Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to shape the body by removing fat from given areas include the front, superior arms, chin, cheeks, collar, hips, buttocks, thighs, and knees.
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or simply lipo (“suction-assisted fat removal”) is a cosmetic surgery operation that removes fat from many different sites on the human body. It is a plastic surgery procedure that also usually improves contours.
Liposuction Surgery Types
How Liposuction Surgery is Performed and different types of Liposuction: The basic technique of liposuction involves the removal of fat via a hollow metal tube (cannula) that is passed through the fatty tissue. Mostly it’s performed using the tumescent technique or under local anesthesia which is much safer for the patient.
One of the most common types of liposuction involves the aspiration of fat by attaching a pump that generates a vacuum. This is known as suction assisted liposuction (SAL). In addition, a motor may be used on the cannula that causes the cannula to rapidly move back and forth thus performing much of the “work” of liposuction known as power assisted liposuction (PAL).
The Vaser method of liposuction uses a specially designed probe that conveys ultrasound waves into the fatty area of the patient. The other body tissues such as blood vessels and nerves are left untouched. The fat tissues are then liquefied and removed with a specially designed cannula that removes the liquefied fat.
The Smartlipo uses laser-assisted thermal energy that burns the unwanted fat cells and cauterizes the surrounding vessels. The burned tissue is removed with a traditional suction cannula. Very often, the above techniques may be combined to yield optimal results. The decisions concerning the appropriate technique or combination of the techniques will be discussed with you at your consultation with the doctor.
The Liposuction Procedure and What to Expect
The candidate and the surgeon will agree ahead of time on exactly which areas will be treated and both will discuss what outcome to expect.
A consent form is signed on the day of surgery. An antibiotic will be given about an hour beforehand, or afterwards. The targeted areas are marked on the body while the candidate is in a standing position. Photos of the area to be treated will be taken, so the patient will have before and after photos.
In the operating room, a sterilizing solution such as Betadine, is applied to the relevant areas. Local anesthetic is injected and the patient may be given a sedative. Incisions are small and are about a quarter to a third of an inch.
Several times during the procedure vital signs are being checked: blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level. The patient will feel only a slight scraping sensation from the cannula movement.
Usually the patient can get up, walk around, and go home the same day, although they would need someone else to drive them.
Depending on the extent of the liposuction, patients are generally able to return to work within a few days. A compression garment which can easily be removed by the patient is worn for two to four weeks. Patients come back for a re-check appointment in two days and in two weeks. The final result will be evident after about one month after surgery, although the patients will see noticeable difference within days or weeks, as swelling subsides.
Any pain is controlled by a prescription or over-the-counter medication, and usually lasts a day or two. Bruising, if any occurs, will fade after a few days or last up to two weeks. Normal activity can be resumed after several days.
The suctioned fat cells are permanently gone. However, if the patient does not maintain a proper diet and exercise regimen, the remaining fat cell neighbors could still enlarge, creating irregularities
Even though liposuction is considered cosmetic surgery it still has some of the same risks as any other type of surgery. A good liposuction specialist can make all the difference in the outcome of your liposuction procedure. You want the best results possible and here are some tips for choosing the right plastic surgeon
Where – Liposuction can be done in a variety of places, from a cosmetic surgeon’s office up to a major hospital. The right setting is important, but not nearly as important as the cosmetic surgeon doing the procedure.
What Cosmetic Surgeon – Honestly any doctor can perform liposuction, so make sure you’re working with aboard certified plastic surgeon for the very best results. There are no laws regarding the type of training that needs to be done prior to performing liposuction. Do your research and make sure that your cosmetic surgeon is both trained and experienced. They should have the knowledge and skills to ensure that your liposuction is successful.
The Cosmetic Surgeons Role – The cosmetic surgeon should do a complete evaluation prior to agreeing to accept you as a patient. This should include a review of your general health as well as your reasons for having liposuction. The doctor should inquire about any past medical history as well as any medications you may be taking currently. Naturally they will evaluate your current body fat percentage as well as the elasticity of your skin. Your cosmetic surgeon should then be able to make a determination of your best liposuction technique to ensure great results.
What to do if you choose the wrong doctor – Mistakes do occur, even to the most vigilant of us. There are a very low percentage of liposuction patients who have serious complications, but if you choose the wrong doctor your chances of a poor surgery increase dramatically. Even if you don’t have complications there is an increased chance that you’ll have a result you didn’t want and aren’t happy with.
Choosing the right liposuction surgeon – These are my 4 tips to choosing the right liposuction surgeon.
1. Check out the facilities that your cosmetic surgeon will be using for the liposuction procedure. They should be in good repair, clean and sanitary. Ask for a tour prior to the surgery. Any good plastic surgeon will be happy to show you the facilities and answer any questions you might have.
2. Educate yourself about liposuction. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have a basic understanding of the different types of liposuction and how it works. This will also aid you in asking the right questions when searching for a liposuction specialist.
3. Don’t just pick the first plastic surgeon you talk to, take the time to speak with several before making a decision. If there are people that you trust who’ve already had liposuction or another plastic surgery get their opinion. Your primary care physician could be another good source of information about good plastic surgeons.
4. Research the doctor’s background and history. Make sure they are well trained and experienced and hopefully board certified to practice liposuction.
Finding a great liposuction doctor should be easy. Just take your time when choosing a liposuction surgeon and you shouldn’t have any trouble. Just keep in mind that you’re dealing with your health and appearance and you should be able to make a good decision.