When there is a localized fat deposit in areas of the body, such as the flanks (“love handles”) or lateral thighs (“saddle bags”), and the skin quality is good, liposuction is very helpful to reduce these areas. Prior to suctioning the deep fat layer with a hollow metal tube like a straw (the cannula), the area is injected with a solution of local anesthetic and epinephrine to decrease bleeding and bruising (the tumescent technique.) The thickness of the fat layer is thinned and the area becomes more proportional to the surrounding desirable areas. Only small puncture wounds are needed to introduce the cannula, usually two per site and these are usually one suture closures. Compression using some type of garment is especially helpful to decrease swelling and is typically worn for a few weeks. The area may be numb for a few weeks after the procedure before the skin regains sensation. Discomfort is usually described as “aching” and fairly short lived and recovery is about two weeks in most cases. Results can be dramatic. Get some good basic information with this Liposuction for Women link or this Liposuction for Men link.
Liposuction can be performed in several areas of the body. Again, liposuction should be considered for areas that have a localized area of fat accumulation, i.e. if you are overweight, the solution is not liposuction, but weight loss with a diet and exercise program. A common area for liposuction is the neck, when the skin has good elasticity and can be expected to contract nicely when the fat is removed.