Liposuction – Body Fat Removal Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that can enhance the shape of the body by removing excess fat deposits. Other terms for liposuction are lipoplasty, suction lipectomy, liposculpture, or fat suction.
While liposuction may be performed alone, in many cases it is done in conjunction with other cosmetic surgery procedures, such as a tummy tuck, breast reduction, or facelift. Overall, it is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery for both men and women in the Pakistan.
Although the purpose of liposuction is to get rid of unwanted fat in the body, it is not a weight loss procedure and should not be thought of as an alternative to healthy eating and exercise. Many individuals who are healthy and in good physical condition may still have small pockets of unsightly fatty tissue that remain in certain body areas, often due to genetics. For individuals who are healthy and interested in sculpting their body’s contours into a more desirable proportions, liposuction is an option to consider.
Patient CriteriaThe ideal candidates for liposuction:Over 18 years of ageHave firm, elastic skin and good muscle toneHealthy individuals, who do not have a serious illness or medical condition which would impair healing, such as diabetesShould not be on antibiotics or anticoagulantsNon-smokersAbout the Liposuction ProcedureLiposuction is a surgical procedure that should only be performed by a plastic surgeon who has received special training and is experienced in liposuction techniques.
Choosing a qualified and skilled surgeon not only increases your safety, but improves the likelihood of a successful outcome. The procedure may be performed in an outpatient surgical center or hospital. During the liposuction procedure, fat is removed from the body through small incisions (less than 1″) using a thin hollow tube, called a cannula.
In order to confirm with the patient which areas will be treated, the surgeon will have the patient stand and will mark the relevant body locations before going into surgery. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat deposits in most body areas, including:Cheeks, chin, and neck Chest and back Upper arms Abdomen and waist Thighs, hips, and buttocks Inner knee, calves, and ankles Before the procedure begins, the patient is given medication to help control pain and discomfort. In all types of liposuction, either a local anesthesia or general anesthesia is used.
The most common anesthetic used is lidocaine. The patient may be hooked up to an IV fluid line in order to replace body fluids which are lost with fat removal and monitoring devices may be attached that keep track of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level. To begin, the skin is treated with a sterile solution at the treatment sites and small incisions are made for inserting the cannula.
A saline water solution is injected into the space between the muscle and fat tissue, in order to separate them. Then, to loosen the excess fat, the surgeon inserts the cannula through an incision and moving it back and forth with controlled motions.
Once the fat is loosened, a suction device is attached to the cannula and the excess fat is vacuumed out. During the procedure, it may be possible for the patient to feel a scraping sensation from the cannula movement. When the procedure is finished, compression garments or elastic bandages are placed over the treatment areas. They are used to keep swelling down and compress the skin to the new body contours.
Liposuction TechniquesLiposuction may be performed in any one of several various options. Different techniques have evolved over the years as doctor’s have worked on developing safer procedures and better results. The techniques differ by the amount of fluid injected into the treatment site and the method of loosening the fatty tissue before it is removed from the body.
In all methods, the liquefied fat is suctioned out by a vacuum pump. Some of the newest and most common techniques are tumescent liposuction, super-wet liposuction, and ultrasound-assisted liposuction (also called ultrasonic liposuction). During a consultation, the surgeon will determine which technique is best for a patient based on the individual’s personal situation.
Tumescent LiposuctionBefore excess fat is removed, treatment areas are injected with a diluted saline solution containing a local anesthetic (lidocaine) for numbing and a vasoconstrictor (epinephrine) for temporarily shrinking the capillaries and blood flowVolume of injected solution is roughly three to four times the volume of fat to be removedLarge amount of solution may affect body’s fluid balance Does not require general anesthetic, blood products, and intravenous fluidsRequires more time than traditional liposuction, but can provide smoother resultsSuper-Wet LiposuctionBefore excess fat is removed, treatment areas are injected with a diluted saline solution containing a local anesthetic (lidocaine) for numbing and a vasoconstrictor (epinephrine) for temporarily shrinking the capillaries and blood flow (reduces blood loss)Volume of injected solution is roughly the same amount as the volume of fat to be removedPreferred technique for high-volume liposuction as it better balances body’s fluid levelsMay require either intravenous sedation and local anesthetic, or general anesthesiaProcedure takes one to three hours, depending on the size of the treated area(s)Ultrasound-Assisted LiposuctionBefore excess fat is removed, a specialized cannula is used which emits ultrasonic vibrations (high frequency sound waves) that liquefies fat cellsGood choice for fibrous areas, such as the upper back or male breast areaSlightly less blood lossMay cause seromas (fluid pockets) which need to be drained with a needleMay cause necrosis (death of skin)Risk of heat injury or thermal burnLaser Liposuction (Laser Lipolysis)Two technologies available, marketed as SmartLipo and CoolLipoUse thermal energy to affect fat emulsification, gradual skin tightening, and preservation of delicate tissuesRecovery from LiposuctionLiposuction patients can usually get up, walk around, and go home the same day, although someone else should drive them home.
If general anesthesia is used, an overnight stay may be necessary. It generally takes anywhere from several days to several weeks before a patient will be able to resume normal activity, depending on the extent of the procedure.
Pain – may last up to two weeks, but can be managed with medicationSwelling – two weeks to two months to subsideBruising – few days to two weeks to fadeNumbness – may last for several weeksNon-absorbable sutures – removed after five to ten daysExcess fluid – can take days or weeks to drain outCompression garments or bandages – worn for two to four weeksInitial Results – may be seen in as little as two weeks, as swelling subsidesFinal Results – may take up to six weeks or six months, depending on healing progressBefore you go home, the surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for post-surgery care, including; how to care for the incisions, medications to take for pain and to prevent infection, when to schedule a follow-up appointment, and when to resume exercise and normal activity.
It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s post-surgery instructions to reduce complications and ensure a successful outcome. Risks of Liposuction Any surgical procedure involves some degree of risk, even with a skilled surgeon under the best of circumstances.
Before undergoing an elective cosmetic procedure such as liposuction, a patient should consider both the benefits and risks of surgery. Unexpected events, such as an infection or reaction to the anesthesia, are always a possibility.
Other possible complications of liposuction include:Damage to nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organsChange in skin sensationUneven contours, rippling, or loose skinScarring and skin discolorationPersistent pain or swellingBleeding (hematoma), blood clots, fat clotsExcessive fluid loss or fluid accumulationPoor healingPossibility of revisional surgeryCost of LiposuctionLiposuction can range from $2000 up to $8000 for one liposuction session, and as much as $12,000 to $20,000 for multiple sessions.
Depending on the doctor’s pricing structure, the cost may be based on volume of fat suctioned, the specific area suctioned, how many areas are suctioned, or how much time is spent suctioning the fatty tissue. As a general guideline, one can expect that the cost will go up as more fat is suctioned.
The cost of liposuction includes the following expenses; surgeon’s fee (which is determined by training, skill, experience, and geographical location), hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia, medications, compression garments, medical tests, follow-up appointments, and revisions.
Results It may take several months before the final results are reached, but as healing progresses you will begin to see the new contours of your body. If you continue to control your weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the results of liposuction will be long-lasting.