Liposuction Surgery in Chicago

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, fat removal, or body contouring, is a cosmetic surgery designed to remove localized areas of fat from many areas of the body. Areas of the body that are applicable to liposuction include the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, backs, arms, and elsewhere. In general, lipo is used to sculpt areas of the body and not treat obesity or tighten the skin; it is not a weight-loss method. Patients who undergo liposuction surgery typically have stable body weight, but seek to remove undesirable deposits of body fat in specific areas. As a result, fat cells are permanently removed.

How is Liposuction Performed?

First, an antibiotic is applied to the targeted areas of the body, which are usually marked and photographed. In most instances, the area to be treated is distended with saline (sterilizing solution) and a medicine to constrict blood vessels known as tumescent fluid. After local anesthetic and/or sedatives are injected, small incisions are made (about a quarter to a third of an inch), and the fat is removed through suction tubes called cannulae. Depending on the amount of fat to be removed and the number of body areas requiring treatment, the procedure may be performed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia and as an outpatient or overnight stay.

Liposuction Recovery

Depending on the number of areas treated, liposuction patients are generally able to resume regular activities and work after two days and two weeks. An elastic, removable, compression garment is worn by the patient for two to four weeks. Noticeable differences will be evident within days or weeks of the operation, or as bruising subsides. Any pain is controlled by a prescription or over-the-counter medication.

What are the Benefits of Liposuction?

Besides the improved cosmetic appearance of the body, various medical conditions may benefit from liposuction including:

  • Lipomas – Benign fatty tumors.
  • Gynecomastia – Where fatty breast tissue has developed in men (swelling under the nipple).
  • Lipodystrophy syndrome – A disturbance of lipid (fat) metabolism that involves the partial or total absence of fat.

What are the Risks of Liposuction?

Risks include bleeding, infection, and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Other risks include severe bruising, inflammation, thrombophlebitis, numbness, and pulmonary embolism. Patients should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of liposuction with their doctor before making a decision.