If you’re thinking about getting liposuction to remove excess fat or skin, probably one of the most important things you can learn about is the procedure itself, step by step, and what you can expect. This is actually a more complex topic than it may appear at first glance, since liposuction procedures have evolved a lot over the years. Traditional liposuction is still an option, but so are a variety of other techniques including mini liposuctions and tumescent liposuctions. We will be taking a closer look at some of these techniques in depth later, as well as looking into some of the major brands of liposuction. For now, let’s look at a general approach to how the procedure is done.
Regardless of what type of liposuction you get, the surgical goal is to remove the right amount of fat (not too much, not too little) in order to help you achieve the appearance you’re aiming for. The surgeon must do this without disturbing other tissues nearby or damaging nerves. It’s important for your fluid balance to be maintained and for the procedure to be minimally invasive. Nonetheless, you must not lose sight of the fact that this is a surgical procedure and it is always going to be moderately invasive. So which are the common steps for each and every liposuction procedure?
Steps of Liposuction Procedure
- The patient receives antibiotics about 60 minutes before the surgery
- The body areas that will be treated are marked
- A sterile liquid solution is applied to the site of the surgery in order to reduce the chances of infection as well as to stem the loss of blood.
- The patient receives general or local anesthesia in order to avoid pain
- Liposuction involves making incisions in the skin near the areas where the fat needs to be siphoned out. In recent years, surgeons have become much better at making incisions small and inconspicuous. This makes the process less intensive, and also reduces the occurrences of visible scarring.
- At this point, some type of tube needs to be inserted into the body in order to remove the fat. The tube is inserted through the small incisions, but this is where different types of procedures branch off. With dry, suction-assisted liposuction, for example, the small tube, called a cannula, is pulled back and forth to loosen up the fat, and then the fat is drawn out of the body with suction. With ultrasonic liposuction (more info, there is no need for back and forth pulling of the cannula — ultrasonic vibrations are sent into the fat layer in order to liquify the fat (find how here). Then the fat is similarly drawn out of the body. We’ll talk about the details of different procedures in our series on liposuction techniques.
- While removing fat the patient is also receiving fluids through an IV fluid line to keep the body fluids balance stable
- Once the fat is removed from the body, the fluid needs to be drained out of the surgical site. Sometimes surgeons leave the incisions open in order to help the body to drain the excess fluid. Other surgeons choose to suture the wounds partially, leaving enough of an opening for the fluid to drain out. After the fluid has drained out, self-adhesive bandages can close up the wounds. The drawback of not suturing a wound is that sometimes this causes the wound to scar. This is something to discuss with your surgeon before you get the procedure.
These are the basic steps no matter which liposuction technique is utilised!!