How Facial Liposuction Works
Facial liposuction has become quite sophisticated in recent decades. Basically it consists of injecting a thin tube into the area beneath the facial skin, and sucking out the fat. While this was effective, it often led to excessive bleeding and swelling, and occasionally to complications resulting in infection. Currently, the procedure is more apt to involve injecting a saline solution under the skin before the fat is actually sucked out. This solution contains several components, and performs several useful functions.
Injecting a saline solution under the skin makes removal of fat somewhat easier by firming up the area being worked upon. A pain reliever, usually Lidocaine, is included in the solution to lessen any pain that may be experienced during the procedure. Epinephrine, also is added to the solution, keeps blood loss low. In some instances ultrasonic waves are used to break up the fatty tissue, making it much easier to remove. The use of ultrasonic waves does carry with it a risk of burning tissue, potentially resulting in severe complications. Some surgeons will use the ultrasonic wave treatment effectively, others will not attempt it, and a few will attempt it but shouldn't. Use of ultrasonic waves is an area of potential risk.
Facial liposuction is basically an endoscopic procedure, and as is the case in most such procedures, the incisions made are quite small, and scarring is minimal. When fat is to be removed from the facial area, the incisions are normally made under the chin, in the neck, or in both places. Most surgeons will make the incisions where there are natural folds in the skin, so if any scarring does appear, it will not be highly noticeable.
Not A Weight Loss Procedure - The facial liposuction procedure does not usually take long, an hour being typical. We generally don't have a great deal of fat in our faces, so what needs to be removed, can usually be removed fairly quickly. All of the facial fat is not removed. If this were the case the patient would look like he or she were starving. The presence of facial fat helps define our appearance. People who are moderately overweight or simply have fat in places they would prefer not to, such as the jowls, can profit from facial liposuction. Overly obese persons usually will not profit from the procedure. Unless an extremely obese person undergoes a program of weight loss, the fat will simply return. For most patients, the fat will not return unless the person adds a great deal of weight.
What To Expect Afterwards - If you undergo facial liposuction, you can expect some bruising, swelling, and perhaps some soreness. This varies from person to person. Very few experience severe pain during recovery, but pain medication is normally prescribed to keep everything under control. A facial mask or support may be needed part of the time for the first few days to help the healing process along. Healing usually takes about a week, and a patient will be advised to take it easy during that time. Bruising and swelling may last up to two weeks, but this also varies from individual to individual. Anticipated results should not be expected immediately. It may take anywhere from a month to three months for the face to assume its anticipated and hoped for appearance. Within two weeks however, most patients should be able to confidently face the world.
Risks - The risks associated with facial liposuction are not a great deal different than those associated with other surgical procedures. Infection is always an area of risk. Dead fatty tissue may remain behind in the area, though will normally not cause a problem. If there is any other dead tissue left behind as a result of the procedure, infection could set in. The other risk is one of a blood clot, though as noted before, the use of Epinephrine in the injected solution should keep blood loss to a minimum. Facial liposuction is generally considered to be a safe procedure.