Liposuction – All you want to know
Liposuction is the process of removing fat from your body, specifically from belly, thighs, hips, buttocks, back, arms and/or even face. Typically liposuction is performed by a dermatologist surgeon or a plastic surgeon. But, with the advent of cosmetic gynecology, select few cosmetic gynecology surgeons also performing liposuction. Now, the question arises, who should you prefer? If you are woman and looking for fat removal with liposuction, you should choose a good cosmetic gynecology surgeon instead of a plastic surgeon because, he/she is also trained in other procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, mons liposuction etc. He/she can help in turning your body into better shape than just a plastic surgeon.
Ideal candidate for liposuction
Anyone who is considering undergoing the knife for fat removal, must satisfy the following conditions:
- You should be within 30% of your ideal weight – Say, your ideal weight for your weight is 60kg, you must be less than 80kg approximately to be eligible for liposuction. This is not a hard and fast rule, but a medical recommendation to achieve best results. You can always talk to your doctor about this one.
- Your skin should be firm and elastic. For aged people this is not the case as the skin sags and doesn’t get back to normal after stretching.
- No smoking – You should not be a smoker. At least you must quit or stop smoking if you plan to get liposuction done because.
If you are suffering from diabetes, heart diseases, blood clots or if you have a weak immune system, you may be an ideal candidate for liposuction. How do you know if you have a weak immune system? Check your medical history; if you are sick often than normal people, that means, you have a weaker immune system.
Before liposuction surgery
- Talk to your gynaecologist about the options you have.
- Discuss in detail about the risks and benefits that come out of this surgery.
- What is the cost of liposuction surgery? (More important question should be, how experienced is the doctor in this field?)
- You must tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medicine or if you are on any medication. Based on the need, your doctor may suggest stopping the medicines until the surgery is done.
On the day of liposuction surgery
If you live alone and if the surgery is a minor one (considering the amount of fat to be removed), you need to get one other person along to drive you home. In case of major surgery (where lot of fat is being removed), you will be admitted to the hospital for a day or two after which you will be discharged.
Before the surgery, your doctor will mark the areas where fat needs to be removed. He/she may take pictures of your body to review before and after procedure effects. You will then be put under general anesthesia or local anesthesia as decided by your doctor.
Types of liposuction
In any type of procedure, there exists a tube called ‘Cannula’ that is connected to a vacuum suction machine at one end to remove the fat. Liposuction procedures can be broadly classified into two types:
Chemical based liposuction
- Tumescent Liposuction – In this procedure, saline liquid along with lidocaine and epinephrine are injected into the marked area. Fat is then sucked out using the cannula.
Energy based liposuction
- UAL – Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction – High energy sound waves are used to rupture the walls of fat cells and then the fat is sucked out.
- Laser Assisted Liposuction or Smartlipo – Similar to UAL but the required energy to liquefy fat is produced using Laser.
Recovery after liposuction
- You will be put on antibiotics, pain medication after the surgery.
- You will be given an elastic bandage that you will have to wear on the operated area for 1 or 2 months.
- You must be in constant touch with your gynaecologist to report any inconvenience or problems until your recovery is complete.
Risks of liposuction surgery
Whether done using a small tube or by making an incision, surgery is surgery and every surgery poses some degree of risk. The risks depend on the expertise of the gynaecologist you choose. An inexperienced surgeon may damage your blood vessels, nerves or injure other parts of your body. Other risk factors include:
- Bleeding at the spot of surgery
- Accumulation of fluid under the skin
- Fat Embolism (tiny pieces of fat blocking the blood flow)
- Uneven fat removal
- Scarring and burns caused by the tools used
- Damage to nerves, abdominal organs or lungs etc.
When can one return to work after liposuction surgery?
Healing depends on the amount of fat removed from the person. Some can return to work after 2 weeks post surgery while some needs to take at least 4 to 6 weeks rest to heal completely to return to work.
How long the effects of liposuction last?
Liposuction does not guarantee you for life the same figure that you get after the surgery is performed and healed. How you maintain your body, your workout regime, your food habits decide the shape of your body. You must note that fat cells in the body can regenerate and start storing fat again. So, it is important that you start working out regularly, consume healthy foods and maintain proper diet to maintain your body shape and size.