In a culture where celebrities appear to have found a magical elixir which keeps their bodies trim and beautiful, it can seem like there’s no hope for the rest of us. Of course, they’re just human like the rest of us, and for most of them a strict diet and exercise regime helps them to keep in shape. However, it is well known that at least some have had a little work here and there, and those ultra-flat stomachs may have been subjected to some kind of medical intervention.
These days, however, cosmetic surgery is no longer the pastime of the wealthy elite, with an estimated half a million liposuction procedures alone carried out in the USA each year. That makes fat removal the number one most popular cosmetic treatment.
Because of its popularity, in this article we’ll take a look at how liposuction is performed and what the risks are.
How does liposuction work? Simply put, liposuction is the permanent removal of fat from the body which helps to redefine the contour and outline of the body. The fat itself, interestingly, is a substance known as adipose tissue and consists of cells that store energy and keep the body warm. Typically, fat tissue is subcutaneous, i.e. it is located underneath the skin. Gender has a big role to play in where the fat is deposited around the body. For men, the fat tissue tends to be grouped around the chest, stomach and buttock areas, whilst for women, the fat tissue normally covers the breast, hip, waist and buttock areas.
Although we refer to fat as a catch-all term, there are actually two types- deep and superficial subcutaneous fat. When a liposuction procedure is carried out, the surgeon will make small incisions in the target area and introduce a stainless-steel cannula to the deep fat layer. The reason for this is because there is less of a risk of damaging the skin by removing fat from the superficial layer.
During the cosmetic procedure, the surgeon will push and pull the cannula through the deep layer of fat either by his own accord or through a relatively new procedure called ‘power liposuction’ which uses a motorised device to create the same movement. As the tube moves back and forth, it dislodges the fat cells which can then be sucked up by the vacuum, which then deposits the fat cells into a container.
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