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What is Liposuction?

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  • Written By: Deborah Ng
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Liposuction is the process of surgically removing fat from one's body using a suction pump. Thanks to the wonders of medicine, cosmetic surgery in particular, those who are not happy with their excess body weight can now have it vacuumed out.

Liposuction is not meant to take the place of diet and exercise. It's geared towards those individuals who are close to their desired body weight but whose body fat is localized to one area. Areas most often undergoing liposuction are the belly, hips, buttocks and thighs.

While liposuction does give one a slimmer figure, if one wants to keep off the weight afterwards, one will need to follow a diet plan. The weight can and will return if not maintained. It might not be as prominent as it originally was, but if weight gain tends to be an issue, you'll want to take the proper steps to maintain your figure. Contrary to popular myth, any additional fat accumulation will not redistribute itself to other parts of the body.

Performed by a licensed, experienced professional, liposuction is a safe procedure. If a small area is to be liposuctioned, the procedure might take only an hour or two. In many cases, the patient can go home afterwards with her surgeon's OK. If a large area or areas are to be treated, the surgeon will most likely recommend an overnight stay at the hospital where the procedure is being performed.

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Anesthesia is used during liposuction so the patient can expect to be quite groggy upon awakening. For this reason it's always a good idea for the patient to have a ride home after the procedure, especially if it was performed on an outpatient basis.

Any pain or swelling after liposuction is minimal, though one should expect some discomfort. It's always best to take it easy after the surgery. No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise should take place without permission from the patient's surgeon. Liposuction patients are usually required to wear a compression garment similar to a girdle for a couple of weeks after surgery to help provide support and comfort from any swelling.

Liposuction does leave permanent scarring. Since incisions are made, and subsequently sutured, one can expect permanent reminders of this surgery. The operating surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection, one of the risks of liposuction which may be quite severe. It's important to follow all post-operative instructions and notify one's surgeon immediately if infection is suspected.

Infection isn't the only risk to liposuction. One can also experience burning from the ultrasound probing device or even organ damage. If one is considering liposuction, one is advised to research all of the risks involved. In addition, it is a good idea to research the surgeon and operating facilities. Always ask for references.

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Discuss this Article

anon155150
Post 2

There will always be a scar. Plastic surgeons are known for their ability to minimize the scar.

anon203
Post 1

I have lipoma in my back in between neck and shoulder can it be treated by liposuction and any scar will be left

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