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Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia

Liposuction or lipoplasty is a surgical procedure carried out to remove excess fat by using high-pressure suction technology. It is a commonly performed procedure around the world, used by both men and women to get rid of stubborn fat. If you are looking for options for body sculpting, liposuction may just be the right choice for you. Keep reading to know more about the procedure, how it is performed and whether or not you are a suitable candidate for it.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed on certain areas such as the back, arms, hips, belly, thighs, buttocks, and under the chin or face to enhance and improve the appearance by eliminating extra fat. It can be a standalone procedure or can also be combined with other plastic surgeries, including a facelift, or breast reduction. The purpose of liposuction is to target limited areas of fat, resistant to dietary modifications and exercise.

Liposuction can be performed under local or general anesthesia and has many types that use different techniques. Tumescent liposuction is the most commonly used method. It can be safely performed on large areas such as the belly and buttocks under the influence of local anesthesia thus eliminating side effects associated with general anesthesia.

In simpler terms, the procedure involves making small incisions in the target area and sucking the fat cells out by using a special device. It is done under the influence of an anesthetic agent.

Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia

Since liposuction is a surgical procedure, the patient must be under the influence of an anesthetic agent. Local anesthesia is preferred for liposuction for a number of reasons including the elimination of risks associated with general anesthesia. Unlike general anesthesia, it does not make the patient unconscious. Instead, the patients stay wide awake during the procedure, and yet they are unable to feel any pain or discomfort. Following are some more reasons why local anesthesia is preferred over a general one whenever feasible.

  • Local anesthetic agents are way safer because they do not produce a systematic effect inside the body since they are limited to a body part.
  • The patient does not have to be sedated, so their respiratory and circulatory responses remain unchanged and do not require monitoring.
  • There's no need to have an empty stomach while liposuction is being performed.
  • Local anesthesia costs less and also cuts the time of the procedure short.
  • Most importantly, local anesthesia promotes faster recovery.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?

Generally, a good candidate for liposuction is someone having the following attributes.

  • Someone with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 is considered ideal for liposuction.
  • Someone having a weight loss goal between 20-30 pounds, depending upon their body weight.
  • Anyone not suffering from a life-threatening sickness or other medical condition that may hinder their ability to recover. Candidates with better health have firm and elastic skin with good muscle tone. It is generally not recommended for people with heart diseases, diabetes, or a weak immune system.
  • Non-smokers tend to have a faster recovery.
  • Those with fat deposition in certain areas like arms, abdomen, thighs, and neck.

People who want to lose weight but do not know where to start may use the treatment to inspire them to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Self-confidence is significantly improved by seeing positive changes in the body. It may also help overcome long-standing mental blocks that hold one back from achieving a better body.

However, if you are one of the following people, Liposuction is not for you.

  • Cellulite is your main concern. Liposuction does not treat cellulite.
  • You have a lot of weight on your shoulders or hips. Because Liposuction is not an effective weight-loss treatment, some people might believe it is.
  • Any illness, disease, or infection that may hinder your ability to recover.
  • Your skin has low elasticity and is unable to stretch.

Candidates undergoing Liposuction should not be obese but instead, have a problem region and a desire to alter their appearance. If you have fat deposition in certain parts of your body as mentioned earlier, that is where you'll want to focus your efforts. In addition, Liposuction may be used to address age-related facial and neck concerns.

How Is Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia Carried Out?

Liposuction does not involve many complications since the procedure is fairly simple. However, some people may opt for a complete medical makeover of their bodies by combining liposuction with other cosmetic surgeries such as breast enhancement or butt lift. Either way, the purpose and the procedure of liposuction stay the same.

The general steps for liposuction under local anesthesia include the following:

Step 1 – Marking the Target Area

Before the surgery starts, your surgeon will mark the targeted area. It helps with being more efficient and accurate with the procedure.

Step 2 – Anesthesia Administration

After the site has been marked, a local anesthetic agent is administered. Lidocaine is the most commonly used anesthetic agent in liposuction under local anesthesia. It ensures that no pain or discomfort is felt during the procedure.

