Liposuction means removal of fat by loosening and sucking out fat with the help of a suction apparatus. Fat collections around the hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, arms, upper chest, etc. can be reduced by this procedure.

Liposuction is neither a substitute nor a cure for obesity. It is a procedure more useful for contouring by removal of fat from particular areas. But, of course there is an overall reduction in body weight.

People with mild to moderate obesity, with healthy elastic skin or patients with localized collections of fat in certain areas, get the best results after liposuction, as the healthy elastic skin shrinks after the removal of fat from those areas. People having loose skin, like after losing excess weight, in old age or after multiple pregnancies, need excision of the excess skin to get a satisfactory contour are good candidates for lipectomy.
The fat cells in the body are constant from birth to death much like the nerve cells. But each fat cell may accumulate as much fat as is consumed. The cells removed during liposuction, are removed permanently and do not come back again. When the patient gains weight the size of the fat cells increases and when he or she looses weight the size decreases.

The procedure is performed under general or spinal anaesthesia. Before the operation, the areas to be sucked are marked out carefully.

A solution of local anesthetic and saline is injected into the areas to be sucked. A small cut of 0.5 to– 1 cm is made a few inches away from the area to be suctioned, usually within skin creases so that they are not noticeable. Then suction cannulae are inserted and fat is sucked out. The suction has to be evenly done, has to be done in such a way that wrinkles are not seen and it does no’t produce any areas of depression. The edges have to be smoothened out using smaller cannulae. Anywhere between 500 to 3000 gm. of material can be removed at one sitting. The removed material usually consists of 80-85% fat and the remainder being blood, plasma, etc. The same procedure is repeated in all the areas to be sucked.

After the Surgery
• Snug or tight compressive dressings are applied for 6-8 days to help in shrinkage of the skin, to decrease swelling and prevent any blood or serum collection. In most instances, the patient will be required to wear a pressure garment or girdle for several weeks to months during the healing period. This helps in reducing the swelling and shrinkage of the skin to its new position. One might feel localized areas of hardness or firmness in the suctioned areas for 2-4 months following surgery.
• Pain is usually present for a day or two after surgery. During the healing period, numbness or discomfort may be present for variable periods of time. Sometimes discoloration (bluish black) may be present which may last up to 2-3 weeks following surgery. Swelling takes 2-3 weeks to come down and it takes 2–4 months for the swelling to completely disappear.

• Depends on the expectations of the patients and the amount of fat that is suctioned out. Usually patients with good elastic skin and those who come for limited contouring are very happy. Older patients and grossly obese patients may not be very happy with the results.
• Perfection and symmetry are aimed for but are not possible in every patient.
• Also in some patients all unwanted fat cannot be removed in one sitting, in these patients, the procedure may have to be repeated, but only after all swelling resolves anywhere between 3 – 6 months.
• Rarely, rippled or uneven skin or areas of loose skin could result which might require minor revision surgeries to correct them.