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Liposuction body sculpting (or suction-assisted lipectomy) has become one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. and at Plastic Surgery Seattle. Liposuction is a safe method of fat removal that can work miracles for hundreds of thousands of men and women. Scarring is minimal and the ultrasonic and tumescent techniques have proven to be very effective in minimizing fat in the hips, thighs, stomach, face, arms and neck.
It is imperative that patients do not substitute liposuction for necessary weight loss. Liposuction is a strategic procedure designed to remove pockets of fat localized in certain body areas. If you have areas that refuse to respond to diet and exercise, liposuction may then be a good alternative. Many people have the misconception that liposuction only temporarily removes fat and that it is likely to be regained. The good news is that if you do experience weight gain in the future, there is less of a chance that it will settle back into the area that received liposuction treatment.
Liposuction is typically performed using general anesthesia. The time in surgery varies depending on the size of the area on the body being treated and the number of areas being treated, but is usually less than an hour. Newer procedures using tumescent liposuction, local anesthesia is only used both as a numbing effect and as a means to help remove fat. General anesthesia is used only in cases where very large areas are being treated.
Fat deposits accumulate and adhere to the underside of the skin. The fat can be removed if it can be dislodged from under the skin. A local anesthetic is applied to the general area where the fat accumulations are located. A small inconspicuous incision is made and a long hollow tube, called a cannula, is inserted under the skin and scraped along the underside, loosening the fat deposits. The dislodged fat is then sucked out through a tube connected to the cannula by a vacuum.