This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Liposuction How Does Liposuction Work?

March 28, 2016

Aesthetic medicine has seen many advances with the onset of technological improvements and scientific developments over the years. Of all of the varying treatments and procedures, there is one that remains the gold standard. Many people struggle with areas of stubborn adipose tissue, or fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise. This is where liposuction can help considerably. Liposuction helps improve one’s figure by removing unwanted fat, most commonly from the stomach, love handles, hips, back, thighs, and buttocks. But what is liposuction and how exactly does it work?

There are two layers of fat underneath the skin: deep and superficial. During liposuction, the doctor makes a tiny incision at the treatment site and inserts a cannula into the deep fat layer. There is less risk of injury to the skin when the work is performed in the deep layer rather than the superficial layer. The doctor moves the cannula through the fat layer, pushing and pulling to break up the fat cells as a syringe removes the adipose tissue.

It is important to remember that liposuction is not meant to be a form of weight loss. Instead, it is a procedure done to shape the figure by removing excess adipose tissue. There are different liposuction techniques that are used today: super-wet liposuction and tumescent liposuction. During super-wet liposuction, the patient is given intravenous sedation and epinephrine is injected in equal volume to the amount of fat removed. The more common method is tumescent liposuction where the amount of epinephrine injected is two to three times the volume of fat removed so that the targeted tissue becomes engorged with the fluid. Your cosmetic surgeon is trained and skilled in both techniques and will determine which is best suited to your needs.

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure performed in one session. Patients may return to work within a few days after treatment and are able to resume normal daily activities within two weeks. The amount of post-operative care and downtime needed often depends on the extensiveness of the surgery. The more fat that was removed, the longer the amount of recovery time needed.

The areas of your body treated with liposuction will not regain adipose tissue, even if you were to gain weight after surgery. Those treated areas will no longer retain fat. However, liposuction is not a preventative measure against gaining weight. Once healed, a healthy diet and exercise program must be followed in order to maintain the results achieved by the procedure. Contact our friendly, knowledgeable staff today to schedule an in-office consultation to discover if liposuction is right for you.