Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery done to remove fat from deposits under the skin using a canula with a powerful suction. It is also called as lipoplasty or fat moulding. Goals of liposuction is to remove target fat thereby leaving desired body contour between suctional and non suctional areas.
Liposuction, a surgical intervention designed to treat superficial and deep deposits of subcutaneous fat distributed in aesthetically unpleasing proportions, has proven to be a successful method of improving body contour. Liposuction can radically and definitively diminish localized areas of protruding fat. It is most effective for people who are near normal weight and have firm, elastic skin. These localized areas of protruding fat do not go away with strict diet and exercise. Conversely, liposuction is not a method for losing or controlling weight. Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. Practically, liposuction can be applied to numerous body areas: hips, outer thighs, abdomen, knees, calves, ankles and upper arms. Technical improvements have permitted to extend its action to the face and neck (ie, double chin).
During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. The surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for liposuction surgery and clarify what approach is best for you.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history and answer the following questions:
Do you have any medical conditions or drug allergies? Are you being treated for any medical conditions?
Have you had any previous surgeries?
What are your current medications and vitamin and herbal supplements?
What is your current use of alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs?
What is your history with any noninvasive cosmetic procedures?
What outcome do you expect from the surgery? What is your chief motivation in undergoing an abdominoplasty.
The surgeon will also:
Ask you to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved.
Take photos for your medical record.
Evaluate your health status, including preexisting health conditions or risk factors.
Evaluate the elasticity of your skin.
Discuss your ideal weight, realistic weight and current weight.
Explain the type of procedure or combination of procedures
Explain outcomes that you can anticipate.
Explain options for anesthesia.
Explain what you can expect to experience after surgery.
Show before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours and answer any questions
Explain associated risks and complications.
Type of Anesthesia
Liposuction can be performed, depending on the amount of areas to be treated, either under local anaesthesia, local anaesthesia associated with intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia. In some cases, regional anaesthetics, such as an epidural.
The duration of hospitalisation depends on the amount of fat removed. It can be short (a few hours) for small liposuctions under local anaesthesia, or longer (1 or 2 days) for larger liposuctions under general anaesthesia.
Every surgeon has his or her personal technical habits which he or she adapts to every new case, in order to obtain the best possible results. However, there are common principles: Skin incisions are small (3 to 4 millimeters) and discrete, usually hidden in a natural fold. Fat cells from deep and superficial fat layers are aspirated through smooth cannulas tunneled though subcutaneous tissue layers, taking care to avoid nerves and blood vessels.
A narrow metal tube is inserted through a small incision in the nearby skin. It is attached to a strong vacuum pump which is drawn back and forth within the area of excess fat. The process removes tunnels of fat leaving the small blood vessels and nerves intact. The skin will then retract.
Post-operatively, a pressure dressing is made with an elastic bandage. Very often a special pressure garment is put on top of it. The duration of the procedure depends on the amount of fat removed and on the number of body areas to treat. It can vary from 20 minutes to 3 hours (average time is 1 to 2 hours).
After the Operation
The necessary time needed to recover from surgery is proportional to the amount of excess fat removed. After surgery, you will observe swelling and bruising in the treated areas. Pain can vary from one patient to another, but it is usually mild, due to the use of very thin cannulas. Fatigue is common in the first few post-operative days, especially after large liposuctions. The final result can be best appreciated 6 months after the procedure.
What are the Limitations?
It is important for you to understand that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. The amount of fat that can be removed from a localised area is limited by what is safe (maximum of 3 litres) and a natural limitation when no further fat can be removed. Therefore it may not be possible to slim down an area as much as you might like. Further treatments may be carried out in the same area after six months. In certain situations the skin is inelastic and loose. Liposuction in these areas will then tend to leave the skin more loose and it may be recommended that a skin excision be carried out to correct this, either at the same time as the liposuction, or as a second procedure. This is most likely in the abdomen, after pregnancy or weight loss, the buttocks or the neck. Dimples and wrinkles of the skin, sometimes called cellulite will not be improved by liposuction.
Liposuction, even if performed for aesthetic reasons, is a genuine surgical procedure, with the consequent risks related to all medical acts, no matter how mild they might appear.
The aim of this article is to give you a general information about the surgical intervention in question. You need to make more research about possible complications and risks of this selected procedure in order to make an informed decision. Please note that complications occur more frequently with patients who are obese, smoke, and have a history or lung or other chronic underlying medical conditions.
Smokers are recognized to have a significantly higher risk of post operative wound healing problems with a subsequently higher potential of infection as well as operative and post operative bleeding. Patients should discontinue smoking for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Although it helps to stop smoking before and after surgery, this does not completely eliminate the increased risks resulting from long term smoking. Smoking also has a long term adverse effect on the skin and ageing process.
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