Many of us know there are certain fat deposits on our body which just do not respond to diet or exercise. However many hours we may spend sweating at the gym or sticking to low-fat meals, those bulges refuse to disappear. Some people resort to liposuction or surgery for weight loss.

Many people think that targeted exercise cuts down fat content in certain body areas. It does not matter about the number of sit-ups you do, you are only going to cut down overall body fat; the fat around the belly will remain constant. Liposuction is considered to be one the most effective methods for reduction of localised fat, if not the most effective method.

Key points relating to liposuction

Liposuction is not a substitute for diet or exercise. It is an effective method for targeting localised, hitherto impossible to remove, fat. A standard operation would be the removal of 5 to 10lbs of fat. A key benefit of liposuction is that removed fat cells are not able to grow back, which makes it difficult to put weight back on after the diet surgery.

Liposuction originated in France in the 1920s, initially used by French surgeon Charles Dujarier. It then ceased to be popular until USA based surgeons started to experiment with liposuction in the 1980s, using modern surgical methods. More than 60% of Americans are overweight. Hence, this diet surgery method has become the most performed surgical method used.

Can liposuction work for you?

Is liposuction suitable for you? It is important that you are in good health and have attempted diet and exercise beforehand. Liposuction is the solution for overall weight loss. Areas considered for liposuction are those difficult to move.

You need to be aged 18 years or more. Older patients could be faced with further surgery procedures to compensate for their skin’s relative inelasticity. People with diabetes are normally excluded from liposuction, even if they are in good health.

Liposuction methods

Methods of liposuction can be defined by the amount of fluid that is injected into the body area. The fluid loosens fat cells, as well as preventing bruising.

The eight kinds of liposuction are:

  • Dry liposuction:No fluid is injected whatsoever.
  • Wet liposuction:A tiny amount of fluid is injected into the body area. This is a salt solution which contains an anaesthetic called Lidocaine and Epinephrine which minimises bleeding.
  • Super-Wet liposuction:Whereby the amount of liquid injected is the same as the fat that is going to be removed. This method is chosen for higher volume liposuction.
  • Tumescent liposuction:This method involves the greatest amount of liquid. The fat is rendered easier to remove for the surgeon. However, surgery can last for up to two hours longer.
  • Liposuction mechanism:Herein a kind of tube (or cannula) is utilised in the liposuction procedure.
  • Suction-assisted liposuction:A tube is put through a tiny incision. The surgeon then uses the tube to dislodge fat cells, sucking them up with a vacuum device. This is the most common type of liposuction.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction: A specialised tube sends out vibrations right through the body to break up the fat, which is then sucked out. There is less blood spilled with this method than the suction assisted procedure.
  • Power Assisted liposuction:The tube performs a mechanical function which cuts down the amount of work the surgeon needs to perform.


The patient is in bandages and has to wear a compression garment, until the drainage from the affected area ceases. The patient needs his/her bandages changing every couple of days, with the drainage equipment being removed after about a week. Swelling lasts up to two months.

Patients need to avoid drinking alcohol and have to convalesce for a minimum period of a week. Patients are advised not to submerge themselves in water and are instructed to drink lots of fluids. The effect of this diet surgery procedure is visible two to six months hence.


Liposuction is a well established procedure. Nonetheless, like any other form of diet surgery, it is crucial to know the risks involved before going ahead.

No deadly complications arise in most surgeries. However, there are occasional casualties. For instance, five deaths occurred in New York City between 1993 and 1998 due to liposuction procedures. These patients died from problems like too much fluid used, low blood pressure induced by the lidocaine added to the fluid, as well as blood clots.

Moreover, other deaths have been caused by interactions between the lidocaine anaesthetic mixing with other medications patients were taking. It is of course critical to inform the cosmetic surgeon of what medications you are taking, should you be taking any.

There is also a 0.14% chance of skin damage, infection or fluid imbalance.

Other side effects include swelling, bruising, numbness, pain and scars. There is a lead time after which patients can get back to their daily lives.

During this period of time they need to wear their bandages as well as the compression garment.

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