Liposuction Surgery Explained

Plastic surgery, which is a special kind of surgery that specializes on reconstructing and repairing damaged tissues and skin, involves both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. These procedures aim at correcting damages which may have occurred after injury, after illness such as the removal of a cancerous tissue, or it may be due to an abnormality present from birth (congenital abnormality) such as birthmarks and cleft lip and palate.

Plastic surgery cosmetic procedures usually alter a part of the body as desired by the patients. These procedures may include; liposuction (removal of fat pockets from various body spots), rhinoplasty (reshaping the nose), augmentation mammoplasty (enlarging the breasts) and reduction mammoplasty (making the breasts smaller).

Liposuction surgery is a key surgical technique that effectively improves the shape of the body by removing excess fat from the various deposits located between the skin and body muscles. It is a popular type of surgery which serves to remove excess fat deposits and consequently improve body appearance and smoothen irregular and distorted shapes of the body. As much as it may sound complicated a process, its concept is simple and it is typically performed by a plastic surgeon. It is specifically useful for contouring under the neck, cheeks, chin, upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and ankle areas.

This procedure is also referred to as body contouring. It is effected by the use of a stainless steel tube known as a cannula. This tube is inserted into the fat deposits then connected to a suction pump. The cannula creates tunnels in the fatty layers. After surgery, these tunnels will eventually collapse after surgery and therefore produce a greatly improved contour of the body.

The most common liposuction surgery procedures are: tumescent liposuction (fluid injection), ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) and the super-wet technique. Fluid injection, which is the most common type, involves the injection of large volumes of medicated solution into the target area before fat is removed. This solution is usually a mixture of lidocaine (a local anesthetic which numbs the area), epinephrine (contracts blood vessels to avoid blood loss) and an intravenous (IV) salt solution (helps remove the fat more easily).

The super-wet technique is similar to fluid injection except for the less volumes of the fluid injected. Here, the volume injected is equal to the fat removed, as opposed to fluid injection where the solution can be up to three times the volume of the fat removed. UAL makes use of ultrasonic vibrations to liquefy the fat. The liquefied cells are then vacuumed out. UAL is often used hand in hand with the tumescent technique, in follow-up procedures, or when greater precision is desired. Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) however, uses laser energy to liquefy the fat cells. The liquefied cells are then vacuumed out or drained out through small tubes. Surgeons will prefer applying LAL procedures on confined areas such as chin, face and jowls since the cannula used is smaller than the ones for traditional liposuction. LAL has an advantage over the other procedures in that the laser energy produced stimulates collagen production which helps in preventing skin sag after the entire liposuction surgery procedure.

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