Liposuction Techniques and Instruments

1. How many incisions are made during liposuction?

The number of incisions necessary for liposuction depends on the size and location of the area being treated and the surgeon’s technique. If a surgeon tries to make fewer incisions, they may need to be longer than ¼ inch, in which case the incisions will be closed with stitches. Surgeons who use microcannulas tend to make numerous, smaller incisions and tiny adits (holes) to perform liposuction. These tiny incisions require no stitches.

2. How long will take for the incisions to heal?

Liposuction incisions and adits usually heal completely in 2-4 weeks and their appearance will diminish over the next 3 to 12 months. On patients with darker skin, the incision sites may be visible for more than a year or two but they should eventually diminish.

3. Is it necessary to have an IV during liposuction?

No. If tumescent liposuction is used, the dilute tumescent local anesthesia that is injected under the skin is sufficient to replace any lost fluid.

4. How long does it typically take to complete a liposuction procedure?

The amount of time it takes to perform liposuction depends on the size of the patient, how many areas are being treated, and the type of anesthesia being used. Liposuction done using local anesthesia generally takes longer than when general anesthesia is used because it takes time to inject local anesthesia in all the areas being treated. On average, a patient will be in the surgery center for 3-7 hours.

5. What is the safest form of liposuction?

Studies and experience has shown that tumescent liposuction performed with the use of local anesthesia is the safest form of liposuction.

6. What is a liposuction cannula?

A cannula is a stainless steel tube that is inserted under the skin to extract fat cells during liposuction. Cannulas are available in multiple sizes but smaller microcannulas typically produce smoother results after liposuction. The cannula is attached to a flexible plastic tube that is connected to a vacuum pump.

7. Is the ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL) technique safe and effective?

Ultrasonic assisted liposuction is not as safe or effective as traditional liposuction.

8. Is power-assisted liposuction safe and effective?

Opinions of power-assisted liposuction vary. Power-assisted liposuction uses a machine-powered cannula that oscillates or vibrates in and out of the area being treated at a fast rate. Proponents of power-assisted liposuction believe it is a faster, easier method of liposuction. Other surgeons prefer traditional liposuction.