The Skinny on Liposuction
How Is It Done?
- Tumescent liposuction—The tumescent technique, involves injection of large volumes of salt water containing lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and small amounts of adrenaline (a naturally occurring hormone that shrinks blood vessels) prior to the removal of fat. This numbs the tissues and shrinks the blood vessels, thereby eliminating pain and reducing bleeding, bruising, and swelling.
- Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty—use of ultrasound energy provided via a probe under the skin to liquefy fat.
Armed With Knowledge
- Check the doctor's credentials—Liposuction should be performed by a plastic surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery. To verify that a plastic surgeon is board certified, contact the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- Ask questions—Ask if your doctor has been trained in liposuction, and if so, when, where, and how long. Ask to see documentation that verifies training. Ask if your doctor has privileges to do the procedure in a hospital. Although most liposuction procedures are not done in a hospital, "admitting privileges" signify that the surgeon has been critically reviewed by other members of the medical staff, the hospital administration, and the credentialing boards.
- Check out the facility—The procedure should be performed in an accredited office facility, outpatient center, or hospital.
- Lose weight first—Liposuction becomes less safe as the amount of fat to be removed increases, so losing weight first makes your procedure safer.
- Do not overdo it —The procedure is safer when done alone and not combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as facelifts or breast augmentation.
- Have a preoperative consultation—This screening is important. The ideal liposuction candidate needs to be in good overall health and have realistic expectations. He or she should also be a relatively normal weight but have collections of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise.
Why Take the Risk?
American Board of Plastic Surgery https://www.abplsurg.org
American Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.org
The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.csaps.ca
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.ca
Choose a surgeon you can trust. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction.html?sub=Choose%20a%20surgeon%20you%20can%20trust. Accessed January 23, 2013.
Lipoplasty words to know. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction.html?sub=Lipoplasty%20words%20to%20know. Accessed January 23, 2013.
Liposuction. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery website. Available at: http://www.surgery.org/consumers/procedures/body/liposuction. Accessed January 23, 2013.
Liposuction information. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/Liposuction/default.htm. Updated February 2, 2012. Accessed January 23, 2013.
What to expect during your liposuction consultation. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction.html?sub=What%20to%20expect%20during%20your%20liposuction%20consultation. Accessed January 23, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 01/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/23/2013 -
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