What can I expect from a liposuction ?
What can I expect from a liposuction ?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure which removes unwanted localized fat deposits from areas of the body like the cheeks, neck, arms, breasts, abdomen and flanks, buttocks, hips, thighs and calves. It is a body contouring procedure designed to rid the body of localized fat that does not succumb to dieting and exercise, and hence improving body proportion.
As the number of fat cells is fixed after puberty, liposuction can reduce the total number of fat cells permanently. With adequate exercise and good dieting habits, it is easy to maintain the new look. Should you gain weight after the surgery, it will be gained more uniformly throughout the body rather than being concentrated in the former bulges.
Liposuction is not a procedure for weight reduction as fat cells are actually very light in nature. Neither will liposuction remove cellulite, which is due to protein degeneration of the supporting structures of the skin.
Am I a suitable candidate ?
Suitable candidates are those who have excess fat in specific areas, good skin elasticity, in the normal weight range and have realistic expectations from liposuction.
Although lax skin will not adhere strictly to the body''s new contours after the surgery, there are certain procedures available to remove that excess skin to achieve a firmer look.
Liposuction is not recommended for patients with heart, lung or uncontrolled diabetic diseases.
What happens during a liposuction ?
A small incision about 1 cm long is made near the area to be suctioned. This allows the surgeon to insert a thin, hollow rod called a cannula into the fat tissue. A vacuum machine connected to the other end of the rod will then produce a suction force to extract unwanted fat as the cannula is manipulated within the area. In addition to fat loss, body fluids are also removed in the process so fluids will be given intravenously to compensate the loss.
This surgery usually lasts for 1 to 2 hours depending on the area and amount to be suctioned. It can be performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia combined with sedation. Patients may be required to stay overnight in the hospital or they can return home after taking a few hours rest in the recovery room.
What are the risks and complications ? Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed procedures and it is on the whole safe and effective.
Minor complications include fluid accumulation which can be easily drained, infection which can be prevented by taking antibiotics and sagging skin due to irregular fat removal that can be corrected by another simple procedure.
Scars that form are small and strategically positioned to be inconspicuous. Any loss of sensation in the treated areas is only temporary. Moderate swelling and bruising should subside in 2-3 weeks.
Before the surgery ... ...
You will be advised not to take any food or drinks at least 6 hours before the surgery. No creams, lotions or powder should be applied to the areas prior to surgery.
Smokers are advised strongly to stop smoking at least 1 week before and 1-2 weeks after liposuction because smoking can lead to poor healing..
Do arrange in advance for someone to bring you home after the surgery and look after you for a few days.
What happens after the surgery ? Immediately after the surgery, you will be dressed in a support garment that you will have to put on for 2-3 weeks following surgery. This garment is helpful in reducing the swelling and bruising. It also assists your skin in adhering to the flattened areas. You should not remove it in the 24 hours after surgery. If your calves and / or ankles are treated, a support hose will have to be worn for 6 weeks. Painkillers will also be prescribed for pain and discomfort. Do rest at home for the first week as it is very likely that you will feel stiffness and soreness for 1-3 days. Walk around as soon as possible to prevent blood clots from forming and avoid all strenuous exercise for 4-6 weeks. Most swelling and bruising will disappear within 1-2 months but some may persist up to 6 months.