Liposuction is the most common aesthetic procedure asked for and performed worldwide. The popularity of Liposuction Surgery is increasing because of many factors, importantly peer pressure to look good, increasing lifestyle problems and more importantly improved safety and outcomes from the procedure.
One may accumulate fat because of consuming excess calories, sedentary lifestyle or a combination of both. Most mothers may also find themselves in such a situation and they have to come to terms with stretch marks and loose skin as well.
Changing lifestyle to a more responsible and healthy one is essential for a successful outcome in a Body Recontouring program. This includes a calorie restricted diet, regular exercises and will power to stay in good shape and health.
Certain fat deposits are more resistant than others. This is because our body has some designated fat storage areas- abdomen, hips and thighs for a woman (pear shape) while for a man it is chest and abdomen (apple). Our body holds on to fat in these areas making it difficult to lose inches there. Even if you lose weight and become thinner, the bulges continue to be bothersome as the body proportion may not change in these areas. Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from these areas thereby sculpting the body back into shape.
Liposuction is not meant for weight loss. Some amount of weight loss will occur from the fat removal, but that is not the primary aim of the surgery
- Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) – is the traditional and time tested method of liposuction. Finer instruments and better techniques have resulted in vastly improved results. SAL is the gold standard in liposuction techniques even now.
- Ultrasound Assisted Lipectomy (UAL) – uses ultrasound energy to break (lyse) the fat cells before suctioning them out. Advantages of this technique include decreased effort for the surgeon and probably less amount of blood loss. However, there are increased chances of fluid collection (seroma) and skin damage when this method is used.
Most lipoplasties at our centre are performed under general anesthesia. Small volume Liposuction can be performed under I.V sedation and local anesthesia. General anesthesia is safe and increases patients as well as the surgeon’s comfort during circumferential one stage body contouring, which is our preference. It helps us achieve full definition in 3 dimensions.
Tumescent and super wet techniques are utilized depending on the volume of fat aspirate expected. Tiny access points (2 – 3 mm) are made in the natural creases or within bikini line through which the wetting solution is infiltrated into the tissues. The excess fat is then aspirated using a fine canulas and a smooth controlled action. The commonly treated areas are – abdomen, hips, thighs, love handles, saddle bags, inner thigh, buttocks, upper and lower back and the arms. The under chin area and the jaw line are commonly addressed areas on the face. The amount of fat removed will depend on the number of areas addressed and the volume of fat deposited in these areas. Up to 18 liters can be suctioned out in well selected cases – only in a hospital setting. The access points are closed with one stitch across, which are removed on the 7th day.
A pressure garment / corset is put on immediately after the surgery. The corset is to be worn for a month after surgery, 24 hours a day. The corset is not to be removed for the first 5 days after the surgery.
Post surgery sequels include bruising, swelling and minimal discomfort. These are temporary and should disappear over a few weeks. You can return to work in a few days and you can start heavy physical activity in about four to six weeks.
Complications are unusual following liposuction in well selected cases. Seroma, pigmentation, temporary loss of sensation, minor irregularities, skin ulcerations and blood clots have been reported. Major complications like embolism fluid overload, and shock are rare when safety regulations are adhered to.