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Liposuction

Are There Other Treatment Options To Remove Excess Fat?

Last modified: 
19/04/2012 - 10:13

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

There are a number of options for surgically removing excess fat. A surgeon will choose the best technique for you depending on the amount and location of the fat and whether you also have excess skin.

Common fat-removal methods include:

  • Liposuction
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

Liposuction

As the name implies, liposuction uses suction to remove fat deposits. The suction is provided by a high-pressure vacuum pump or sometimes by a large syringe (needle). The suction pump is attached to a tube that the surgeon inserts into a small incision in the body. Fat cells are then suctioned out through the tube.

Nice To Know:

Liposuction is the preferred surgery for removing unwanted localized fat from certain body areas, such as the:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Thighs
  • Knees

Liposuction is also useful in treating other problem areas, such as:

  • Hips
  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction

A new liposuction technique uses ultrasound, or sound waves, to "dissolve" fat before it is suctioned out. Typically, doctors reserve ultrasound-assisted liposuction either to remove large volumes of fat or to remove fat from difficult areas, such as the back, flanks or from oversized breasts of men.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty, commonly called a "tummy tuck," is a method of removing fat from the abdomen (stomach region). If your abdomen has an excessive amount of skin and fat, a tummy tuck may be a better option for you than liposuction. Sometimes abdominoplasty is done in addition to liposuction.

This operation involves surgically removing excess skin and fat from the belly, and it may involve tightening the abdominal wall muscles as well. The end result is a flatter stomach.

For details about this procedure, go to Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty).

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.