Step 3 – Making Incisions and Fat Removal

The liposuction device is inserted into the target area via small incisions made in the skin. The surgeon creates small cuts into your skin and injects a cannula or thin hollow tube under your skin, and rotates it in the back-and-forth motion. Each incision is roughly the width of a pinkie fingernail. The treatment area and the ease with which fat can be removed from a certain area will determine how many incisions may be required. The cannula used is connected to a vacuum that loosens fat from the body and then suctions it out.

However, since these incisions are very small, barely any scarring is visible after healing. Additionally, a natural skin wrinkle or fold is used wherever feasible to hide the incisions.

Liposuction – Before and After

  • Liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure in the conventional sense, so expectations should be realistic
  • Risk factors must be considered, there is also going to be some post-operative bruising and pain.
  • Following the procedure, improved body contours and removal of excess fat from the targeted area are the usual outcomes. These results can last infinitely given that a stable weight is maintained and a light workout routine is followed.
  • Naturally, the body loses its firmness and tone with age. These issues are improved postoperatively.
  • The changes are visible right after the surgery; however, the full extent will only be visible after the swelling subsides.
  • Scarring is minimal after liposuction so you do not have to worry about that.
  • Other proportions of the body also seem more prominent because of the selective removal of fat cells from the treated area.

What to Expect After the Procedure?

Appropriate post-operative care is also crucial to ensure a fast recovery and the best results. Just like after any other surgical procedure, some discomfort is normal as you recover.

  • The experience of pain may vary significantly from one individual to the other. For most people, it is as if they have got a big bruise where the treatment was done. It is usually not so bad that they cannot focus on anything else (reading, watching TV, walking, etc.). In most cases, this pain can be relieved by using over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Swelling of the surgical site is also common after the procedure and usually starts to subside by the end of the first week. Wearing a compression garment can help reduce the swelling. Some degree of swelling may last till four to six weeks postoperatively so wearing compression garments should be continued till then or as directed by the surgeon.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Liposuction


  • Permanent Elimination of Fat Cells

    Liposuction permanently eliminates fat cells, but those that remain may store fat and enlarge in size. A balanced diet, lots of water, and regular exercise will help you recuperate, maintain a healthy weight, and attain your ideal body shape when the swelling subsides.

  • Long Term Results

    The results with liposuction are permanent. However, it is important to eat healthily and follow an exercise routine to maintain your post-liposuction weight and figure.

  • Less Recovery Time

    Liposuction is a safe and effective procedure, with the added benefit of very short downtime, which means you do not have to miss work or any other activities for long.

  • Enhanced Muscle Tone

    Liposuction can help reveal muscle tone, usually hidden away behind a layer of stubborn fat. These regions can be sculpted via liposuction, removing the excess fat and making underlying muscle tone more visible.

  • Immediate Results

    The results with liposuction are immediate and fully visible once the swelling subsides.


Certain risks are associated with any surgical procedure, including cosmetic ones. If appropriate precautions are not taken during the surgery, the following complications can result.

  • Fat Embolism

    Fat embolism is the entry of fat droplets into the circulatory system, which may cause several complications.

  • Anemia
    Excessive blood loss, especially during large volume liposuction, may cause anemia which can easily be treated postoperatively.
  • Anesthesia Complications

    Possible side effects include delayed healing, scarring, and other abnormalities. However, these complications are more common with general anesthesia compared to local anesthesia.

The immediate post-surgical side effects may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Infection of the wound

Swelling may take anywhere from three to six months to diminish, allowing you to see the ultimate results

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are the Risks Associated with Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia?

The possible risks of liposuction under Local anesthesia include:

  • Insufficient anesthetic effect
  • Little or more pain
  • Temporary or permanent nerve damage
  • Kidney and heart problems
  • Infection on the local surgical site
How Long Does the Liposuction Procedure Take?

Generally, one liposuction surgical treatment is all that is required for most individuals to achieve their goals. Depending on the extent of the region to be treated, surgery might take anywhere from one to two hours. Outpatient surgery is the norm, so you should be able to leave the hospital the same day. A few days of recovery is typical.

After Liposuction, Does Fat Come Back?

Fat will not return if the patient maintains their "post-lipo weight," which they were at before the procedure. For example, someone that weighed 140 pounds pre-operatively, and had 8 pounds removed during liposuction, should maintain a weight of 132 pounds after the surgery.

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After After

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After After

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