Liposuction is defined as the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow stainless steel tube (called a cannula) with the assistance of a powerful vacuum. Liposuction can be accomplished either with the use of general anesthesia, or with heavy IV sedation, or totally by local anesthesia. This web site considers both the benefits and the potential dangers of local anesthesia and of systemic anesthesia.
The main purpose of liposuction is to reshape one or more areas of your body, not to reduce body weight. Liposuction is typically used on "problem" areas that have not responded well to diet and exercise. These areas are often on the outer thighs and hips on women and the waist and back on men. The face, neck, abdomen, back, buttocks, legs, and upper arms are all commonly treated areas.
Liposuction may also be used to treat certain medical conditions, including:
• Benign fatty tumors (lipomas)
• Abnormal enlargement of the male breasts (gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia).
• Problems with metabolism of fat in the body (lipodystrophy).
• Excessive sweating in the armpit area (axillary hyperhidrosis)