Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, a small, thin, blunt-tipped tube (called a cannula) is inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through the tube as the doctor moves the tube around under the skin to target specific fat deposits.
In recent years, improved techniques have made liposuction safer, easier, and less painful. These newer techniques include:
- Power assisted liposuction. This technique use a machine that moves the cannula back and forth, allowing for the effective removal of fat.
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction. This technique uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat, which makes it easier to remove. This technique may be particularly helpful in removing fat from the upper abdomen, sides, and back.
- Laser-assisted liposuction. This technique uses low-energy waves to liquefy the fat, which is removed through a small cannula.
Liposuction is usually done as an outpatient procedure in a properly equipped doctor’s office, ambulatory surgery center, or hospital. In general, it does not require an overnight hospital stay unless a large volume of fat is being removed. Local anesthesia is used in some minor cases. If necessary, a sedative may be given to help you relax. If a large area or volume of fat is being treated, general anesthesia or deep sedation with a local anesthetic may be used.
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