Liposuction (lipoplasty) is well-suited for those who are of
normal weight but have isolated pockets of fat that are resistant to
dieting. These pockets of fat may cause certain areas of their body to
appear disproportionate. Liposuction is often the only way to eliminate
them. Liposuction is more correctly called “liposculpture” as it is a
technique that helps contour certain fat deposits. It is not a form of
While it is possible to undergo liposuction at almost any age, you will obtain the best results if your skin still has enough elasticity to achieve a smooth contour following fat removal. When skin is inelastic, as in some older patients, it may not redrape well and a skin tightening procedure may be necessary. Liposuction is commonly used together with skin tightening procedures to achieve the best results.
In general, liposuction surgery will reduce those areas of fatty deposits that previously created unflattering bulges and perhaps made it difficult to feel comfortable in your clothing or caused self-consciousness.
Your medical history is important such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or previous surgeries, medical treatments and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
How much you currently weigh and whether you plan to lose or gain weight in the future will be factors in evaluating you for liposuction.
The results of liposuction will be permanent, as long as you maintain your postoperative weight. If you do however gain weight, it will be distributed more evenly and not be concentrated in the area that was problematic in the past.
Occasionally, a touchup may be desired to further improve an area that has been suctioned.
You may be a good candidate for liposuction if you have localized excess fat or if you desire contouring in any of the following areas:
cheeks, jowls and neck
breast or chest areas
abdomen and waist
hips and buttocks
inner and outer thighs
calves and ankles
Liposuction may sometimes be used to treat a condition called gyneacomastia, or male breast enlargement, which frequently occurs among both teenage and adult males.
Firstly, fluid is infused into the area for liposuction through a tube called a cannula.
Fat is then removed by inserting a small, hollow tube (cannula), through one or more tiny incisions near the area to be suctioned. Incisions are usually less than one-quarter inch in length and are placed as inconspicuously as possible, often within skin folds or contour lines.
It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. You should walk around a bit the day after surgery. There will also be a fair amount of swelling and bruising which is completely normal for this type of procedure. Swelling starts to decrease about 1 week after surgery and the final result will start to become apparent. Numbness in the area may also occur and this will return to normal after several weeks.
In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities within one or two weeks and begin some form of exercise soon after. The timing of your recovery depends largely on the extent of your surgery.
DISADVANTAGES / COMPLICATIONS
Fortunately, significant complications from liposuction are infrequent. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and risks.
A list of complications that could occur include:
Pulmonary fat embolism syndrome (fat moving into the blood stream and going to the small vessels of the lungs making it difficult to get oxygen into the blodd)
Pulmonary oedema (fluid overload in the lungs)
Deep vein thrombosis or blood clot (this usually occurs in the legs)
Pulmonary embolus (if a clot develops in the legs, it may dislodge and move to the lungs where it blocks the blood supply)
Perforation or penetration of the abdominal wall and underlying organs
Seroma formation (collection of fluid under the skin which may require removal with a needle and syringe on a weekly basis)
Bleeding and haematoma formation (collection of blood under the skin which may require surgical drainage)
Postoperative soft tissue contour irregularities
Damage to nerves and numbness
Lignocaine or adrenalin toxicity
Liposuction is very rewarding if it is performed on the right candidate. It is often a great adjunct to other plastic surgical procedures and can improve your figure tremendously.