Liposuction or liposuction is a technique to remove excess fat from the thighs, waist, abdomen, knees, cheeks, jowls, neck, the chest, back and ankles. Liposuction is not a substitute for diet and exercise, but frequently patients have areas of fat which are resistant to diet and exercise and for these people, liposuction can be valuable.
Before you have a liposuction, you must be evaluated to insure that the areas of your body that concern you can be safely aspirated. Some areas, such as the buttocks, are prone to contour deformities and asymmetry if they are aspirated, and Dr. Newkirk is reluctant to carry out a liposuction in those areas.
Most plastic surgeons use what is called "tumescent technique," in which a dilute solution of local anesthetic is injected into the areas to be suctioned. The local anesthetic decreases the amount of pain that you would otherwise experience, and by injecting fluid into the fat, the fat is more easily and completely aspirated, and bruising is reduced.
The areas of fat are marked out before you undergo the surgery, which is carried out with the aid of an anesthetist in the operating suite at Columbia Plastic Surgery. Surgery can be as long as 4 to 5 hours, dependent on the number of areas to be treated. After surgery you can usually go home, but it is necessary to wear a compression garment for several weeks, which decreases swelling and improves the contour. Results of liposuction are not apparent for several months, and it may take as long as 6 months to see the final result. Dr. Newkirk's experience is that women are particularly happy with the results of liposuction of the inner and outer thighs as well as the area beneath their chin; men generally are very pleased with liposuction of the waist and abdomen.
Liposuction was the most common cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States in 2005 as over 455,000 liposuctions were carried out.