The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the US, liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat that has not responded to diet and exercise from areas such as the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks, neck and upper arms. Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used, and the procedure can last anywhere from one to five hours depending on the amount of fat being removed.
There are several different methods surgeons use when performing liposuction, including ultrasound-assisted lipectomy (UAL) and suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL). In both types, fluid is injected into the area to be treated. Then a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible, and a cannula (small tube) breaks up the fat layer and suctions it out.