Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific areas of the body such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, arms, or neck. Liposuction is also called Lipo or Lipoplasty. Usually, people try several diets and exercises but unfortunately, they can’t get rid of fat deposits. Although, liposuction isn’t typically considered a weight-loss treatment. So, one should maintain his/her ideal weight before considering liposuction surgery. Every kind of surgery has some risks and complications, so it’s important to talk to the doctor before considering it.
Why is Liposuction done?
Liposuction helps to remove fat from areas of the body that haven’t responded to diet and exercises. Some of the body parts are upper arms, buttocks, calves, ankles, hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, chin, and neck.
When people gain weight, the fat cells increase in size and volume. In turn, liposuction reduces the fat cells in a specific area. The amount of fat removed is determined on the basis of the area and the capacity of fat.
Risks associated with Liposuction
As with any surgery, liposuction carries the risk of bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. The following risks or complications specific to liposuction include-
- Severe bruising can last for several weeks.
- The swelling may take up to 6 months to settle and
- Temporary pockets of fluid (seromas) can form under the skin, which may need to be drained with a needle.
- The skin may appear bumpy, wavy, or withered due to uneven fat removal, unusual healing, and poor skin elasticity.
- The affected area may feel numb, but this is usually temporary.
- Sometimes skin infection may occur after liposuction surgery, which needs to be treated
- Risk of scarring.
- Although rare, internal organ punctures can occur.
- While fluids are being injected and/or suctioned out, it can cause kidney or heart problems.
- Pieces of loosened fat get into the blood vessels and travel to the lungs, blocking the lungs.
People who carefully consider the pros and cons beforehand, who know what to expect, who choose a qualified and experienced surgeon, and who discuss the details carefully with their surgeon are most satisfied with the results.
How to prepare before undergoing Liposuction?
It is important to prepare yourself for the surgery before undergoing liposuction surgery. As it will reduce the risk of complications and will ensure results are as expected.
Things to keep in mind to prepare while preparing for liposuction surgery:
- The objective of lipo surgery is to re-shape your body making it slimmer and toned, so never see liposuction as a weight loss surgery.
- Consult the surgeon before surgery, to take any steps such as stopping any medications.
- Building muscle and toning up before lipo surgery can provide the desired results.
- Stop smoking and drinking before liposuction as this can affect the circulatory system.
What to expect after Liposuction?
Liposuction surgery is performed under the influence of anesthesia, which means it’s a painless surgery. However, one may feel pain after the procedure.
The duration of staying in the hospital depends on what parts of the body the liposuction has been performed. Pain, swelling, numbness and soreness are common side effects that can occur after liposuction. It is usually instructed to wear a compression garment or electric bandages after the surgery that will help in reducing swelling and maintain the body shape during healing.
Liposuction surgery enhances the shape and contour of the body. Therefore, the procedure also improves the lifestyle and self-esteem of the individual.
After liposuction surgery, swelling typically subsides within a few weeks. During this time, the treated area should look less bulky. After several months, expect the treated area to have a leaner appearance. People who undergo liposuction surgery enjoy a huge boost of self-confidence.
Liposuction results are generally long-lasting as long as patients maintain their weight. With proper maintenance, the treatment results can last longer.
What happens during the procedure of liposuction?
Other procedures may need general anesthesia, which induces a temporary state of unconsciousness. Surgical team checks the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels. After anesthesia is given, two incisions will be made in the middle of the back. For the abdomen, three incisions will be made usually; two in the public area, and one in the umbilicus in order to reach to the upper portion of the abdomen.
The surgeon uses a suction device attached to a small, stainless steel instrument called a cannula. Then a cannula is inserted through the incision to lose excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then removed with a suction pipe or syringe attached to the cannula.
Liposuction surgery may last up to several hours, depending on the extent of fat removal.
How to recover after liposuction?
The prescribed medication will ease the pain and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
After the surgery, the surgeon may leave your incision open and place temporary drains to promote fluid drainage. One needs to wear tight compression garments, which help reduce swelling, for a few weeks.
Some of the tips for quick Liposuction recovery are:
- Keeping a good balanced diet ensures quick and uninterrupted recovery after liposuction
- Some light exercises such as taking a short walk can speed up the healing process
- Proper hydration is important
- To prevent infections around the wound area, it’s important to change the bandages regularly
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes
- In place of soaking in the bathtub, consider getting a gentle massage
- Follow post-care instructions provided by the surgeon
- Make sure to attend all the post-op appointments as scheduled by the surgeon.
Patients who have undergone lipo surgery might have to wait a few days before returning to work and a few weeks before resuming normal activities including exercise.Also, expect some contour irregularities as the remaining fat settles into position.
Of course, Liposuction surgery might be harmful to the human body, if one doesn’t go for proper consultation with the doctor. Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, and not everyone is a good candidate for it. As every surgery involves some risks and possible complications, it’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss the potential complications and risks before the surgery.