Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Liposuction 101 - Procedure, Risks and Benefits

Also known as suction-assisted lipectomy or lipoplasty, liposuction is a procedure used to suck out fat from areas of the body, trunk or face that are not responsive to diet and exercise. It is a very popular procedure and is second most popular after breast augmentation. Liposuction is needed to reshape and redefine the natural contours of the body and this is called lipo sculpting. Despite the fact that you may lose some weight, it should not be considered as weight loss surgery.

Liposuction also, cannot  reduce the visibility of cellulite

Some common liposuction procedures people look for include- double chin reduction, tightening and reshaping, liposuction of the breast to minimize scarring, reshape and reduce the size and also, liposuction for armpits for the better contour of arms and chest area.

Are you a good candidate?

A good candidate for liposuction is generally, in a good enough shape and requires sculpting of their body at certain problem areas. The patient must be near their ideal weight. Other important characteristics of a good candidate for liposuction include non-smokers, good psychological health including a positive outlook and realistic expectations from the procedure.

This is not a suitable procedure to use as a weight loss therapy in obese patients. Generally, one to ten pounds of fat is removed from the body. While large pounds of fat can be removed from the body by liposuction but it has a lot of complications and side-effects such as skin rippling, contour irregularities, and safety risks. An obese person, therefore, must follow the natural way to lose weight by diet and exercise and only then revert back to liposuction for extra help in stubborn areas.

Types of Liposuction procedures

1. Suction-assisted lipectomy is the traditional liposuction process. It is a physical way of removing fat from the body with the help of liposuction cannulas and tubes which vary in size from two millimetres to four millimetres. This is the proven and well-established liposuction procedure and also, is extremely popular.

2. Power assisted liposuction uses a liposuction probe that is pushed in out using power and gives a rapid removal of fat from the body.

3. In ultrasound liposuction, the fat cells of the patient are melted and then removed. This process is used to remove fat from more stubborn or fibrous areas of the body like the love handles, the male chest, and the trunk.

4. Newer methods of removing fat include laser liposuction or smart liposuction which are yet to be performed and are still in their testing stage. 

Complications associated with Liposuction

Liposuction must be performed by a well-qualified and experienced professional as it is an invasive procedure and has a number of risks due to the meddling of body chemistry.

1. Tissue death also called necrosis
2. Fat may go into the bloodstream and clog blood vessels (fat clots)
3. Excessive bleeding (hematoma) can cause loss of blood and weakness
4. Risks are involved with the use of anesthesia
5. It can complicate cardiac function
6. Deep vein thrombosis
7. Unfavorable scarring, body contour, skin discoloration, sagging skin etc.
8. Swelling and pain

Complementary Procedures are done with Liposuction

As liposuction is performed on both men and women to improves the aesthetic appearance of their body,it is often done with another procedure. For women, liposuction often follows breast augmentation. In the case of patients who have to lose skin (more mature patients) or patients who have had extra fat removed, a tummy tuck or body lift is performed.

Before the Procedure

Some tests are performed prior to the procedure to confirm the patient's health status. Also, a complete and detailed health and medical history including the weight history are important to be studied by the surgeon before the procedure. Also, certain medications such as anti-inflammatory medicines and aspirin are required to  be cut off before the procedure.

After the Procedure

When the liposuction is done, you will be under observation for a couple of days. When discharged, medications will be prescribed pain, swelling, and general quick recovery. After two to three weeks of the procedure, non-strenuous jobs can be done but complete recovery may take months. The recovery time varies, depending upon the body part and the extent of the incision.
The results of the surgery can be fully noticed after an average of three months as before, the swelling and bruising can be very significant. Patients are required to be rested and patient for their final results.

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