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Liposuction is perhaps one of the most famous procedures in plastic surgery. It works by removing fat pockets from areas that are beyond the reach of diet and exercise. It is important to point out that it’s not a method for weight loss and could in no way substitute diet and exercise. Actually, the patients that favor the most from this procedure are those who have a normal weight, and a firm and elastic skin, but who despite their efforts still have fat pockets in certain areas. The areas most treated by liposuction are the abdomen, the hips, the buttocks, the knees, the neck, the upper arms and male breasts. Liposuction is performed with a tube called a cannula that is inserted through minimal incisions on the skin. A special suction device is connected to the cannula and the fat is removed from the body. The procedure can last between 1 and 3 hours depending on the size of the areas to be treated. In regards to anesthesia, the decision of which to use depends on the patient’s and surgeon’s preference as well as the extension of the surgery. After the procedure, the patient must wear compressive bandages or elastic clothing, 24 hours a day for 2 weeks, and then for another 4 to 6 weeks in a less regular fashion. This is done in order to minimize swelling and to aid the body adapt to its new shape. When the procedure is minimal, patients may go back to work in one to two days. However, when the liposuction covers greater areas, patients may go back to their routines in 3 to 4 weeks. The results from this surgery are permanent as long as the patient maintains a stable weight.
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