Plastic Surgery | Dr. Enrique Etxeberria, Plastic Surgery in Bilbao


Plastic Surgery - Liposuction - Abdomen


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Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures. Often, localised deposits of fat can develop in various regions of the body. These regions generally persist despite a good diet and exercise, which contributes to the disproportionate appearance of the figure. Liposuction removes excess adipose tissue, providing new shape to the corporal contours and creating a slimmer appearance. Liposuction can be performed alone, but it can also be undertaken with other procedures such as stomach surgery or abdominoplasty. Liposuction is not an effective treatment for cellulitis or obesity. People who are considering undergoing liposuction must be healthy and be in relatively good physical condition, have firm and elastic skin and good muscle tone, and be within 30% of their ideal weight range.


Although there are various different liposuction techniques, the tumescent technique is the most common type of liposuction procedure. Prior to removing the fat, tumescent fluid is injected into the treatment area through a hollow device called a cannula. This solution, which consists of saline solution, lidocaine and epinephrine, helps to numb the treatment area, control bleeding and facilitate the removal of fat.


The surgeon will insert the liposuction cannula in the layer of fat below the skin. With backwards and forwards movements, the surgeon will use the cannula to weaken and break up the adipose tissue in the area. To remove the fat a suction device is used, such as a surgical aspirator connected to the end of the cannula. In some cases, the fat can be manually removed using a syringe connected to the cannula. After the procedure, it is most likely that the incisions will be closed with stitches, although some are so small that they can heal without stitches.


Just as with any surgical procedure, you may experience some pain, swelling and bruising after the liposuction procedure.  Your doctor may suggest the use of a compression bandage for two to six weeks, which will be an important part of the recovery process.  The compression bandage is tight and keeps the tissues joined together, whilst providing comfort and support during the cicatrisation period.  It controls swelling, thereby avoiding the accumulation of fluid in the treatment area, and also helps the skin to adapt to the new corporal contours.

You can probably return to work after a few days and return to your everyday activities within approximately one to two weeks. You will be able to see an improvement in appearance very shortly after surgery.  And you will see even greater improvement after four to six weeks, as the swelling disappears.  The final results will probably become apparent after approximately three months.  Although during this procedure the fat cells are permanently removed from the treatment area, it is important to know that liposuction does not avoid weight gain. To maintain the results of the procedure, it is important to follow a healthy diet and an exercise routine.