Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures conducted today. People with realistic expectations of the surgery are almost always very pleased with the results. Liposuction can leave you feeling more comfortable to wear a wider variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. Although it is not a substitute for dieting and exercise, the procedure can eliminate fat from areas of the body where traditional weight-loss methods have failed. By maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can keep your new shape for years to come.
During liposuction a small cannula (a hollow tube-shaped surgical tool) is placed deep into the fatty tissue beneath the skin. Suction is then applied until the required fat is removed. The key to success is ensuring that the fat under the skin is removed and remains smooth between the outer layers of skin. The Tumescent procedure is the most common method used as it involves the infiltration of saline in to the fat prior to extraction. This solution usually contains local anaesthetic and a constrictive agent which combine to loosen the fat, shrink the blood vessels and anaesthetize the area. This enables the surgeon to remove fat more easily and with less pain and bruising.
Liposculpture describes the technique of shaping the waist, hips and thighs to give a well proportioned shape.
Liposhaping refers to an all over removal of body fat to reduce overall size.
Lipostructure is the method of using small amounts of extracted body fat to re-shape the facial contour.
Lipobuilding is the technique of using larger amounts of extracted body fat to increase the breast size or expand body contours.
Superficial Liposuction creates skin shrinkage by removing the fat directly under the skin.
Tridimentional Liposuction combines extraction of all 3 levels of fat to shape and lift the body and shrink the skin.
Liposuction can be performed on almost all areas of the body. The most common areas are the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin and cheek, male chests, female breasts, knees, calves and ankles. The fat removed can be transferred to fill or enhance facial or body contours in other areas if necessary.
The time taken to perform liposuction can vary greatly depending on the amount of fat to be removed. The amount of fat extracted from a small area can be from 500ml and increase to 7 litres for total body shaping. It is considered unwise to remove more than 7 litres in one procedure as the body can go into shock.
Local or General anaesthesia – depending on your particular procedure and your comfort level.
Your surgeon will give you a consultation in which he or she will assess your general health and which areas of the body have fat deposits that can be treated with liposuction. It is possible that the surgeon may decide that, for example, an abdominoplasty, or a ‘tummy tuck’, may in fact be more suitable to your needs. Your surgeon will direct you on preparation for surgery. You will be given instructions on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed. Patients that suffer from hypertension must inform the surgeon prior to surgery. To eliminate the chance of post op. bleeding you should avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin or brufen for two weeks prior to surgery.
After surgery the area is covered with a compression garment designed to hold the body in shape whilst the remaining fat compresses into the new contour. This garment is worn day and night for approximately 2 months, but may be taken off for a short time daily for a shower or bath.
Following the procedure you may feel some discomfort as there may be some swelling, bruising and stiffness.
Discomfort due to surgery is temporary and most people go back to work within 1 week.
Bruising is not uncommon and will be seen in the first few days after surgery, but will gradually disappear in a week or two. Waving skin is rare and is uncommon. Scarring is minimal. An approximately a 1 cm incision is made where required which will gradually fade and become unnoticeable in time.
There is a greater risk from liposuction for people who have medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or poor blood circulation, and for people who have recently had surgery near the area to be treated.
You will see a noticeable difference in the contour of your body quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become evident gradually as the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible within the next 6 months. After your procedure you could expect to reduce 1 garment size, however, this is not a weight reduction technique. Liposuction is designed to create a better body shape.
The best candidates for liposuction are people of a normal weight, who have firm, elastic skin, and excess fat limited to certain areas. Age is not a major factor, however the elasticity of the skin is not usually as great in older patients and consequently the results achieved may not be as good as younger patients with tighter skin.