Liposuction is among the more popular procedures done by a plastic surgeon. Liposuction is carried out as a single procedure or in combination with other surgical procedures. Some individuals refer to it as the 'keyhole' surgery for gynecomastia.
Liposuction has certain advantages over open or conventional surgery. These include small incisions, faster recovery, and less postoperative discomfort. Liposuction can be carried out both under general or local anesthesia. Doing liposuction under local anesthesia has certain benefits.
So, what are these benefits?
The important ones include,
Are there any differences in technique with liposuction under local anesthesia?
There are a few differences.
Firstly, the patient is awake, and the monitoring of the patient is simple. When done in an awake patient, it takes longer to complete the procedure. There are a few reasons for this. The initial infiltration of the anesthetic solution in the treatment areas is done in multiple steps and takes longer to complete. Also, we prefer the use of smaller cannulas for infiltration and fat aspiration (suction). We usually use cannulas of sizes 3 mm or below in an awake individual. Due to the smaller cannulas, the aspiration of fat takes more time to complete. Liposuction in the awake individual is more gentle.
Who is the right candidate for liposuction under local anesthesia?
Almost all candidates for the procedure under general anesthesia are also good candidates for the procedure to be carried out under local anesthesia. However, if the patient is very anxious or has a fear of needles they may not be a good candidate for local anesthesia alone. Such individuals would be better suited for general anesthesia.
To summarize liposuction, in awake patients has a better safety profile. It has the added benefits of a faster recovery, and this also makes it suitable as an outpatient procedure.
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I like to keep it simple.