What is a Liposuction Procedure

Dr Nancy Van Laeken MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon discusses What is a Liposuction Procedure.

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Dr Nancy Van Laeken MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon discusses What is a Liposuction Procedure.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, MD, FRCSC
What is a Liposuction Procedure
Duration: 2 minutes, 23 seconds

Liposuction is a surgical procedure featuring which fat cells are aspirated from various areas of the body. It has been designed specifically to treat contour irregularities meaning there are localized areas of fatty deposits that the patient is not happy with. 

It is not an operation for obesity, it is meant to target certain areas. For example, in women it is more often the buttocks saddleback area. In men, it is more often, the midriff or what is also known as, the spare tire.

Therefore, it is not an excuse for not exercising and dieting. It is meant to be an adjunct to patients who are otherwise fit and healthy who have localized areas that they would like to have treated.

Depending on the amount of liposuction that the patient is requesting, it will be done either under a local anesthetic or under a general anesthetic. The technique is one where the area that is to undergo liposuction is infused with a fluid that contains adrenalin, which controls bleeding and Xylocaine, which helps with post-operative discomfort. By infusing this fluid, it facilitates the aspiration of the fat but it also makes the post-operative course more comfortable.

There are different types of liposuction depending on the type of equipment that is used and the type of machinery but the overall outcomes are generally the same depending on the area that the patient would like to have treated.

Because the fat cells are aspirated and removed from the area that is troublesome for the patient, if the patient gains weight in the future they are unlikely to gain weight back in those areas because those fat cells are gone and are not there to enlarge. 

However, what might happen if the patient puts on weight is that the fat cells that are left behind in other areas will become larger so they will put weight on in an area remote from the liposuction site. 

Therefore, patients are advised that if they gain weight after liposuction that they may put it on in different areas. They are unlikely to put their first pound or two pounds back where they had the liposuction but it is not going to prevent them from putting weight on in other areas.

If a person is interested in pursuing liposuction, they should speak to their family physician and ask for a referral to a consultant who is able to perform that for them.

Presenter: Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, Plastic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Plastic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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