Liposuction is a surgical procedure meant to get rid of stubborn fat deposits, but a misconception among a lot of patients is that it isconsidered as a modality for weight loss. A patient is an ideal candidate for liposuction if in spite of a healthy balanced nutritious dietand a regular exercise program, a person does not lose excess fat on specific areas of the body. A basic knowledge of the procedure is this imperative to know about its uses, benefits and limitations.
Fat cells also known as adipose tissue, is an essential component of the body and is distributed throughout the body. There are broadly two types of adipose tissue in the body- Brown adipose Tissue (BAT) and White adipose Tissue (WAT). Brown adipose tissue (BAT), is specialized in heat production, and functions mainly in the first years of life, though recent research also shows its presence in adults as well. WAT is the most abundant adipose tissue in humans and is used as a storage medium of fats in the body. Its distribution in the body is either visceral, that is around the internal organs, or Subcutaneous that is beneath the skin. The procedure of liposuction targets the Subcutaneous layer of adipose tissue. This layer of fat also has importance in the normal metabolic functions of the body, thus the importance of leaving some amount of Subcutaneous fat during the procedure.
Patients with an imbalance in energy imbalance, that is consumption >burning, there is excessive adipocyte growth in size (hypertrophy) and multiplication (hyperplasia). Liposuction results in a decrease in the number of adipose cells (taking care of the hyperplasia component),but the remaining cells may increase in size(Hypertrophy) if the energy imbalance continues even after the procedure; thus the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle after the procedure. This is the cause of so-called “failure” of surgery in some patients.
Liposuction, simply described, is a process of infiltration of a solution to emulsify/liquify the fat and suction it out from the body. A number of techniques may be employed for these steps such as suction assisted liposuction, Laser assisted liposuction, Ultrasound assisted liposuction etc. but the basic procedure remains the same and suction assisted liposuction still being the favored technique at most centers.