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Liposuction: All That You Need To Know

Liposuction, also known as Lipoplasty or lipectomy, is a cosmetic procedure that removes stubborn fat from specific areas of the body. The chin, thighs, belly, hips, and arms are the most common areas where liposuction is done .

Consuming a balanced diet and exercising regularly is the correct way to lose excess body weight. Liposuction isn’t typically considered an overall weight-loss method or a weight-loss alternative.

You may be a candidate for liposuction if you have too much body fat in specific spots but otherwise have a stable body weight.

What Does Liposuction Involve?

Liposuction involves the technique of inserting a hollow instrument called a cannula underneath the skin where the fat pockets lie. The cannula is then attached to a high-pressure vacuum to suck out the excess fat. . This surgical procedure is not usually considered an overall weight-loss method and is limited to aesthetical and contouring purposes only. This method is not a treatment for obesity.

How Much Fat Can be Removed During Liposuction?

Adipose or fat tissue in the human body is distributed mainly in two compartments – one underneath the skin and the other surrounds the internal organs like the liver, heart, etc. Liposuction aims to remove the fat that is stored underneath the skin. The amount of fat that can be removed depends on the appearance and the volume of the same. The resulting aesthetic changes due to liposuction are permanent, provided a healthy weight is maintained.

Liposuction is usually used to remove excess fat from specific areas of the body that have not responded to conventional weight loss measures. Some of these areas are:
● Upper arms
● Buttocks
● Thighs
● Chin
● Chest
● Abdomen

Liposuction is especially helpful in the process of breast reduction or for the treatment of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a condition in males wherein the breast tissues are enlarged or swollen.

After undergoing liposuction, the skin usually molds itself to the new shape of the treated area. The smoothness depends on the skin’s elasticity. If the skin is elastic, it is likely to appear smooth. If the skin is low in elasticity, it may appear loose. Liposuction, however, does not remove cellulite, dimpling, or stretch marks.

Liposuction works best for people with good, healthy skin. The procedure is recommended to those above 18 years of age. Individuals with poor blood circulation, coronary artery disease, weakened immune systems, and diabetes should not go through the procedure.

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Does Liposuction Help Treat Any Other Condition?

Although liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, it can be used to treat certain conditions as well. A few of them are:
● Lymphedema is a long-term, recurring condition wherein excess fluids called lymph gets collected inside the tissues, especially in the arms or legs. This condition can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort. Liposuction can remove this excess fluid, providing relief to the patient.
● Gynecomastia is a condition among males wherein the breasts get enlarged due to the accumulation of fats. Liposuction, here, can help remove the excess fats for aesthetic purposes.
● Lipodystrophy syndrome is characterized by the uneven distribution and accumulation of fats in the human body leading to a distorted appearance. Liposuction can provide the patient with a more natural-looking body fat distribution..
● Lipomas are benign tumors that are made up of fats. These tumors can erupt in any part of the body and can be easily removed by liposuction.

What are the Complications Associated with Liposuction?

Even though liposuction is a cosmetic surgery and considered minor in most cases, it includes the use of anesthesia and surgical tools. Hence, the risk of complications cannot be sidelined. The complications depend on how extensive the procedure is. Given below are a few complications that may arise due to liposuction:
● Adverse reaction to anesthesia.
● Excessive bleeding
● Skin irregularities like bumps, wavy or withered skin might be caused due to uneven removal of fats, imbalanced healing, and poor skin elasticity. The cannula inserted inside the skin may also give the skin a permanent spotted appearance.
● Inflammation due to the accumulation of fluid (seromas) under the skin
● Blood clots may be formed in the veins causing further swelling and scars.
● The area that has undergone liposuction may get numb permanently.
● Infections, sometimes life-threatening, may occur in the skin.
● Internal punctures might occur if the cannula used during liposuction penetrates too deeply into the targeted area causing damage to the internal organs.
● Fat embolism may occur, wherein blood vessels may trap loosened pieces of fats and carry them to the lungs or brain. This condition requires immediate medical attention.
● The fluctuation in fluid levels due to continuous injection and suction may cause life-threatening kidney, heart, and lung problems.
● Allergic reactions to medications or materials used during the procedure can happen.
● Skin burns due to the movement of the cannula can also occur .

What happens in a Liposuction procedure?

  1. Before the procedure:
    This includes marking the specific area and preparing the body for the procedure ahead. The doctors might even take pictures of the areas to compare the results. Depending on treatment goals, the area, history of liposuction, a doctor suggests specific techniques or procedures of liposuction. The most prominent of them are:
    ● Tumescent liposuction is the most common liposuction procedure. In this procedure, a sterile solution containing a mixture of saltwater is injected below the skin of the targeted area. Lidocaine, an anesthetic, and a blood vessel constricting drug is also administered into the area. This mixture causes swelling in the area. Then, small cuts are made into the skin to insert a cannula. This cannula is then attached to a suction pump that removes the fats and fluids from the area.
    ● Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) uses a high-intensity laser light that helps break down fats. Here, a laser fiber is inserted into the skin through small incisions. This laser breaks down the fat deposits, which are then removed by a cannula.
    ● Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) uses a vibrating cannula to remove fats easily and precisely. This technique is less painful than others.
    ● Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is also known as the ultrasonic liposuction method. This procedure uses an ultrasound energized cannula to melt the fat cells as soon as they come in contact. Thus, making it easier to suck out the fats. This method is ideal for fibrous areas and areas where liposuction has been done before.
    The procedure itself may last up to several hours, depending upon the extent of fat removal. During the surgical process, the patient will be administered anesthesia and sedatives. To facilitate a smooth procedure, the patient’s heart rate and vitals may be monitored as well.

It is important to prepare the body for this procedure. Here are a few points that should be followed:
● Patients who use anti-inflammatory drugs or blood thinners should stop consuming them at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery.
● Anemic patients are required to take iron supplements.

  1. Recovery period:
    Pain, swelling, and bruising are normal and expected after the procedure. Painkillers and antibiotics are usually prescribed after this procedure. Tight clothing should be avoided during the recovery period.

It generally takes a few days to a few weeks to resume normal activities, depending on the extent of fat removal .

What is the outcome of Liposuction?
The results of liposuction are visible only after the swelling subsides, which usually takes about 4 weeks. In some extreme cases, it might take several months for the inflammation to subside. After the area has recovered, it should appear less fatty and leaner. The changes are permanent only if a healthy weight is maintained.

The bottom line:
A good candidate for liposuction would have realistic expectations, good health, and no underlying medical condition. Liposuction can help provide substantial results, yet an absolutely perfect result is a rare find.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Do I need to come back for a follow-up visit?
    Usually, there is no need to make multiple follow-up visits. However, if any adverse symptoms persist, seek immediate medical help.
  2. Can I exercise after liposuction?
    Yes. All regular activities can be resumed after complete recovery. Regular exercise is recommended after liposuction to help keep the fat off.

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

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