As you get older, regardless of how much you exercise or diet, getting rid of unwanted fat deposits can be very difficult. That is why liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is America’s fastest growing and most popular surgical procedure. During liposuction, excess fat deposits are removed from the body, legs, neck and/or chin giving you a smoother and slimmer body contour. Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. It is no substitute for proper diet and exercise and cannot effectively treat cellulite. This procedure; however, can provide a good result in men and women who are close to normal weight and primarily desire to improve body contour. Other conditions, such as lipomas (fatty tumors) or gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) may also be treated with liposuction. The first step for a patient considering liposuction is an initial consultation with a surgeon. He will assess your goals for the procedure and also your general physical and emotional health. Your surgeon can determine elasticity of your skin, thickness of underlying fat and exact areas where you would like to see improvement. Like any surgical procedure, liposuction carries associated risks. These risks are outlined in an informed consent sheet provided during your consultation. We strongly encourage each patient to carefully review these risks and discuss them with your surgeon prior to proceeding with surgery. Your surgery may be performed in a hospital, outpatient surgery center or office-based surgical suite. Your physician will select the safest and most effective level of anesthesia for your procedure. Generally your surgery may last from one to three hours. This is determined by the area and amount of fat removed. One or more small incisions will be made in the area. These will accommodate the small hollow tube (cannula), which suctions the fat from the selected areas of the body. One method for improving results in lipoplasty is the tumescent technique. It works by injecting controlled amounts of salt-water solution that causes fat to swell for easier removal. It may also numb and constrict blood flow which reduces blood loss with minimal bruising and better retraction of tissue. A new method called Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) is now being used, often in conjunction with the tumescent technique. UAL converts ultrasonic energy into heat which melts fat cells, allowing them to be suctioned away more easily. This reduces trauma and leaves other tissues intact. A compression garment or girdle is worn most of the six weeks following surgery to control swelling and assist healing. Speed of recovery is relative to the extent of the surgery. If only a small amount has been done, you will get out of bed shortly following surgery. If multiple areas are affected, you may remain in bed 1 or 2 days, getting up only to eat and go to the bathroom. Generally, a patient may return to work in 3 to 7 days and sutures are removed in a week. Normal athletic activity can be resumed in about 3 weeks. The surgeons and staff at The Face & Body Center are available to discuss any questions you may have by calling 866-939-4999 or 939-9999 in the Jackson Metro Area.