How is Liposuction Performed?
- The type of anesthesia used typically depends upon the area to be treated. For upper body areas, like breast, arm or neck, we recommend general anesthesia. For lower body areas, like abdomen, thighs or buttocks, local anesthesia may be used, allowing the patient to be awake but relaxed.
- Multiple areas could be liposuctioned in the same session according to fitness of the patient's general condition. So, the Liposuction procedure may take from 30 minutes up to 3 hours.
- Before starting the liposuction procedure, we identify and mark the specific areas where the fat deposits are to be removed.
- Small incisions about half to one cm are made in skin creases near by treated areas.
- Then we inject a solution containing a local anesthetic and other medications "tumescent".
- This solution makes fat deposits easier to break up and remove.
- The injection of the fluids also helps minimize trauma to reduce swelling and post-operative pain.
- Additionally, the solutions help decrease bleeding.
- After that, we insert a thin suction tube -- technically known as a cannula -- into the fatty area, loosens the fat deposits, and sculpts the region into the desired proportions. The resulting fatty tissue is removed at the same time with a powerful vacuum that is attached to the cannula.
- The patient should wear a compression garment to facilitate healing for 3 months. Compression garments are easily concealed under regular clothing.
How Much Pain is Associated With Liposuction?
Very little pain is associated with the procedure during or after surgery. Because the liposuction also removes some blood and nerves, patients may notice a slight numbness in the treatment area. But the nerves grow back in a matter of weeks, allowing feeling to return to normal.
What is The Long-Term Effect of Liposuction?
Most of the associated bruising and swelling should subside within the first weeks. To expedite the healing process, liposuction patients may be encouraged to begin light activity as soon as possible. Regardless, liposuction patients should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks while the body naturally heals.
Results achieved from liposuction are often visible within one to three months, while the full effects may not be evident for six months to a year. The more fat removed, the longer it takes to achieve optimal results because the skin has to adapt to a more radical change in shape. It is important to note that liposuction will not alter skin quality or muscle tone.
Furthermore, liposuction is not designed as a means of weight control or as a substitute for regular exercise and a balanced diet.
Because the cells that hold and store fat are permanently removed by liposuction, future weight gain will not occur in the treated areas. If you do gain weight, you will gain it somewhere else in the body. Also, since the aging process directly affects the firmness and elasticity of the skin, older patients may not achieve the same results as younger patients.
Liposuction could be done in connection with other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, such as tummy tuck surgery, face lift, body contouring, breast reduction, thigh-plasty and other forms of fat injections, a procedure which is also known as fat grafting.
What Are the Risks and Limitations of Liposuction?
Liposuction is subject to the usual problems and complications that accompany any surgery. Following liposuction, some patients may experience dimpling, lumpiness, numbness, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area. Follow-up surgery may be needed to correct these problems.
Rare but more serious complications associated with liposuction include blood clots, infection, excessive fluid loss, and fat pulmonary embolism. A combination of the following factors is associated with the increased risk of serious complications:
1) removal of large amounts of fatty tissue (more than 8 Liters);
2) multiple procedures being performed simultaneously;
As with any surgical procedure, in an effort to minimize the associated risks, it is important to follow all of the surgeon's instructions pre-operatively, as well as post-operatively.