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Getting Ready to Lose Excess Fat? Learn About Liposuction Here

Getting Ready to Lose Excess Fat? Learn About Liposuction Here

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery wherein excess body fat is removed from certain areas in the body to improve contour and proportion. While the procedure may remove excess fat, it is not a weight-loss procedure nor is it a substitute for a weight loss diet and regular exercise.

Liposuction is ideal for areas in the body that persistently have excess fat even after several attempts at exercises and weight-loss regimens. It is an ideal procedure for fat deposits that won’t shrink.

Liposuction is usually done in the following areas:

  • Thighs
  • Chin
  • Cheeks
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Upper Arms
  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Buttocks

Liposuction Techniques

  • Tumescent liposuction (fluid injection) – Local anesthetic infused with epinephrine and saline are injected into the area to minimize bleeding and discomfort. This will also help the surgeon in removing the fat. Epinephrine also helps in limiting bruises.
  • Super-Wet – The amount of fluid injected in the area being treated is approximately equal to the amount of fluid or fat removed. The technique is more time-efficient but usually requires sedation.
  • Ultrasound-assisted – The pockets of fat are melted through ultrasonic vibrations. Once the fat turns into liquid, it is vacuumed out.
  • Laser-assisted liposuction – Laser energy is used to burn fat cells into liquid. Once the fat is liquified, it is drained or vacuumed out. This is often used in areas that are confined such as the face and chin.

Liposuction Procedure

The procedure depends on what type of liposuction technique is used. General steps include:

  • An incision or cut is made in the area. Tumescent fluid is injected into the area to reduce bleeding.
  • Larger areas might need several skin punctures.
  • The liposuction machine and cannula are prepared. A cannula is a hollow and thin tube that is inserted into the area.
  • A local or general anesthesia will also be administered.
  • The cannula is used to break up the fat cells by moving them in a back and forth motion inside the area.
  • The dislodged fat is suctioned out using a vacuum pump. A large syringe attached to the cannula might also be used to suction out the dislodged fat.
  • Once the excess fat is removed, small drainage tubes are inserted into the area to remove any blood and fluid. This is usually done during the first few days after surgery.
  • To replace fluid lost during and after surgery, IV fluids are administered to the patient. In very rare cases, the patient might need a blood transfusion.
  • Liposuction surgeries can last up to 2 hours depending on the size and number of areas receiving treatment.
  • Your doctor might ask you to wear clothing that tightly fit around the skin (compression garments)

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Complications may vary depending on the type of liposuction technique. Thermal burns may occur during the ultrasound and laser-assisted liposuction. Pulmonary edema is also a risk during tumescent and super-wet liposuction. Damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and other deeper structures is also possible. Other complications associated with liposuction include:

  • Skin becomes loose and looks asymmetric and saggy
  • Infection in the fatty tissues
  • Scaring
  • Fat necrosis
  • Lumps and ripples in the skin
  • Uneven removal of fat
  • Seroma
  • Numbness
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Poor wound healing
  • Formation of blood clots
  • Persistent swelling
  • Allergic reactions to medication
  • Abnormalities in pigmentation
  • Shock due to fluid loss

Preparation for Liposuction

If a person decides to undergo liposuction, they would have to meet with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to discuss options. Doctors will consider a patient’s current health conditions, current medication, and lifestyle in determining the best approach.

In preparation for the liposuction, the doctor might ask you to:

  • Take supplements and medications before the procedure
  • Quit smoking for at least two weeks
  • Shave the areas that will be treated
  • Follow dietary requirements
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Other lab tests


After the surgery, an anesthetic is injected into the area to minimize postoperative pain. Medication is used to manage pain and discomfort once the anesthetic wears off.

For several days following surgery, patients may experience grogginess and the urge to vomit. Swelling is still present but usually goes away after a few days.

The patient might see their doctor 7-10 days after the procedure for a check-up. The doctor will also check the patient for any complications brought by the procedure.

The patient must avoid strenuous activities for at least a month but may engage in light exercises three to seven days after the procedure.

Key Takeaway

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery involving the removal of excess fat in a specific part of the body to achieve a more aesthetic contour. There are different kinds of liposuction techniques, each with its own benefits. Complications may be encountered due to liposuction but its benefits are long-lasting.

Learn more about Medical Procedures and Surgeries here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Liposuction, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction

Accessed March 20, 2021


Learn More About Liposuction, https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body/liposuction-guide/

Accessed March 20, 2021




Accessed March 20, 2021




Accessed March 20, 2021




Accessed March 20, 2021


Tumescent Liposuction


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Accessed March 20, 2021




Accessed March 20, 2021




Accessed March 20, 2021




Accessed March 20, 2021


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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated May 07
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel