Liposuction: A Surgical Procedure

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3. Explain what is liposuction and its risk.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure intended to remove fat deposits and shape the body. Fat is removed from under the skin with the use of a vacuum-suction canula (a hollow pen-like instrument) or using an ultrasonic probe that emulsifies (breaks up into small pieces) the fat and then removes it with suction. Persons with localized fat may decide to have liposuction to remove fat from that area. Liposuction is a procedure for shaping the body and is not recommended for weight loss. Also, it will not remove cellulite or stretch marks.
Liposuction may be performed on the abdomen, hips, thighs, calves, arms, buttocks, back, neck, or face. A liposuction procedure may include more than one site, for
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These newer techniques include:
a) Tumescent liposuction
A local anaesthetic is used to numb the body area where the tube will be inserted. Next, a large amount of an anaesthetic solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the fatty tissue before traditional liposuction is done. Tumescent liposuction may not require general anaesthetic (which makes one sleep through the procedure).

b) Ultrasound-assisted liposuction
This technique uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat, which makes it easier to remove. This technique may be particularly helpful in removing fat from the upper abdomen, sides, and back.

c) Laser-assisted liposuction
This technique uses low-energy waves to liquefy the fat, which is then removed through a small canula.
Most patients are pleased with the outcome of the liposuction surgery. However, like any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. Some examples of risk being identified are as following:
a)
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It is possible to puncture or damage internal organs during liposuction. This may happen, for instance, the intestines are punctured during abdominal liposuction. When organs are damaged, surgery may be required to repair them. Visceral perforations may also be fatal.

d) Hematoma or Seroma
Bleeding into a closed space under the skin (hematoma), or the leakage of serum into closed space under the skin (seroma) can occur after liposuction. There is an increased risk of these types of complications associated with obesity, excessive liposuction with a large canula, and with ultrasonic assisted liposuction.

e) Nerve Compression and Changes in Sensation
Some patients may experience "paresthesias" which is an altered sensation at the site of the liposuction. This may either be in the form of an increased sensitivity (pain) in the area, or the loss of any feeling (numbness) in the area. If these changes in sensation persist for a long period of time for example weeks or months, the physician should be informed. In some cases, these changes in sensation may be permanent.

f) Swelling
Sometimes, swelling or edema may occur after liposuction. In some cases, swelling may persist for weeks or months after liposuction.

g) Skin Necrosis (skin

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