Liposuction has become one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries over the years. Though liposuction is performed through different techniques, the procedural steps remain the same.
Liposuction procedure involves the following steps:

Step 1 – Administering Anesthesia
Liposuction requires only local anesthesia. The surgeon may also choose tumescent liposuction technique where a local anesthetic such as, lidocaine is diluted and injected into the subcutaneous fat. The targeted tissue becomes firm and easy to remove. This technique reduces risk and prevents blood loss. However, patients who are allergic to lidocaine may not be suitable for this technique.

General anesthesia is provided only if the patient has substantial amount of fat deposit in an area or accumulation of fat in multiple areas. Local anesthesia with sedation is also used based on the patient’s profile.

Step 2 – Placing Incisions
After anesthesia is administered, the surgeon makes small inconspicuous incisions in the targeted area. The size of these incisions is very small, ranging between a quarter or third of an inch. The number of incisions required depends on the amount of fat deposit.

Step 3 – Removing excess fat
The surgeon inserts a thin tube called cannula into the incision and through a gentle back and forth motion dislodges the fat cells. The dislodged fat is sucked out through a surgical vacuum pump or syringe attached to the cannula. For more precision and less invasiveness, some surgeons use advanced techniques such as, laser, RF, or ultrasound.

Step 4 – Closing the wound
After the fat is sucked out, the surgeon closes the incisions with absorbable sutures and firmly bandages them. Drain tubes are placed at the incision sites to collect excess fluid. Patients are asked to wear compression garment for three to four weeks to avoid edema.

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