Liposuction – How it Works, Benefits, Pre & Post-Surgery Tips
June 20, 2018 Written by Beautiphi - 0 Comments
Liposuction – is a surgical procedure to remove fat deposits from specific sites of the body – also called liposculpture or suction-assisted lipectomy.
Liposuction is not a way to lose weight. However, it may be an option for people who want to reduce bulges of fat that have resisted dieting and exercise. You can also have this procedure to reduce bulk and produce a more natural skin contour at the site of previous surgery or trauma.
Which areas of The Body can be treated under Liposuction –
You can liposuction almost any area listed below where there is excess fat.
- Face (to assist in facelifts)
- Gooseneck or double chin
- Upper arms, breasts
- Chest and back (men and women)
- Waist and abdomen (upper and lower)
- Buttocks and flanks (love handles) and hips
- Thighs (inner and outer)
- Knees, calves, and ankles.
It can also be used to remove large fatty tumours known as ‘lipomas’, and as part of other plastic surgery procedures, such as abdominoplasty (abdominal reduction) or reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction).
Liposuction does not improve cellulite (the dimpled appearance of the skin of the buttocks and thighs) or stretch marks (caused by rapid weight gain or pregnancy) as cellulite and stretch marks are not related to fat accumulation beneath the skin.
Costs for every person are different and the fees depend on the number of areas to be treated and the amount of fat to be removed.
Who are the ideal candidates for this procedure –
Individuals are poor candidates for liposuction if they weigh more than 15 kilograms above their medically defined “ideal body weight”.
The best candidates are at or near their ideal weight but have local fatty areas that do not get smaller with diet and exercise.
Liposuction may not be appropriate for people with large folds of skin that need to be surgically removed, for example, as in a tummy tuck, breast reduction, breast lift, or facelift.
Necessary Precautions to be taken before the Surgery –
We need a list of all medications prescribed by a doctor or bought over the counter without a prescription. Include medicines taken for longer-term treatments such as insulin, warfarin, and contraceptive pills.
- Do not take aspirin, unless discussed with your doctor in advance for urgent medical reasons.
- Do not take any other anti-inflammatories for two weeks before surgery.
- Fish, fish oil, spicy food and green tea are also known to increase your bleeding by thinning your blood and adding to bruising and bleeding complications during and after surgery.
- Do not take arnica, as this also can increase bruising.
- Stop smoking at least 2 weeks before surgery. Smoking increases the surgical and anaesthetic risk and impairs healing, so it is best to quit.
- Do not drink alcohol prior to surgery for at least 3 days – 2 weeks.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night.
How To Prepare for your Liposuction surgery –
Your Doctor needs to know your medical history to plan the best treatment. Fully disclose any health problems you may have had. Some may interfere with surgery, anaesthesia and aftercare.
Before surgery, tell the Doctor if you have had:
- An allergy or reaction to antibiotics, anaesthetic drugs, any other medicines, surgical tapes or dressings.
- Prolonged bleeding or excessive bruising when injured.
- Previous problems with blood clots in the legs or lungs.
- Recent or long-term illness.
- Psychological or psychiatric illness.
- Treatment for a hernia.
- Keloid scars or poor healing of scars after previous surgery.
During the procedure –
All procedures are performed using oral sedation and local anaesthesia. To decrease anxiety and discomfort an inhalation gas known as penthrox is available. Using the above anaesthetics, liposuction is performed with safety and with minimal discomfort. You are able to return home the same day.
The doctor will use a pen to mark you immediately before surgery to map out incision points and the direction of suction.
Blood loss and fluid loss limit the amount of fat that can be safely removed during any one session.
Things to Take Care of Post-procedure –
On the day of surgery – you remain in the rooms for at least an hour before going home.
Arrange for someone to pick you up. You will be given a mild sedative and will not be allowed to drive.
When at home rest completely for at least 24 hours.
The next day – have a shower in the morning. Go for a 10-minute gentle walk to ease the stiffness. Have another walk at the end of the day. Don’t overdo it, go jogging or work out at the gym for at least two weeks. If you do, this will cause more swelling and bruising.
Having a bath with half a cup of Epsom salts in it will ease the stiffness. Do this before bedtime, as the Epsom salts help to relax the muscles and can make you sleepy.
Take your medication: you will be sent home with medication to manage pain and swelling and to help you to sleep.
A compression garment is worn over the treated areas for up to six weeks depending on the amount of fat removed and the elasticity of the skin. This helps the body to conform to its new contour. It is not noticeable under clothing. Before you have a bath or shower, wash your garment, roll it tightly in a towel to remove excess moisture, and then put it in the clothes dryer. It will be dry by the time you are showered.
Although some bruising can be expected, the latest techniques, instrumentation and medication used minimises it considerably. Those patients who bruise very easily are uncommon and know in advance of their susceptibility.
Most people will have one or two days off work. Certain occupations are more strenuous and require special consideration. It is more prudent to take off more time than to return to work too quickly.
