In women, a common area is the outer thigh and hip area and in men, the lower abdomen. Liposuction can also be used in combination with other procedures such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) where specific fatty areas can also be contoured. It is not a weight loss tool.
A small incision is made in the skin for each area to be treated. A narrow metal tube (cannula) is inserted through the incision into the fatty area and by working the tube back and forth; the fat is shaved off in tunnels and evacuated through attached tubing to a suction machine or suction syringe. The suctioned tunnels and spaces are then collapsed by the use of a compression garment to create the new contour.
When fat tissue is suctioned from under the skin, it leaves small tunnels and empty pockets. The purpose of a compressive dressing or girdle is to collapse these spaces to allow healing to take place.
The area treated with liposuction may be strapped with elastic tape and a compression garment will be applied. This will minimize bruising and swelling and provide a degree of support for the skin which will be relatively loose after the operation, particularly when the swelling settles down. The elasticized material of the garment helps to keep even pressure on the areas treated, minimize bruising and swelling and helps skin contraction and thus minimizes the risk of skin sagging and irregularities.
When a figure fault is sculpted away, the fullness in the area is temporarily replaced by swelling which resolves slowly. It is understandable, therefore, that the patient may underestimate the improvement in the first few weeks and wonder if the operation has been successful.
Bruising usually starts to settle after a week and is usually well faded by two weeks. It may, however, take six weeks for all the bruising to resolve.
What can you expect after liposuction?
Following surgery you may be quite bruised and the areas can be discoloured and even purple. There can be swelling of the ankles, particularly if liposuction has been carried out in the abdomen or legs.. The bruising tends to track down the leg or the abdomen and in some cases the patient can experience some swelling of the labia or scrotum.