Liposuction (Aspiration Lipectomy)
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also called aspiration lipectomy, removes excess fat through a suctioning process. This procedure permanently removes fat deposits from areas such as the chin, checks, neck, upper arms, abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs. It is one of the most common of all cosmetic procedures, and can be an effective technique for recontouring the body. The tendency to accumulate fat in areas such as the abdomen may be inherited, and this fat is often especially resistant to diet and exercise.
Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. Candidates should be adults, of any age, within 30% of their ideal weight and with firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone. Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise. It is also not an effective treatment for cellulite.
NOTE: You may not be a candidate for surgery if you smoke, have recently quit smoking, or if you are exposed to second-hand smoke. Primary and secondary smoking decreases blood flow to the body's tissues. This can result in prolonged wound healing, skin loss, infection, increased scarring, and a number of other complications depending on the kind of procedure performed. Click here for more information related to smoking.
How is the Procedure Performed?
A small incision is made in or near the areas to be suctioned. In some cases, these incisions may be so small that no post-operative stitches are required. An appropriately-sized tube, or cannula, is inserted through the incision to loosen excess fat. The fat is then removed using a surgical vacuum. Ultrasound may be used to assist liposuction in certain areas that would otherwise not respond well to conventional treatment. Your surgeon will evaluate your skin tone and elasticity, as well as fat density and distribution to determine the appropriate technique for your individual case.
Options to Enhance the Procedure
In some cases, liposuction is used in conjunction with other procedures, such as a facelift, breast reduction, or a tummy tuck.
List of Physicians Who Perform Liposuction
For details about education, experience, and specialty in this clinical area, please visit these physician profile pages:
Planning for Your Surgery
First, schedule a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. Communication is vital in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you'd like to achieve. Your surgeon will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and what long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation:
- Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
- Expect your surgeon to conduct a complete physical examination.
- Be prepared to discuss possible risks and complications of the procedure.
Preparing for Your Surgery
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. A pre-operative information packet will be provided that explains everything you should do and know before your surgery date. Your surgeon will instruct you on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and which vitamins and medications should be taken or avoided. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. You may also want to make arrangements for someone to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital.
Where Your Surgery Will be Performed
Your procedure will take place in the University of Michigan Hospitals' state-of-the-art surgical suites and recovery areas. The majority of these procedures are completed on an out-patient basis.
Types of Anesthesia
You'll remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure. In most cases, general anesthetic is used so that you will sleep throughout the procedure; although local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is also an option for some patients.
After Your Surgery
Click here for information about how to care for yourself after the surgery and what to expect during your recovery. It is very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. Also, it is important that you attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns you may have.