Mini liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure used by plastic surgeons to treat patients who are already close to their optimal weight and body shape but still have one or two small pockets of stubborn fat, despite exercise and diet. Mini liposuction is similar to regular liposuction in terms of the incisions and the extraction of fat. However, the duration of the surgery is much shorter and can be done in a few minutes under local anesthesia. Mini liposuction uses a much thinner cannula to remove fat because the target area is smaller. Therefore, patients can expect minimal bruising and shorter recovery time.
Am I a suitable candidate for mini liposuction?
Patients with the following conditions may benefit from mini liposuction:
- Patients who are already skinny but have some inconsistency in their inner thighs, outer thighs, flanks, hips, or arms.
- Patients who suffer from stubborn fat in areas too small to get regular liposuction, such as the chin, elbows, calves, and knees.
- Adult patients with good skin elasticity.
- Any patient who is close to their ideal weight and is in good health.
How is it done?
Mini liposuction is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The surgeon will prepare the treatment area for surgery and inject it with tumescent fluid, which is a mixture of lidocaine, epinephrine, and a saline solution. Lidocaine numbs the treatment area to prevent discomfort. Epinephrine constricts blood vessels to reduce bleeding and bruising while the saline solution causes tissues to swell to facilitate fat removal. The surgeon makes tiny incisions through the skin to insert the cannula and moves it back and forth to break up the fat cells suctioned out through the holes in the cannula. Since the patient is awake, they can roll over or reposition their body to allow the surgeon to sculpt the area as needed. The incisions are usually so small that no sutures are needed. However, surgical tape or bandages will be wrapped around the wound.
Downtime and recovery
Since the procedure is done under local anesthesia, the recovery time is minimal. Patients can get up and walk shortly after the procedure, but it is recommended that they have a friend or family member to drive them home because they may experience some discomfort after treatment. The treated area may remain numb for the rest of the day, which can help reduce discomfort after the procedure. Patients can expect some swelling and slight bruising during the first few days. A compression garment will be wrapped around the treated area to help reduce swelling. This garment must be worn 24 hours a day for 10 to 14 days.
As for downtime, some patients take two or three days off, while other patients resume work and light exercises the day after the procedure. There are no restrictions on exercises or activities as long as the patient can do them comfortably.
Mini liposuction provides relatively immediate results. Patients can notice a reduction in fat and an improvement in the contour of the treated area, but it may not be evident in some cases due to the swelling, which will resolve in about a month. The final results of mini liposuction can take between 3 and 6 months as the skin takes time to contract. Any fat that has not been suctioned will be naturally eliminated from the body naturally, over time. It may take a year for the incision mark to fade entirely. However, the scar is so small that it is almost invisible. The effects of mini liposuction are permanent because the suctioned fat can never return. However, adjacent fat cells can become larger if the patient did not maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The limitations of mini liposuction include:
- It is only suitable for patients who need to target small areas of stored fat
- It is not suitable for large areas such as the torso or areas that contain large amounts of fat