Liposuction 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.
If you are wanting to get liposuction to shed weight or as a fat loss procedure – this is not the procedure for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Am I a good candidate for Liposuction?
To be a good candidate for liposuction, you must have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. It is important to understand that liposuction can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but it will not necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.
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.
2. What should I consider when planning for my surgery?
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and assess the condition of your skin. Your liposuction surgeon will explain the body-contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you. For example, if you believe you want liposuction in the abdominal area, you may learn that an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck surgery” may more effectively meet your goals, or that a combination of traditional liposuction would be the best choice for you.
Be frank in discussing your expectations with our surgeon and be assured that our surgeon will be equally frank with you, describing the procedure in detail and explaining its risks and limitations.
3. What should I consider when preparing for my surgery?
Our surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines 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.
4. What is the anaesthesia used with Liposuction?
Various types of anaesthesia can be used for liposuction procedures. Together, you and your surgeon will select the type of anaesthesia that provides the most safe and effective level of comfort for your surgery.
If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, liposuction can be performed under local anaesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. However, if you prefer, the local is usually used along with intravenous sedation to keep you more relaxed during the procedure. Regional anaesthesia can be a good choice for more extensive procedures. One type of regional anaesthesia is the epidural block, the same type of anaesthesia commonly used in childbirth.
However, some patients prefer general anaesthesia, particularly if a large volume of fat is being removed. If this is the case, an anaesthesiologist will be called in to make sure you are completely asleep during the procedure.
5. What happens in the surgery?
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 anaesthesia and the technique used.
There are several liposuction techniques that can be used to improve the ease of the procedure and to enhance outcome.
Liposuction is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to re-contour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum 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, our surgeon will then move on to the next area, working to keep the incisions as inconspicuous as possible.
Fluid is lost along with the fat, and it is crucial that this fluid be replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. For this reason, patients need to be carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery.
6. What happens after my surgery?
After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. Occasionally, a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Our surgeon may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Do not expect to look or feel great right after surgery. Even though the newer techniques are believed to reduce some post-operative discomforts, you may still experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding and temporary numbness. Pain can be controlled with medications prescribed by our surgeon, though you may still feel stiff and sore for a few days.
7. How long before I get back to feeling normal?
Healing is a gradual process. Our surgeon will probably tell you to start walking around 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 about a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed or dissolve on their own within the first week to 10 days.
Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.
Our surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and to see if any additional procedures are needed.
8. What will be my new look?
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 be visible.
If your expectations are realistic, you will probably be very pleased with the results of your surgery. You may find that you are more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. And, by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
9. How much does it costs?
Please keep in mind not all patients are alike and some will require a slightly different operation than others. Rest assured, you will receive a specific price quotation during your consultation visit. Our staff are always happy to discuss these matters with you in more detail.