Liposuction is a medical procedure used to shape or reduce the body’s fat deposits. It can be performed on almost any region of the body. Oftentimes liposuction is carried out with the aim of removing “problem zones” that resist diet or sports. A liposuction prior to an extensive weight loss can facilitate losing weight.
The distribution of fat deposits in the body is mostly determined by genetics, but lifestyle and hormones can also play an important role. While women usually complain about “saddlebags” around the thighs and excess volume on the buttocks and hips, men commonly have excess fat on the stomach and the breast area. Liposuction is a quick and sustainable method to reduce these fat deposits. Fat pads in the face as well as lipedema can also be treated by means of liposuction.
There are multiple methods for liposuction, which differ in the technique used, procedure, achievable results, and aftercare. Differences in quality are hard to determine for laypersons; relevant factors are:
- Thin microcannulas (diameter between 1.0 and 2.5 millimeters) or thicker regular cannulas (diameter of 3.0 millimeters or more).
- Method of liposuction:
- Manual liposuction or use of suction machines.
- Local anesthesia with tumescent anesthesia or general anesthesia.
- 1 week of compression or several weeks of wearing compression clothes
Standard Liposuction with Suction Machines
The most common method for liposuction is based on a mechanical suction device that is in some cases combined with ultrasound or laser to destroy fat cells. This method uses regular cannulas (diameter of 3.0 millimeters or more). Depending on the surgeon it is performed in local anesthesia or general anesthesia.
The mechanical suction and ultrasound/laser damage the tissue. That is why following the procedure patients have to wear compression garments for several weeks. Regular cannulas enable the surgeon to work quickly, but the body’s silhouette cannot be formed very precisely. After liposuction under general anesthesia an inpatient stay is required. The outcome of the procedure is only visible after the swelling has subsided.
Special Types of Standard Liposuction
Liposuction with Vibrating Cannulas
The cannula is moved mechanically in order to facilitate the liposuction for the doctor.
The infiltration solution is injected immediately before liposuction through the suction cannulas, which contain a second cannula that is used for injection. This reduces the effort for the surgeon. However, as the injection cannula is placed inside the liposuction cannula, the total diameter is 3.0 millimeters or more. An advantage of this method is that the fat is already washed while performing the liposuction, which speeds up cleaning the fat in case fat transfer is planned.
Liposculpture by Dr. Fournier: Manual Liposuction
Liposculpture is a gentle type of liposuction carried out purely by manual work without the use of machines. It can be performed with cannulas of any thickness. This procedure is much gentler than liposuction with suction machines.
Liposculpture by DDr. Heinrich: Manual Liposuction with Microcannulas
The use of microcannulas with a diameter of 1.0 to 2.5 millimeters allows for an especially precise shaping of the silhouette. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in local anesthesia (tumescent anesthesia). As fat is harvested in both standing and lying positions, the result looks harmonious in every position. Under special circumstances also regular cannulas can be used in liposculpture.
The aftercare is much easier than after standard liposuction. Compression clothes have to be worn for just a week. The puncture sites of the cannulas normally heal without leaving any scars that are visible for the naked eye because of their small size. The outcome can be seen immediately after the procedure.
Weight Loss with Liposuction
More and more people in the Western world are obese. Connected to obesity are risks such as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders like diabetes, joint problems, as well as psychological stress. Therefore and also for aesthetic reasons many people suffering from overweight want to lose pounds to reach their ideal weight.
Reducing fat pads around problem zones can ease the process of losing weight because liposuction decreases the number of estrogen-producing fat cells. The female sexual hormone estrogen stimulates fat accumulation and complicates losing weight. After targeted liposuction and medically-assisted weight loss it is often possible to maintain the ideal weight in the long term.
Body Shaping without Surgery by Fat-Away Injection
The Fat-Away Injection (Injection Lipolysis) can be used to shape or remove small fat deposits. Fat-dissolving substances (lecithin/cholic acid) are injected into superficial fat pads. Thereby fat cells are destroyed and removed from the body through the lymphatic system. This treatment is especially suitable for shaping of facial areas, e.g., a double chin. Cellulite can be treated with “mesotherapy”, a special type of the fat-away injection.