Liposuction is a procedure that can improve the contour of your body by removing unwanted fat from targeted areas of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, knees, arms, chin, cheeks and neck. During the last decade liposuction (also known as lipoplasty or liposculpting) has benefited greatly from new inventions and methods. Today, various techniques like Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction and Tumescent Liposuction help many surgeons give to select patients better results and shorter recovery times.
Although no type of liposuction can replace good eating habits and regular exercise, the procedure can remove persistent fat from the targeted areas.
The best candidates for liposuction
To be a good candidate for liposuction, you have to be realistic in your expectations. It is important to understand that the procedure can enhance your look and self-esteem but it will neither give you the “perfect body” not will it make other people treat you in a different way. Before you decide to undergo the operation think carefully what your expectations are and discuss them thoroughly with your surgeon.
The best candidates for liposuction are men and women who have normal and stable body weight, elastic skin and areas of excess fat. They should be physically and mentally healthy, with realistic expectations. Age is not greatly important. Older patients, on the other hand, may have lost a big percentage of their skin elasticity, so they shouldn’t expect the results a younger patient can enjoy.
Liposuction carries more risks for patients with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease, diseases of the circulatory system e.t.c.
Arranging your operation
The surgeon in the beginning will evaluate the state of your health and will note the areas of excess fat. He will also evaluate carefully your skin elasticity. After careful analysis, he will present the best method.
For example, although you might think that all you need is a liposuction, your surgeon could decide that abdomenoplasty will treat your problem more effectively.
Be honest when you discuss your expectations. Your surgeon will be equally honest with you presenting the procedure in detail and explaining limitations and possible dangers.
Expecting correct answers
Your surgeon should be a certified plastic surgeon, member of the Hellenic Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. This is the only assurance of the training required to deal with your specific problem.
Men and women deciding to undergo liposuction feel a little confused with the number of options, techniques and “names” available. Your plastic surgeon can help you. Deciding on the best approach, he will evaluate how effective, secure and suitable every method is according to your specific problem. He will also evaluate the financial aspect of these options. This ability to judge, an ability developed through scientific training and experience, will safeguard you against possible complications during surgery.
Preparation for surgery
Your surgeon shall provide you with specific instructions for your operation regarding what to eat & drink, smoking, taking or not certain vitamins and medication.
While preparing for the procedure, make sure there is a friend or member of the family to drive you back home after the operation is over and the doctor discharges you from the hospital
Where does the procedure take place
Liposuctions are performed in a hospital. Later in that day you should be able to return home. If there is a large amount of fat to be removed, you may have to stay overnight.
Your surgeon will help you chose the type of anesthesia for your operation.
Usually, a combination of a local anesthetic and a sedative is the best choice, if there is a small amount of fat to be removed.
If, on the other hand, the amount of fat to be removed is large, general anesthesia is the best and safest choice.
The time needed to perform a liposuction varies. It largely depends on the extent of the treated area and the amount of fat that needs to be removed . During liposuction, localized fat deposits are removed from one or more areas of the body. A thin tube (or cannula) is inserted under the skin via a small incision. While pulsating, it bursts the fat cells and removes them by suction.
Variations of the technique
The basic liposuction technique, mentioned above, is used in most cases.
New variations of the basic technique have been introduced through the years.
The tumescent technique was developed to reduce blood loss during liposuction. A specific quantity of liquid is injected in the targeted areas before surgery. This facilitates the passage of the suction cannula and reduces the loss of bodily fluids.
The ultrasound assisted liposuction uses ultrasound energy (emitted
through the canulla) to destroy fat cells more easily and then remove them through suction. This technique is successfully used on challenging areas of the body like the back, on male gynecomastia or in order correct past liposuctions.
Every operation carries risks
Generally, liposuctions are safe procedures provided they are performed by a certified doctor, the patients are carefully selected and the procedure takes place in a properly equipped surgery.
Complications occur, albeit rarely. Risks increase if there are many areas treated at the same time or if there is a large amount of fat to be removed.
Liposuction incisions do not show at all because, apart from being very short, they are placed in concealed spots. On rare occasions, and only with elderly patients, irregularities or small depressions might occur on the treated area.
The treated area might feel numb for a few weeks after surgery and will be bruised for about ten days.
After the operation
After the operation, you will wear an elastic supportive garment over the treated area to reduce swelling and bruising to a minimum. This garment should be worn daily, for as many hours as possible, for a month.
You will be prescribed antibiotic medication for some days after surgery.
You shouldn’t expect to see the final result the first day after surgery. It will take a few weeks. Pain is rarely a problem and a common pain killer can easily deal with it.
Back to your everyday activities
Healing is a long and gradual process. Very soon, your surgeon will ask you to stand up and walk. A week later you will feel much better and this is when the sutures will be removed.
Intense activity or heavy exercise is allowed after a month.
Your surgeon will need to see you several times to evaluate your post-operative progress.
Your new look
There will be noticeable difference in the form and shape of your body soon after the operation. Four to six weeks after the procedure the best part of the swelling subsides and you will see a big improvement.
You shouldn’t expect weight loss after surgery. The changes in the shape of your body are only local.
If you are realistic in your expectations you will probably be very happy with the results. Your clothes will fit more loosely and you will have a beautifully shaped body.