty tissue in the breasts. Breast growth in men is rather prevalent. In fact, one third of adolescent men grow breasts. One third of this group actually keeps their breasts into adulthood. This can pose much embarrassment, loss of self-confidence, and the inability to wear clothes comfortably.

During your consultation, the plastic surgeon will review your treatment options for body contouring and Liposuction, including pros and cons, potential risks and complications, recovery course, pre and post operative instructions, and esthetic outcomes.

Preparing for surgery:
Patients should stop taking anticoagulants for two weeks prior to surgery. Smoking must be avoided for at least one month prior to surgery as it can interfere with circulation and causes blood clots.

The surgery:
The time required to perform liposuction varies considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia and techniques used. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is then pushed and pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out by a vacuum pump or a large syringe. The fluid lost along with the fat is replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. The patient is under careful observation throughout the procedure and receives intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery

To control swelling a compression garment will be worn for several weeks. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. You may experience some initial discomfort, swelling, and temporary numbness. All of this will subside with time; depending on the amount of liposuction, normal activity can be resumed anywhere from 10 days to several weeks.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com and writes for various plastic surgeons across the nation. Learn more about LookingYourBest.com or visit BeautifulSelf.com
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