Liposuction (sometimes called liposculpture) is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks, and neck. During the past decade, liposuction, which is also known as “lipoplasty” or “suction lipectomy,” has benefited from several new refinements. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
Are you a candidate?
The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations. Your age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.
Liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with medical problems such as diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.
What is the procedure?
The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia, and the technique used. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to suction the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump or a large syringe, depending on the surgeon’s preference. If many sites are being treated, your surgeon will then move on to the next area.
Will incisions be visible?
Incisions for liposuction are usually placed in inconspicuous areas and skin folds that become difficult to detect on your skin once healing is complete.
Are the effects permanent?
You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery; however, improvement will become even more apparent after about four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will emerge.
Can you undergo liposuction and other procedures simultaneously?
Liposuction is often performed alone or utilized to harvest fat to shape your Body or enhance your Facial Features. And it may also be performed in conjunction with Breast Augmentation to acentuate the shape of your breasts and your body silhouette.
What are the risks of liposuction?
Although rare, complications can and do occur. Risks increase if a greater number of areas are treated at the same time, or if the operative sites are larger in size. Removal of a large amount of fat and fluid may require longer operating times than may be required for smaller operations. The combination of these factors create greater hazards for infection; delays in healing; the formation of fat clots or blood clots, which may migrate to the lungs and cause death; excessive fluid loss, which can lead to shock or fluid accumulation that must be drained; friction burns or other damage to the skin or nerves or perforation injury to the vital organs; and unfavorable drug reactions.
How do you prepare for surgery?
You will receive specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking; and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets, and certain medications; and not smoking. If you develop a cold or any type of infection, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed.
Where is the procedure performed?
Liposuction may be performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, in an outpatient surgery center, or in a hospital. Smaller-volume liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis for reasons of cost and convenience. If a large volume of fat will be removed, a stay in a hospital or overnight nursing facility may be required.
What will the recovery period be like after surgery?
After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. This is normal . To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you will be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Liposuction may cause an ache-like pain that can be controlled with prescribed medications.
Healing is a gradual process. You will be instructed to start walking as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches will be removed or will dissolve on their own within the first week.
Strenuous activity should be avoided for approximately six weeks as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may persist for six months or more.