Abdominal Liposuction: Surgical Fat Removal


Abdominal liposuction is used when a woman wants to get rid of the stub burn fat around her waist. Newer liposuction techniques, such as tumescent liposuction, result in less bruising, swelling, and a faster recovery than older traditional liposuction methods. The other liposuction technique, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, removes fat through ultrasound rather than mechanical action. This procedure is preferred in certain areas of the body, including the posterior hip, the back, and the male and female breasts. It is also commonly used in traditional areas such as the thighs and abdomen.

Liposuction is particularly beneficial for women who are of normal weight but have isolated pockets of fat that make certain areas of their bodies appear disproportionate. These localized fat deposits could be an inherited trait that is unresponsive to diet or exercise. Liposuction can be performed at almost any age, but the best results will be obtained if your skin still has enough elasticity to achieve a smooth contour following fat removal. When skin is inelastic, as in some elderly patients, it may not reshape well, necessitating a skin tightening procedure.


If a woman wants a tighter, smoother, flatter abdomen, she can combine liposuction with a tummy tuck.

How is abdominal tumescent liposuction performed?

Tumescent liposuction is a cutting-edge technique that involves filling the fatty layer of skin with a diluted solution of local anesthesia and other medications before removing excess fat. The liquid causes the fat compartments to swell and firm up, causing them to “tumesce.” The use of tumescent liposuction allows dermatologic surgeons to safely and efficiently remove both deep and superficial excess fat layers with little discomfort, faster healing, and better cosmetic results.

Because blood loss is minimized during tumescent liposuction, the technique reduces the likelihood that a blood transfusion will be required.

  • Tumescent liposuction does not necessitate the use of a general anesthetic. A saline solution containing a local anesthetic is injected into the desired fat deposits. This numbs the treatment area.
  • The incisions are very small and placed strategically across the abdomen. The targeted layer of fat is then injected with a tumescent solution containing lidocaine, epinephrine, and intravenous fluid. This solution contains saline to prevent dehydration, a local anesthetic to numb the area, a bleeding medication, and a cortisone to control inflammation. The fat becomes swollen, firm, and blanched as the liquid enters it. The tumescent areas are then treated with liposuction.
  • Through the incisions, a very small suction cannula is inserted into the tumescent fatty layer of the abdomen. Using a back and forth motion, the surgeon crisscrosses the abdomen with a cannula, creating a number of tunnels in the fat. The cannula is connected to a suction apparatus, which draws fat from beneath the skin as the tunnels are formed. The amount of fat that can be removed is determined by the number of tunnels created.
  • After achieving a satisfactory abdominal contour, the incision sites are covered with absorbent pads and held in place with a pressure garment. Some doctors layer a second garment over the first to apply additional pressure. The incisions are not sutured to allow the remaining solution to drain into the pads. This reduces swelling, bruising, and soreness. Approximately 80% of the solution is absorbed by the body and excreted in the urine. The remaining 20% is either sucked out with the fat or drained through tiny incisions.
  • The pressure garment is required to be worn for a minimum of four days. Wearing the garment for an extended period of time reduces swelling faster but has no effect on the procedure’s overall outcome.

Women with large areas of excess fat may also benefit from tumescent liposuction.

Is tumescent liposuction of the abdomen painful?

The anesthetic in the tumescent solution numbs the area to be treated, resulting in minimal or no pain during the procedure. There is no need for a general anesthetic or a hospital stay.

Most patients do not experience significant soreness for 6 to 18 hours after the procedure because of the residual local anesthetic and mild cortisone left in the tissue. For up to 5 days after the surgery, an aching sensation similar to that felt in the muscles after strenuous exercise may be felt. Tylenol and other analgesics help to alleviate this temporary discomfort.

What can I expect from tumescent liposuction?

It is normal to experience swelling, inflammation, and soreness. The more fat that has been removed, the longer the post-operative swelling and discomfort will last.

During the healing process, temporary subcutaneous lumpiness and firmness are also common. This could last anywhere from 2 to 6 months.

Bruising is usually minimal with the tumescent technique because the saline solution contains a medication called epinephrine, which reduces bleeding. Any bruising that occurs usually fades away after 10 to 15 days.

When will you notice a difference?

One week after surgery, approximately 90% of patients can see at least some improvement in their silhouette. However, due to the slow resolution of post-operative swelling, the final results of tumescent liposuction are achieved in 12 to 24 weeks.

What are the limitations of liposuction and what are the alternatives?

Liposuction is not a weight-loss or weight-control procedure. It is a procedure used to remove localized fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. Prior to the procedure, a patient’s weight should be stable for 6 months. Additional weight loss after the procedure will only improve the results. A regular exercise program will tone the underlying muscles and improve the surgical contouring results.

You can help to maintain your slimmer or leaner physique by eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis.

Liposuction is a technique for removing subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin). Many women have fat in both their abdominal cavities and beneath their skin. Liposuction can only remove fat beneath the skin. Diet and exercise are required to lose the remaining fat.

It is also critical for a woman to understand that removing subcutaneous fat from the abdomen may not result in a flat abdomen, particularly if the abdominal musculature is round. A regular regimen of abdominal muscle strengthening exercises will be required to achieve a flat abdomen. Scars, herniations, or muscular separation may cause some irregularity.

Extensive dieting is the only alternative to abdominal liposuction. Most people who have decided to have liposuction have tried and failed to lose abdominal fat through diet and exercise.

NOTE: While abdominal liposuction can help you lose fat, it should not be used in place of a healthy diet and regular exercise.


The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.

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