Liposuction – Types, Advantages, Precautions & Important Instructions

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery which involves the removal of fat from the body. The abdomen, thighs and buttocks are some of the areas where liposuction is generally performed, but apart from these it can be performed on other areas too. In this procedure fat is removed from the body using suction. Thin, small and blunt-tipped tubes known as cannula, are inserted into the skin through tiny cuts. The doctor targets specific fat deposits in the body and sucks out the fat with the help of these tubes by moving them around under the skin.
Ideal Candidates for liposuction:
1. People with distinct areas of disproportionate fat compared to the rest of the body.
2. People who have lost the excess fat through diet and exercise, but failed to reduce it.
Improved techniques in the recent years have made liposuction easier, safer, and a less painful procedure.
The newer techniques are:
• Tumescent liposuction. The area is numbed using local anaesthesia and tubes inserted. Next, a large amount of lidocaine and epinephrine (anaesthetic solution) is injected into the fatty tissue before liposuction is done. This procedure may not require general anaesthesia.
• Ultrasound-assisted liposuction. As the name suggests, ultrasound is used to dissolve the fat in this technique. This makes the fat easier to remove. It is a very helpful technique in removing fat especially from the neck, upper abdomen, back and sides.
• Laser-assisted liposuction. Here low-energy waves are used to liquefy the fat, which is then removed through a small cannula.
Liposuction is usually an outpatient procedure. But it has to be performed by a doctor in a properly equipped surgery centre, or a hospital. Generally, it does not require an overnight stay at the hospital unless there is a large area of fat that is being removed. You may be given a sedative to help you relax during the procedure. Deep sedation along with local anaesthesia or a general anaesthesia is given only if large area of fat is being treated.
The First Consultation:
It is advisable to discuss all your doubts and expectation regarding the procedure with the doctors on the first visit. This will help the doctor to evaluate and gauge your situation well keeping in mind your medical health and the options available. After a physical examination, the doctor will go over the risks and possible complications of the procedure. He will also advise you regarding the pre-operative and post-operative process.
Vaser Liposelection (UAL)
1. This is a tissue selective procedure. The ultrasound energy helps to target the unwanted fat, but preserves the other surrounding tissues such as blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, this helps to promote smooth contours
2. This latest third generation ULTRASONIC liposuction technique is designed to practically eliminate bleeding during surgery. This helps to reduce the healing time. Inflammation and bruising also gets reduced.
3. Ultrasound technology helps to get better results and greater precision as it dissolves the fat.
4. There comparatively less pain and discomfort after the surgery as the tissue trauma is reduced.
5. Skin tightening is an added benefit of with this procedure.
• If small area of fat is to be removed then local anaesthesia is all that is required.
• Twilight anaesthetics can be used if large volumes of fat or multiple areas are being targeted at one time. This is an intravenous sedation technique (TIVA, total intravenous anaesthesia).
• General anaesthesia may be used if fat removal is of an even larger volume.
The markings for the procedure is done while you are in a standing position. The small incision of 4-5mm long are done by the doctor in the selected area. To control the blood loss, the fat layer is bathed in a fluid which contains lidocaine and adrenalin. Then a small probe is inserted into the body which transmits ultrasonic energy. The probe helps to break the fat cells and blend into the liquid infusion. With the help of specially designed suction cannula vent, this emulsified fat is then removed.
This procedure requires a small incision that is why the recovery period is much less than the traditional liposuction procedure. There is no suturing or sewing required. The skin retracts flawlessly to give you a firmer looking more natural feel. Some scars are unavoidable because of the incision. Depending on the area being treated, normal activities can be resumed within 1-2 weeks.
Liposuction is a very safe procedure with very little complications. The most common complications may include wound infection. When the procedure is done on a large volume, then the patient sometimes may need to return for a small touch-up procedure. Serious complications after liposuction are quite rare. Sometimes there may a chance of a fat or blood clot that may form and migrate to the lungs causing serious illness.
Instructions before Surgery
To assess the general health of the patient, a few base line blood investigations have to be done before the surgery. It is recommended to avoid smoking and alcohol for at least 2 weeks before surgery .Aspirin and drugs containing blood thinning agent need to be stopped 5 days before surgery.
Instructions after Surgery
Pain after surgery can be controlled with oral pain killers. Antibiotics need to be taken for 7-10 days after the procedure is done to take care of infections if any. Skin bruising is likely to get resolved within 1 to 2 weeks. Try and keep the area dry (avoid taking bath for 2-3 days). Depending on the volume of fat removed, you can resume work within a few days. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for 2 weeks. Results of liposuction can be seen only after the swelling subsides and that takes around 6-8 weeks.
It is imperative that this procedure should be done only by a qualified doctor who specializes in liposuction. This way you are likely to face no/less complications after liposuction.
Liposuction is not a substitute for balanced diet and exercise. If you are looking at losing weight then this is not for you. The best candidates for this procedure are people who are healthy and close to an ideal weight but have stubborn fat deposits which do not respond a balanced diet and to exercise.

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