Last year, liposuction was the second most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 222,000 liposuction procedures were performed. That’s a lot of removable fat.

The most common liposuction technique is referred to as tumescent liposuction. A tumescent solution is composed of saline, lidocaine (to numb) and epinephrine (to reduce bleeding). This solution is injected into the tissue prior to suctioning away the fatty tissue.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure that requires less recovery time than most surgeries. It is important that patients comply with dressings that place pressure over the liposuction site following the procedure. This helps reduce swelling and achieve a final contour in a timely manner. Regardless, the final result cannot be judged until six months after the procedure has been performed. This allows time for the swelling to disappear and the overlying skin to contract.

One of the most common questions that patients ask is, “Will my fat return?” The adipose (fat) cells are permanently removed. However, the adipose cells that remain can expand if you have continued weight gain. It is best to have the procedure performed when you are close to your ideal weight and do not plan major physical changes, such as pregnancy. Liposuction should be used for sculpting purposes and not as a weight reduction technique.

Heathy eating and exercise is the preferred method for changing the shape of your body. However, stubborn areas can be treated with liposuction with satisfying results. Before proceeding, make sure that your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.