Liposuction refers to extracting excess fat from human body, but it is not a weight loss procedure or obesity treatment. Also popular with several other names like lipoplasty, liposculpture suction, lipectomy, lipo or body contouring, this is in fact a cosmetic surgery procedure. People choose this outpatient treatment often as a last resort after their weight loss regime and exercises fail to help them lose those extra ponds. This procedure can enhance their body shape and appearance appreciably.
Surgeons usually perform it by administering local anesthesia or intravenous sedation, depending on the type of liposuction surgery they are about to perform. Their efforts are instrumental in eliminating fat from different body parts like thighs, butts, back, arms, abdomen, neck, etc.
Expectations from Liposuction
It would be unfair to have tall expectations from liposuction surgery as it can help you get rid of those localized and minor fat concentrations only. So, if you want to set yourself free from skin cellulite or stretch marks, then this treatment is not suitable for you at all.
Since the surgeon will administer anesthesia prior to starting, the entire surgery will remain painless. But the time immediately after the procedure until recovery will be painful. If you still have apprehensions about pain during the surgery, you can consult with your surgeon about:
• The type of anesthesia he will use
• concerns about pain
• The medicines that you could take before the treatment starts.
Most patients complain about swelling, soreness, pain, bruising or numbness after going through the liposuction surgery. Hence, to reduce post surgery side effects, especially pain, here is what you could do:
• Take the prescribed pain killers and other medicines
• Better avoid the use of salt as it could aggravate swelling or edema
• Put on the advised compression clothes
• Relax as much as possible and increase fluid intake
As for your stay in the hospital, it will depend on the part of your body that needs liposuction surgery. Any kind of positive result will take around 4 weeks to several months to surface. All will rely on the duration by which the inflammation settles down. As a sign of the treatment’s success, you will find the operated area less chubby. Maintaining your weight is important after the surgery to ensure permanent results. If by any chance you start regaining weight, it will affect the distribution of fat on your body. If you had fat on your hips earlier, your butts may cause problems after the method. So it is wise not to expect the miracles.
At the best, you must adhere to the recommendations of the surgeon for the realistic outcomes, i.e. slimmer and smoother body contour.
Are you the best candidate for Liposuction?
Are you a healthy person who wears a positive attitude, knows all the associated risks of the surgery and believes in realistic results? If yes, then you are a perfect candidate for Liposuction. To be precise, to be a good candidate for this surgery, you should:
• Be a non-smoker
• Possess elastic and firm skin immaterial of your age
• Not be obese or overweight
• Have perfect muscle tone
• Own a healthy and disease free body
In addition, the following traits also make you a suitable to opt for Liposuction surgery:
• You possess localized fat deposits in your thighs, arms, abs, neck, etc. due to hereditary reasons and they cease to vanish by merely exercising or taking balanced diet.
• You have somewhere around 30% of your ideal weight.
• You have excess fat in some specific body parts only; otherwise, your body weight is stable.
Besides, you are not at all a good candidate for liposuction if you identify with any of the points below:
• You are a smoker
• You are obese or overweight
• You have some chronic health conditions like diabetes, DVT, etc.
• Your immune system is weak
• Your skin sags or you have too generated too much cellulite
• Medications like blood thinners could raise bleeding risks in your body
The possible risks of undergoing Liposuction
Prior to opting for the surgery, a detailed discussion is equally necessary with your surgeon. This is because Liposuction accompanies myriad risks during the surgery, after the surgery, and even in the recovery period.
