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Every year, Americans get cosmetic surgery to help them look and perform at their best. In 2015 there were almost 16 million such procedures in the United States, which was an increase of 2% over the year before. The top procedures performed that year were breast augmentation and liposuction. If you’ve ever wondered about the liposuction procedure and whether it might be for you, read on for details about how a liposuction procedure is performed.

Who Gets Lipo?

Diet and exercise are the right way to get most weight loss done, but they cannot always get rid of the most stubborn fat. A liposuction procedure helps anyone get rid of that stubborn fat around the thighs, stomach, or hips in particular. Good candidates for liposuction should be at no more than 30% more than their ideal body weight.

What Happens First?

The first step to any liposuction procedure is meeting with a plastic surgeon. The doctor will discuss with you why and what you want to do. He or she will also be able to tell you if the goals you have in mind are achievable and give you details about what exactly a liposuction procedure can do for your body in particular. If the liposuction procedure is right for you, the surgeon will then help you schedule another more specific consultation as well as a time for your procedure.

How Should I Prepare?

It’s always a good idea to get someone to drive you to and from your liposuction procedure. Your surgeon will give you specifics about what not to eat or drink the night before, depending on what type of anesthesia is right for you and the specific liposuction procedure you have done. Upon arrival, you’ll be sedated. All that happens in the liposuction procedure is that the cosmetic surgeon makes an incision in the area you’re having reduced, inserts a cannula (a type of tube) that breaks up the fat in the area, and then uses a small vacuum tool to remove the fat.

What Happens After?

Liposuction recovery is normally straightforward and simple. The area where you had the liposuction procedure will be bandaged and wrapped up. There is normally a little pain and some swelling for a short time. This means the full effects of your liposuction procedure will not be immediately visible. As the swelling reduces, your new, slimmer self will gradually become more apparent.

If you’ve worked to lose weight and get fit but are struggling with stubborn body fat that refuses to go away, a liposuction procedure might be for you. Talk to a cosmetic surgeon near you and find out if you’re a category for this kind of procedure and what it can do for you.