Liposuction has been around since the 1980's and has seen an explosion in the number of techniques available. Today we have options of tumescent liposuction, laser liposuction, smart lipo, safe lipo, and vaser liposuction to mention a few. The basic principle, however, remains the same...to remove fat from under the skin to give an aesthetic, smooth contour improvement to the body regions treated.
Most people think of liposuction as a way to make an area of the body smaller. The old adage, "if you can pinch it, you can liposuction it" is indeed true. But, what is really important for a good surgeon to keep in mind is how much to suction, where not to suction, when to be more aggressive, and perhaps even when to add fat to an area of deficiency. I will talk about different parts of the body and how they can be enhanced beyond simply reducing the fat content of that area.
The abdomen is the most common area of the body to be treated with liposuction. Great reductions of fat can be achieved with remarkable improvements in contour. A new linea alba (line in the middle of the "six pack area") can also be created using advanced techniques in the hands of a skilled plastic surgeon. More aggressive suctioning of the sides and flanks can also be added to bring in the waist line.
One of my favorite areas to liposuction are the thighs. As expected, reduction in "saddle bags" on the sides of the thighs can greatly enhance shape, but careful treatment of the back of the thighs can yield a more lifted appearance and reduction of the buttock area. This is increasingly important as we see more and more women desiring improvement in the shape of their butttocks. I have been using these techniques for years with excellent results.
I love the "brazilian butt lift" because it provides a way to augment the buttock without use of an implant. This procedure involves aggressive liposuction of the back, sides, and thighs with fat injection of the patient's own fat into the gluteus maximus muscles to volumize and lift the buttock. The results have been fabulous.
Face and neck liposuction for the right candidate gives a nice reduction of volume of the cheeks and under the chin with improvement of the jawline definition. After the fat is removed, skin retraction under the chin draws the skin up to tighten this area. This technique can be all that is needed for a young person who has just a small fat excess under the chin but doesn't need a facelift and can be done with minimal anesthesia.
We have talked about a number of fine-tuning concepts in liposuction that can give unexpected, excellent results. To get this kind of quality, however, liposuction must be performed by a properly trained plastic surgeon with the experience to provide results that go well beyond simple fat removal.