Here is a look on the various threats that you could face in this regard:
Risk possibilities during the treatment
• Complications due to anesthesia
• Injuries to other body parts
• Burns from surgery tools
• Shock, nerve damage or even death
Risk possibilities after the treatment
• Accumulation of fat
• Clotting of blood in your lungs
• Bleeding beneath your skin, or hematoma
• Leaking of fluid beneath your skin or seroma
• Dead skin cells of skin necrosis
• Heart problems
• Kidney problems
• Infection or swelling (edema)
• Adverse reaction to medication or anesthesia
• Damage to internal organs
• At times, death
Risk possibilities during recovery period
• Body contours may not appear as per your expectations
• You may encounter saggy, or dimpled skin
• Swelling, soreness, numbness and pain
• Scars, infections and fluid imbalances
• Changes in skin color, feeling and sensation
• changes in skin sensation and feeling
• Healing difficulties
• Nausea and vomiting
• Women may encounter irregular menstrual cycles for up to two months
Types of Liposuction procedures
Here are some of the most commonly practiced liposuction treatments:
• Tumescent Liposuction (TL): In this method, the surgeon uses a sterile solution to inject in the patient’s body to remove the fat. This solution consists of a combination of of salt water to remove the fat, anesthetic (usually local anesthesia) for pain relief, and a medicine for the constriction of blood vessels. This mixture, when injected into the area under treatment, causes swelling ad stiffening. Next, the surgeon creates minor cuts on the skin to insert cannula under the skin, which is a thin tube. A vacuum connected to this tube suctions fluids and fat from the body.
• Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL): This method involves the use of a metal rod that emits ultrasonic energy that energy to tear apart the fatty tissues and loosens them inside the body. This felicitates cutting o
• Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL): As the name suggests, this liposuction procedure uses ultrasound energy to liquefy the fat that requires removal. In this method, the surgeon makes a small incision to insert a laser fiber for emulsifying the deposits of fat. Next, he leverages a cannula to remove the fat. This technique is popular with different brand names like Slimlipo, Smortlipo, etc.
• Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL): To perform this liposuction surgery, the expert uses a vacuum type device to detach fat from the concerned body part.
• Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL): This technique is very much similar SAL with the difference that it leverages a tool to felicitate the movement of cannula for fat removal. This method allows the surgeon to exhibit more precision during fat elimination, specifically from areas like knees, ankles and arms. It may cause minor swelling and pain.
What could be the long-term side effects?
Like all the other pre-post and recover risks, Liposuction has certain side effects as well, which are more prone to last longer.
• Additional fat: Liposuction sets the operated area completely free from fat. Hence, in case you gain weight, it will accumulate in other organs of your body. In case it appears around your heart or liver, this could have life threatening results.
• Skin burns: due to cannula movement, your skin or nerves may suffer from friction burns.
• Thrombophlebitis: Veins can undergo blood clotting hence leading to inflammation and other severe complexities
• Inflammation: Swelling may take up to 6 months to settle, and fluid may continue to ooze from the incisions.
• Swelling: You may have to face swelling till around 6 months. During this period, there could be a continuous flow of fluids from the cuts.
• Sensation in skin: You may damage your nerves or feel changes in your skin sensation.
• Other side-effects: Depression, indentations in the suctioned locations within the body, wavy or Bumpy skin are among the other possible side effects of liposuction that may stay for long,
What is the Cost of Liposuction procedure?
The treatment is also quite expensive, so you need to have sufficient budget to afford it. Ideally, its cost may vary between $2000 and $3500 depending on the treatment area. This is only the liposuction cost and excludes the expenses involving hospital fees, anesthesia, etc. Talking about liposuction cost in India, it ranges between Rs 50,000 to Rs 125000 depending on the area of fat removal. Hence, budget constraint is also a major factor to consider before deciding to go for this surgery.
Some takeaways from the Liposuction surgery
Liposuction procedure can help you to tone your body to some extent, but expecting miracles form this treatment would be a big mistake. It can only enable you to emancipate from additional fat, and cannot treat with weight loss or obesity problems. In fact, it accompanies several risks before, during and after the surgery, which makes it necessary to be an ideal candidate for the procedure.
The information is being provided by PlasticSurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Tejinder Bhatti, Plastic Surgeon on: 20-JUN-2020
“Dr. Tejinder Bhatti is a cosmetic plastic surgeon by training but now completely dedicated to the art and science of minimally invasive hair restoration surgery. He also runs a hospital, the Five Rivers Hospital in Mohali, Chandigarh where junior plastic surgeons perform esthetic plastic surgery under the overall supervision of Dr. Kulwant S Bhangoo who is the Chairman of the Program. Dr. Bhangoo is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He is an internationally renowned top cosmetic surgeon and chief of Plastic Surgery in Buffalo NY, USA.”