Liposuction, also known as lipo is a cosmetic surgery operation that removes fat from many different sites on the human body. Areas affected can range from the abdomen, thighs and buttocks, to the neck, back of the arms, etc.
Several factors limit the amount of fat that can be safely removed in one session. The operating physician and the patient make the decision together. There are negative aspects to removing too much fat. Unusual lumpiness or dents in the skin can be seen in those patients who have been over-suctioned. The more fat removed, the higher the surgical risk.
While reports of people removing 50 pounds of fat have been claimed, the contouring possible with liposuction may cause the appearance of weight loss to be greater than the actual amount of fat removed. The procedure may be performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia. The safety of the technique relates not only to the amount of tissue removed, but to the choice of anesthetic and the patient's overall health.
Not everyone is a good candidate for liposuction. It is not a good alternative to dieting or exercising. To be a good candidate, one must usually be over 18 and in good general health, have an ongoing diet and exercise regimen, and have fatty pockets of tissue available in certain body areas.
Most often, liposuction is performed on the abdomen and thighs in women, and the abdomen and flanks in men. Suction-assisted liposuction is the standard method of liposuction. In this approach, a small cannula (like a straw) is inserted through a small incision. It is attached to a vacuum device. The surgeon pushes and pulls it in a forwards and backwards motion, carefully through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and drawing them out of the body by suction.
In ultrasound-assisted or ultrasonic liposuction, a specialized cannula is used which transmits ultrasound vibrations within the body. This vibration bursts the walls of the fat cells, liquefying the fat and making it easier to suction out. UAL is a good choice for working on more fibrous areas, like the upper back or male breast area.