Mini liposuction is an alternative to regular liposuction that involves performing liposuction on only a small, concentrated portion of the body. The procedure is less complicated and usually much less expensive than traditional liposuction and is used for ridding the body of small amounts of fat in trouble spots that have not responded well to weight loss or exercise. The surgery can help a patient appear more symmetrical or proportionate.
Good candidates for mini liposuction are patients who are close to a normal weight, because the surgery removes only a small amount of fat. Whereas traditional liposuction treats large-scale problem areas, such as the stomach or gluteus, mini liposuction is performed on small surface areas such as the chin, knees or armpits, or sometimes the chest area in men. Often, excess fat in these areas is not overly noticeable but is removed through mini liposuction to help perfect the appearance of the patient or improve confidence about these areas.
Liposuction typically involves full anesthesia. Mini liposuction often requires only local anesthesia, making it a less-invasive procedure than regular liposuction. Smaller surgical instruments are used compared to regular liposuction, and the amount of fat removed is usually 3 pounds (1.4 kg) or less. This procedure is not invasive, so bruising and swelling afterward is typically minimal.
Mini liposuction typically takes about one hour to perform. The surgery is done using a very small cannula inserted into the area of treatment to suck out excess fat. The procedure does not require a long recovery period, and the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients can return to work and regular activity — even exercise — soon after receiving the treatment.
Risks of mini liposuction are minimal and are less than that of regular liposuction. Common risks include excessive swelling or bleeding. Serious health complications are extremely rare. Excessive amounts of fat are not being removed from the body, so mini liposuction patients do not experience the skin surface irregularities often seen after large-scale liposuction.
The mini liposuction procedure first became popular in the mid-2000s. There are many plastic surgeons capable of performing the procedure. Patients should schedule an initial consultation with a surgeon to ensure that they a good candidates for mini liposuction before undergoing the procedure.