Liposuction is an outpatient surgical procedure that is used to remove unwanted body fat through tiny incisions. It uses a stainless-steel tube to ‘suck out fat’. Many people have stubborn areas of fat deposits around their upper and lower abdomen, hips, and thighs despite diet and exercise. Liposuction is excellent for removal of localized fatty deposits and body contouring. It is not meant to be a treatment for obesity. The tiny incisions are generally hidden in the edge of the pubic area or in the belly button. Because of its safety and effectiveness, liposuction has become the most common cosmetic procedure performed by plastic surgeons today. It can be done awake or under general anesthesia and can be performed alone or with other procedures.
Liposuction surgeries use long thin cannulas to suck out unwanted fat cells to smooth out certain areas that tend to accumulate a disproportionate amount of fat. Dr Mok uses the “tumescent technique” that involves the injection of a large amount of fluid containing saline, blood loss reducing agent, and local anesthetic into a fatty area. By “wetting” the fat this allows easier fat removal, smoother contouring, elimination of pain and reduction of bleeding, bruising and swelling.
Common places for fat to accumulate is on the lower back, or “love handles”, outer and inner thighs, the abdomen and even the chin. Liposuction can be done in some patients as a stand-alone procedure if their skin and body type permit. If there is also an excess of skin in the same area, a surgical excision or “lift” is performed at the same time.
Though liposuction can be very useful procedure to achieve specific goals in many patients, it should not be used as a weight-loss procedure, where diet and exercise is always the better option.
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