There are several variations on liposuction surgery, which include 'wet' techniques that introduce fluids into the tissue before the operation, and those that use high-frequency sound waves to help break up fat. However, the basic procedure is the same. The surgeon marks the areas to be treated and administers anesthesia. General anesthesia may be used in large operations or in traditional liposuction. The 'wet' methods include a local anesthetic in the solution that's used to expand the tissues and may not require additional anesthesia. Once the patient is prepped, the doctor makes incisions through which a hollow instrument called a cannula (CAN-yuh-luh) is inserted. The cannula is worked back and forth through the tissues, creating 'tunnels' in the fat and suctioning out fat cells. The degree to which the doctor can guide the cannula is influenced by the instrument's size. Smaller, more flexible cannulae (KAN-yuh-lay) typically allow for more precise maneuvering inside the body. After sufficient fat has been withdrawn, the incisions are closed and covered with a sterile dressing. You can expect some bruising and swelling, which tends to fade gradually, and you may have to wear a compression garment under your clothing to reduce swelling and encourage a smoother contour.