David Y Globerman MD PLLC
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
(954) 987 - 0222
Liposuction is a wonderful operation that has been much abused.
The procedure is as follows: The fat is anesthetized by injecting a dilute local anesthetic into the area to be suctioned. Usually, epinephrine is added to the injection to reduce blood loss. Small volumes of fat require small amounts of these drugs, whereas large volumes of fat require correspondingly larger volumes. There has been much discussion, and considerable controversy about the maximum amount of these medications that can be safely given at any one time.
For that reason, I do not do large volume liposuction, and limit office liposuction procedures to a "two handfuls" rule.
Then, a suction machine sucks out the fat through a metal tube called a cannula.
That's the easy part.
The single biggest misconception with regards to liposuction is that the skin overlying the fat collection will shrink down and be nice and smooth like it was before the fat was there. In many cases it will: in the young patient with small fat collections and smooth elastic skin. In the older patient, however, with thinner, stretched out skin, or in the patient who wants large volumes of fat removed, removing the fat will leave a loose sagging layer of skin, that may look worse that before the procedure.
Attempts to solve this problem have used lasers (remember smart lipo?), and more recently ultrasound, and RF frequency techniques. New devices appear every month. In my opinion, the verdict is still out.
The real issue is to be realistic in your expectations.