Liposuction. Suck it up.

Posted on September 8th, 2009 by The LookinGood Team

fatmanbellyLiposuction: A cosmetic procedure in which a special instrument called a cannula is used to break up and suck out fat from the body. This procedure is also known as lipoplasty.

For more than a decade, liposuction was the most popular cosmetic surgery in America until being dethroned in 2008 by breast augmentation, according to statistics compiled by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It is still the most popular surgery among men, and ranks 10th among all cosmetic procedures.

Liposuction is a major physical undertaking for your body. In addition to the fat removed, blood vessels, lymph channels and connective tissue are all affected and the body needs time to readjust, reproduce and heal. You will be bruised and look and feel battered for weeks, and swelling can last for months after the surgery. Compression garments hold everything in place as you heal and guard against “rippling.”  Overall recovery time is related to the area affected and how extensive the surgery was. The most popular areas — abdomen, waist and thighs — have the longest recovery time.

In 2008, 18 percent of the more than 340,000 liposuction procedures in the U.S. were what is called ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL, also called ultrasonic or VASER). The idea is that the ultrasound waves break up the fat, allowing it to be more easily removed from the body. There are no clear studies, however, that show a significant reduction in recovery time. An emerging treatment is water-assisted liposuction (WAL), in which water is used to break up the fat. This procedure is able to suction out more fat at a faster rate and may reduce blood loss and recovery time, though there are no conclusive studies yet.

The cost of liposuction ranges from $1,500-$15,000 depending on location (both on your body and where you live), type of procedure and how much fat is removed.

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