Liposuction – Not Just For Movie Stars Anymore

If you are considering having liposuction, learn some information about it. Although the procedure is usually safe, it still should not be undertaken lightly, even if Hollywood movie stars make it seem mundane.

If you have negative body image problems, rest assured that you are not alone. In fact, the use of liposuction to remove excess fat from your body has become very popular in recent years. This involves removing fat from deposits under your skin using a cannula, which is a hollow tube connected to a vacuum, under general, intravenous, or local anesthesia. Not everyone is a good candidate for this surgery, however, and it is important to note that it does not take the place of exercise and dieting.

The ideal candidate is healthy adult with no significant systemic disease, such as diabetes. In addition, liposuction of the abdominal area should not be done in conjunction with a tummy tuck. As female patients typically have less fibrous fat than males, it is easier to perform on a woman. Your skin also loses its elasticity as you age, so it is not as effective on older people. The most common areas targeted are the abdomen, flank, back, hips, thighs, and upper arms. Also effectively treated is gynecomastia, which is a condition that some men get that results in enlarged breast tissue, which can be embarrassing.

Tumescent liposuction is the most popular method used, and this involves injecting a large amount of very diluted lidocaine into the fat, which makes the targeted areas firm and swollen, or tumescent. Since the anesthesia lasts for hours, no additional narcotic pain medication is necessary. However, many drugs can interfere with lidocaine, so either a smaller dosage of lidocaine is given, or the interfering drugs are discontinued one to two weeks prior to the procedure. These medications include SSRI antidepressants, antibiotics, calcium channel blockers, and immunosuppressants.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on

You may also be a candidate for one of the nonsurgical methods of liposuction, such as using radiofrequency energy to tighten and smooth the skin. Other techniques include cold laser therapy, which works by emulsifying the fat, or the use of thermal rollers and a vacuum to break up the flab and smooth out the area. These noninvasive procedures work on all body areas, including the face, abdomen, arms, and thighs. They can also reduce the appearance of cellulite, and many times only one treatment is necessary.

There are some risk factors involved with the surgery, such as having an abdominal hernia, especially if it is near the belly button, because there is some risk that the cannula will penetrate the abdominal cavity. Therefore, you should have the hernia surgically repaired beforehand. If you have had this procedure done in the past, you may have scar tissue present, making the repeat procedure more difficult to perform. You may also choose to have multiple procedures done at the same time, in which case you would have prolonged anesthesia exposure as well as an increased period of bed rest postoperatively, which leads to an increased risk of blood clots.

If you think this surgery is for you, you should find a qualified plastic surgeon in your area to see what they can do for you. At least get a consultation to find out more.

Author:  Andrea Avery

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