You may be thinking liposuction has had a bit of a rough ride, what with all the shiny new non-surgical body contouring fat-busting treatments that are blitzing the market. However, that’s not quite the case. Liposuction has remained one of the top procedures year after year, and its popularity is showing no sign of slowing down.
The difference is that liposuction can complete a bigger reduction in larger pockets of fat; typically something non-surgical devices just can’t manage well. Rather than multiple non-invasive body contouring treatments, liposuction can achieve results with just one procedure.
Dr. John Williams, says the liposuction procedure has evolved immensely over the years. “In experienced hands, the procedure is safe and far more comfortable than ever before,” he says. “Downtime is minimized (usually two or three days), which makes the biggest difference for people who lead busy lives.”
The current statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reveal that liposuction is one of the top 5 performed cosmetic surgery in the United States (as is breast augumentation). It si the only surgical procedure with a spot in the top 10 cosmetic procedures overall (surgical and non-surgical).
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure, performed either under anesthetic with the patient asleep or with local anesthetic using the tumescent technique where the patient is awake, to remove deposits of fat from speciﬁc areas of your body.
It can be performed almost anywhere on the body where there are pockets of fat, including your neck, arms, stomach, back, chest, buttocks, thighs and ankles, and is performed as day surgery.
“Liposuction allows me to treat more areas in a reasonable period of time and we can be judicious on how much fat we remove. Liposuction, in my opinion, is the ultimate body shaping treatment,” says Dr. Williams.
Generally, the area to be treated is inﬁltrated with a tumescent ﬂuid containing local anesthetic and a vaso-constrictor which reduces bleeding and bruising, before small cannulas are used to vacuum out the fatty tissue. Alternatively, a syringe can be used to withdraw the fat.
Power-assisted liposuction, where radiofrequency, ultrasound or laser technology is used to improve liposuction results, can help increase your skin contracture, while toning and tightening your skin’s surface.
‘There are several energy devices that use either laser light energy, ultrasound energy or radiofrequency energy, which can be applied during the liposuction procedure to help tighten skin for a smoother post-procedure result,” says Dr. Williams.
Just like any form of cosmetic enhancement, liposuction is no panacea. It’s important to remember the risks of surgery and that liposuction is not a way of losing masses of weight or a cure for obesity.
After surgery, expect to be swollen, bruised and sore for a few days. It’s also common to feel some numbness in the treated areas, although this should go away in the ﬁrst few weeks.
You’ll usually wear a compression garment for about three weeks to help aid in skin retraction and healing. You can typically return to work after three to ﬁve days. It’s important to remember that all liposuction is surgery and requires diligent postoperative care.
Final results – a trimmer looking, more proportionate and shapely form – can be seen from around three to four months after all swelling subsides. Results are permanent so long as you maintain your weight and follow a healthy lifestyle.
- Rohrich, R. J., & Beran, S. J. (1999). Is liposuction safe?. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 104(3), 819-822.
- Surgery.org. (2019). Procedural Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.surgery.org/media/statistics [Accessed 12 Dec. 2019].