Liposuction Surgery Incision Basics

Cosmetic surgeons use several techniques when performing liposuction surgery, but the surgery incision basics remain constant for each method. The surgeon will mark your body with a pen as a guide to where he will be operating. Once the surgery begins, a tiny incision less than one-quarter of an inch long will be made near the area where the fat is to be removed. Through this incision, a long thin tube, called a cannula is inserted which is continually pushed through the fat layer beneath the skin. This action breaks up the surrounding fat cells, which are then sucked out by a vacuum that is attached to the cannula.

Liposuction Surgery Incision Surgical Procedure

Liposuction surgery may take several hours, but the length of the procedure usually depends on how much fat is being removed and how many areas are being treated. If more than one area is being treated, the surgeon will move onto the next, while working to keep the surgery incision(s) as inconspicuous as possible.

A significant amount of blood and other bodily fluids are lost during the surgical process, so patients receive replacement fluids intravenously during and after the liposuction procedure.

There are several variations of fat removal techniques although there are two core removal methods that most doctors use.

Suction-assisted liposplasty or SAL is a traditional technique that removes fat by suction alone.

Scarring and Incision Points by Dr. David Amron

Ultrasonic-assisted lipoplasty or UAL uses ultrasonic energy emitted from the cannula to literally melt fat. This procedure requires a special cannula that produces ultrasonic energy, which explodes the walls of the fat cell as it passes through the areas of fat and quite literally melts it. The ‘melted’ fat is removed using the traditional suction technique. UAL improves the effectiveness of the procedure in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper back.

The tumescent fluid (saline and local anesthetic solution) technique is used to help facilitate fat removal as well as reduce the amount of pain following the liposuction procedure. The tumescent liposuction technique can typically take much longer than other methods.

This fluid injection or wet technique is a procedure that involves the injection of a medicated solution into fatty areas before fat is removed. The fluid used is a mixture of a local anesthetic and epinephrine, which makes fat removal easier, reduces blood loss and provides anesthesia during the surgery.

In addition, this technique will also help reduce the appearance of bruising after the surgery. The super-wet technique requires a smaller amount of fluid to be injected and is faster to perform.

Post Liposuction Surgery Incision Care

Once the procedure is completed, the surgery incision(s) will be cleaned and stitched. You will generally feel weak and sick for a few hours immediately following the liposuction procedure. Having an outpatient procedure allows patients to leave the medical facility whenever they feel well enough, but generally, doctors will prefer that patients stay overnight.

Most liposuction patient’s experience bruising and swelling in the areas that were operated on as well as around the surgery incision sites. The doctor will not prescribe treatment for the swollen areas and the swelling usually subsides within a few weeks. The incision stitches will also fade within a few weeks of having the surgery.

The tiny incisions made during the liposuction procedure are not usually a problem for patients, and usually heal easily. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy an easy recovery without the fear of the surgery incision opening up or becoming infected.

Updated: May 3, 2016
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