Liposuction has been a popular cosmetic surgery procedure for many years. It consistently ranks among the top five cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. However, unlike the other four procedures that target a specific area of the body – eyelids, face, nose and breasts – liposuction is a much more versatile treatment and can be used on a wide variety of locations. Traditionally, the most frequently targeted areas for lipo were:
As the techniques for liposuction have been refined, cosmetic surgeons have added other sites to this list including the knees, lower face, neck and arms. As patients see the smoother contours that result from lipo, they request even more refined sculpting of specific problem areas. Here are a few more places where stubborn fatty deposits are now removed with liposuction.
Sometimes, thick ankles are the result of heavy bone structure. At other times, swelling is the culprit. But there are women who simply store fat in the lower calf. It’s a genetic tendency and achieving the desired amount of tapering from calf to ankle simply isn’t possible even with calf muscle exercises. Cankle lipo slims down the ankle to provide that definition. This isn’t an area that usually features drooping skin, so liposuction alone is usually sufficient to achieve the desired results. Because the fatty deposits here are small, extra skill is required to avoid damaging the underlying tissue. Micro-cannulas and laser lipo may be recommended for sculpting this surprisingly delicate area.
Banana Roll Liposuction
Also called a “bleg” (the area where the buttock meets the upper leg), the banana roll is a particularly troublesome feature if you want to look good in a pair of fitted jeans. Perhaps we can blame the return of the “skinny jean” and the creation of “jeggings” for highlighting this problem zone. The banana roll is a tricky area to treat with liposuction. In some women, this roll of fatty tissue is actually providing support to the buttocks. If this fatty shelf is removed, the buttocks may begin to sag or look flatter. The crease where the buttocks meet the back of the thigh may appear to be lower than before. Some surgeons prefer to do superficial liposuction in this area to provide a little firming of the banana roll rather than trying to reduce it substantially. If the banana roll is drooping, a buttock lift may be the preferred approach.
Fanny Pack Liposuction
This is the endearing nickname for the lumbosacral fat pad, an area of fat just above the tailbone. Even if you don’t show off this part of your body regularly, it can affect how pants and skirts fit. Fortunately, this fairly isolated pocket of excess fat can be targeted with liposuction for a smoother back that doesn’t bulge above or below the waistband. If you have a tattoo in this area, be sure to discuss this with your plastic surgeon. You don’t want your body art distorted by the lipo procedure.
This acronym stands for Fat Upper Pubic Area. There are actually two different areas that may be referred to using this term. The first is the overhang of fatty tissue and excess skin on the lower abdomen. This is called a panniculus or apron. The other is the pubis mons, which is the triangle of fatty tissue on the groin area between the thighs and below the belly. Both of these areas may retain fat after substantial weight loss or as a result of pregnancy. With the pubis mons, the trend toward partial or complete removal of pubic hair shows the fat pad in this area more clearly even in women of healthy weight.
The panniculus may be treated with liposuction, but it often requires a procedure called a panniculectomy to remove excess skin as well. The pubis mons can technically be treated with liposuction; however, great care must be exercised not to damage any nerves. Changes in sensation, including numbness, are a normal side effect of lipo. These changes may resolve over time, or they may be permanent.
Sweat Gland Liposuction
This is the most unusual procedure of the bunch. It isn’t actually designed to remove fat at all. Instead, the surgeon targets sweat glands in the armpit. This technique offers relief for patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. The incision is made in the armpit crease and a cannula is used to scrape the undersurface of the skin to damage the apocrine sweat glands.
The apocrine glands are the sweat glands that secrete oily sweat (especially when a person is stressed). It is this sweat that is typically associated with body odor because it serves as food for bacteria on the skin. The eccrine glands in the upper layers of the skin produce sweat that is mostly water. This sweat is designed to cool the body. The eccrine glands are not substantially disrupted by liposuction. So, the treatment doesn’t stop perspiration completely, but it does help normalize the amount of sweat produced and may help control body odor.