Abdominal Liposuction: Surgical Removal of Excess Fat
Abdominal liposuction is used when a woman is looking to get rid
of that stubburn
fat around the waste-line. Newer techniques of
liposuction such as tumescent liposuction result in less bruising, less swelling
and a quicker recovery than older traditional methods of liposuction. The other
liposuction technique, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, uses ultrasound
rather than mechanical action to elicit fat removal. This technique is the
procedure of choice in certain areas of the body, such as the posterior hip, the
back, and the male and female breasts. It also is frequently used in the
traditional areas, such as the thighs and abdomen
Liposuction is especially useful for women who are of relatively normal
weight but have isolated pockets of fat that cause certain areas of their body
to appear disproportionate. These localized fat deposits may be an inherited
trait and not responsive to dieting or
exercise. It is possible to undergo
liposuction at almost any age, however you will obtain the best results if your
skin still has enough elasticity to achieve a smooth contour following fat
removal. When skin is inelastic, as in some older patients, it may not reshape
well, and a skin tightening procedure may be necessary.
If a woman wishes to achieve a tighter, smoother, flat abdomen,
then liposuction is combined with a
How is tumescent liposuction of the abdomen performed?
Tumescent liposuction is a breakthrough technique referred to, filling
the fatty layer of skin with a diluted solution of local anesthesia and other
medications prior to removing the excess fat.
causes the compartments of fat to become swollen and firm or "tumesced."
Use of tumescent liposuction allows dermatologic surgeons to
safely and efficiently remove both deep and superficial excess layers of fat
with little discomfort, more rapid healing, and improved cosmetic results.
Blood loss is minimized during tumescent
liposuction, use of the technique reduces the chance that a blood transfusion
will be needed.
Tumescent liposuction does not require a general anesthetic. A
saline solution which contains a local anesthetic is introduced into the
targeted fat deposits. This numbs the area to be treated.
The incisions are very tiny and are located strategic positions over the
abdomen. A tumescent solution-containing
lidocaine, epinephrine and intravenous fluid- is then
injected into the targeted layer of fat. This solution contains saline
to prevent dehydration, a local anesthetic to numb the area, a medication to
control bleeding and cortisone to control inflammation.
As the liquid enters the fat, it becomes
swollen, firm and blanched. Liposuction is then performed on the tumesced
A very small suction cannula is inserted through the incisions into the
tumescent fatty layer of the abdomen. Using a back and forth action the
surgeon crisscrosses the abdomen creating a number of tunnels in the fat with
a cannula. The cannula is attached to a suction apparatus which draws
the fat out from under the skin as the tunnels are created. The number
of tunnels created determines the amount of fat that can be removed.
After an acceptable abdominal contour has been achieved, the
incisions sites are covered with absorbent pads and held in place with a
pressure garment. Some physicians use a second garment over the first to
provide additional pressure. The incisions are not sutured in order that
the remaining solution will drain off into the pads. This helps to
minimize swelling, bruising, and soreness. Eighty percent of the
solution is absorbed into the body and excreted in the urine. The
remaining 20% is either sucked out with the fat or drained out through the
The pressure garment is worn for a minimum of 4 days. Wearing the
garment longer than this tends to decrease swelling sooner but does not alter
the ultimate outcome of the procedure.
have large areas of excess fat may also be good candidates for tumescent
Does tumescent liposuction of the abdomen hurt?
The anesthetic in the tumescent solution numbs the area to be treated so
little or no pain is felt during the procedure. No general anesthetic nor
hospital stay is necessary.
Due to the residual local anesthetic and the mild cortisone left in the
tissue, most patients do not experience any significant soreness for 6 to 18
hours after the procedure. An aching sensation similar to that felt in the
muscles after rigorous exercises may be, experienced for up to 5 days after the
surgery. Analgesia, such as Tylenol, helps to control this temporary
What will I experience after tumescent liposuction?
Swelling, inflammation and soreness are to be expected. The more fat
that has been removed the longer the duration of post-operative swelling and
Temporary subcutaneous lumpiness and firmness are also common in the healing
process. This may persist to some degree for 2 to 6 months.
Bruising is usually minimal with the tumescent technique because the bleeding
is minimized by medication called epinephrine in the saline solution. Any
bruising that may occur tends to subside over a period of 10 to 15 days.
When will an improvement be noticed?
About 90% of patients can actually see at least some improvement in their
silhouette one week after surgery. However, because of the slow resolution
of post surgical swelling, the ultimate results following tumescent liposuction
is achieved in 12 to 24 weeks.
What are the limitations and alternatives to liposuction?
Liposuction is not means to
control weight. It is a procedure
designed to remove deposits of localized fat which are resistant to diet and
exercise. A patient's weight should be stable for 6 months prior to the
procedure. Further weight loss after the procedure will only enhance
the results. A regular
exercise plan will tone the underlying muscles and
improve the results of the surgical contouring.
a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, you can help to maintain your
slimmer figure or leaner physique.
Liposuction is a technique which is used to remove subcutaneous fat (fat
under the skin). Many women have fat in their abdominal cavity as
well as under their skin. Only the fat under the skin can be removed with
liposuction. The remaining fat must be lost through
diet and exercise.
It is also important for a woman to understand that removing subcutaneous fat
from the belly may not lead to a flat abdomen, especially if the abdominal
musculature is round. A regular regime of exercises to
abdominal muscles will be necessary to achieve a flat abdomen. There may
be some irregularity if scars, herniations or muscular separation are present.
The only alternative to abdominal liposuction is extensive dieting.
Most people who have decided to have liposuction have been through several
dieting programs and have failed to lose their abdominal fat.
NOTE: While abdominal liposuction can help you to loose fat it should not
take place of proper diet and exercise.
Dated 25 April 2015