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Liposuction (tumescent technique) has been used for 30 years to remove excess unwanted fat from many zones of the body. It is effective for double chins, pot belly, saddlebags, fat arms, protruding buttocks or hips, thighs and knees.
Liposuction is used to improve the contour or shape of a particular area of the body. Women generally have liposuction to remove unwanted fat under the chin, on their hips, thighs, and stomach; and in the arm area. For men, common sites include under the chin and around the waist.
Lipoplasty (popularly known as liposuction or suction-assisted lipectomy) is a surgical technique that contours the body by removing unwanted areas of fat. It is not a substitute for weight reduction, but a method of removing localized fat that does not respond to dieting and exercise.
During the procedure, a hollow suction tube, or "cannula," is passed through small skin incisions and manipulated in such a way that the unwanted fat is broken up and transferred through the tube to the attached vacuum machine.
The skin is an essential component of the contouring process in liposuction. An important consideration is what will happen to the extra skin after liposuction. If there is too much skin, will it shrink after fat is removed from under it or will it sag? If it will sag, then the better choice is to remove the extra skin. As with all cosmetic surgery procedures, your consultation with Dr. Lincenberg will include discussion to choose the right procedure for your particular situation. He also will help you acquire realistic expectations for your procedure.
The tumescent technique of liposuction involves injecting large amounts of fluid into the areas of fat before performing lipoplasty. The fluid, containing several medicines, can reduce blood loss, minimize bruising, alleviate pain and lessen the need for general anesthesia.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) substitutes high frequency ultrasonic energy for the back-and-forth strokes the surgeon must perform. The ultrasound comes out of the tip of the cannula, liquefying the fat. UAL is especially good for the areas of the body where the fat is firm.
Another method of loosening the fat before removing it is to use a laser attached to the tip of the cannula. This method also eliminates the need for the surgeon to use force to loosen the fat and, therefore, the patient has less bruising and swelling. One drawback of this method is that the fat cells are irreversibly destroyed and cannot be used for fat grafting. Laser liposuction has not been shown to be significantly better than standard tumescent liposuction.
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