Results of Liposuction Surgery –
Weight loss may be minimal as fat weighs very little compared to muscle. You will simply become slimmer in the areas treated. You will not see the complete results for approximately 12 weeks.
Caution – Liposuction does not improve cellulite or stretch marks. Cellulite and stretch marks are not related to fat accumulation beneath the skin.
Risks Associated with Liposuction –
As with any major surgery, liposuction carries risks, such as bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. Possible complications specific to liposuction include:
- Contour irregularities – Your skin may appear bumpy, wavy or withered due to uneven fat removal, poor skin elasticity and unusual healing. These changes may be permanent. Damage beneath the skin from the thin tube (cannula) that are used during liposuction may give the skin a permanent spotted appearance.
- Fluid accumulation – Temporary pockets of fluid (seromas) can form under the skin. This fluid may need to be drained with a needle.
- Numbness – You may feel temporary or permanent numbness in the affected area. Temporary nerve irritation also is possible.
- Skin Infections – Skin infections are rare but possible. A severe skin infection may be life-threatening.
- Internal puncture – Rarely, a cannula that penetrates too deeply may puncture an internal organ. This may require emergency surgical repair.
- Fat embolism – Pieces of loosened fat may break away and become trapped in a blood vessel and gather in the lungs or travel to the brain. A fat embolism is a medical emergency.
- Kidney and heart problems – Shifts in fluid levels as fluids are being injected and suctioned out can cause potentially life-threatening kidney and heart problems.
The risk of complications increases if the surgeon is working on larger surfaces of your body or doing multiple procedures during the same operation. Talk to your surgeon about how these risks apply to you.
What is the Down Time –
Liposuction usually takes between 1-3 hours and is carried out under local anaesthesia in our rooms.
You will typically go home the same day after at least an hour at the rooms. Rarely, the procedure requires a hospital stay.
You will be given a mild sedative so you will not be allowed to drive.
When you are at home rest completely for 48 hours & Take panadol 4 hourly for 3 days.
Limitations of the Surgery –
- Your Doctor may recommend diet, exercise and other surgical procedures as ways of losing large amounts of weight before undertaking liposuction.
- Liposuction will not improve muscle tone. Removal of fat will not produce a flat abdomen or tight buttocks if the underlying muscles are weak. Your Doctor may recommend exercise to improve muscle tone.
- If the skin quality is poor and lacks elasticity, once the underlying fat is sucked out of the skin, it cannot retract to take up the slack, meaning the skin may hang in a redundant fold.
- If food intake is not controlled following liposuction, fat tissue at other sites in the body may increase in size, creating new unwanted bulges.
- Another limitation is judging the exact amount of fat to remove. If too little fat is removed, the bulge will remain (though will obviously be smaller). If too much fat is taken, a permanent dent will remain. It is fairly simple to go back and take a little more far away, but much harder to put fat back in. For this reason, the doctor will usually err on the side of caution and would much rather leave a little too much fat in than take too much away.
Best Doctor for Liposuction Treatment –
There are a couple of different techniques that Dr Taylor uses to perform a liposuction procedure – Dry Technique and Tumescent Technique.
Dr Taylor inserts the cannula through a small incision about one-half to one centimetre long. He moves the cannula back and forth through the fat layer to remove the fat tissue and create a series of tunnels at different depths and in different directions. After surgery, compression of the treated areas using an elastic compression garment or tape causes the tunnels to collapse, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.
Dr Taylor injects large quantities of fluid (up to three times the volume of the fat to be removed) into the fat layer through small incisions around the operation site. The fluid contains a salt solution, local anaesthesia and medicines to reduce localised bleeding. The fat layer expands as the fat cells swell with fluid. Dr Taylor inserts and manipulates the suction cannula, as in the Dry Technique. Tunnelling is easier through the swollen fat cells. Suction removes the fat tissue and most of the injected fluid. The rest of the injected fluid is absorbed by the body and is later excreted as urine.
As the Tumescent Technique reduces bruising and swelling, larger quantities of fat can be removed.
The local anaesthetic reduces pain and discomfort during the procedure and for several hours after surgery.
To Sum up –
Liposuction is not an operation to help you lose weight, so if you are overweight it is far better to lose weight by a combination of diet and exercise. However, some people find that despite losing weight, they are unable to shift certain deposits of fat, such as the “love handle” area, the thigh area, or the central tummy area. If having lost weight you still find certain areas are more “fatty”, then liposuction may help.
Will the fat come back? After puberty, we have a fixed number of fat cells (they increase in size when we put on weight and conversely shrink when we lose it). When fat cells are removed through liposuction we used to think that they could not return. We now know that fat cell numbers are able to increase again with sustained calorie excess.
Initially, if you have liposuction of your abdomen and you eat too much you will store fat in other areas, commonly upper arms and breast. If calorie excess is maintained then one may again deposit excess fat in the liposuction area, for example, the abdomen area.
CAUTION: Be very careful of your diet while recovering, as it is very easy to put weight back on while activity is restricted.