Results are most often measured in terms of patient happiness as a function of safety, comfort (before and after surgery), finesse, and visible cosmetic improvement(s). The fat cells are permanently removed during liposuction and weight gained following the procedure will typically not gather in the area performed. However – to maintain optimal results – patients should maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime as liposuction is not meant to be a form of weight loss and does not prevent future weight gain.
Areas of the Body You Can Get Liposuction
While liposuction is typically a cosmetic procedure for body contouring and beautification, the procedure can sometimes be used for medical purposes. Men, for instance, can use liposuction to reduce their breasts if they live with gynecomastia (a condition in which the fatty and glandular tissue of the chest are over-developed). In less extreme cases, however, surgeons and patients may opt for a breast lift instead. Liposuction can also help remove lipomas, which are benign tumors of fatty tissue.
Liposuction is a surgical method designed to slim parts of the male or female body. As a general rule, liposuction works best when targeting deposits of fat rather than sagging skin. Included below is information on four popular areas that can benefit from liposuction.
For double chins resulting from skin laxity, however, liposuction is not the ideal treatment option. Results are most appealing when patients still have enough elasticity to the overlying skin to allow for a rebound effect after surgery. This procedure is comparatively brief, occupying only about 30 minutes of time, and often takes place in the clinic itself. Commonly, local anaesthesia will be employed; occasionally, oral sedation may be necessary if the patient is nervous. Submental liposuction comprises roughly 25% of all liposuction procedures. While more women undergo the surgery than men, there is a growing number of males who are opting for the procedure.
If liposuction is decided upon as the desired response, liposuction is a popular option for gynecomastia, as it is minimally invasive and effectively differentiates between fat and vital tissues such as nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. As is the case for liposuction on numerous other bodily areas, the procedure involves the insertion of a cannula, which is carefully moved in a back-and-forth motion, to loosen the excess fat. Surgeons then remove the fat from the body using vacuum suction. In cases where the areola requires reduction or the nipple is being repositioned, the surgeon will tend to use excision, where lumps of adipose tissue are removed using external cuts. Excision can be used in conjunction with or instead of traditional liposuction.
The disadvantage of this alternative is that it requires larger incisions and internal sutures, which leaves a scar in virtually all cases. However, in some cases, both liposuction and brachioplasty are carried out. Both procedures require either general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation, and frequently take between one and two hours to complete. Unlike many liposuction procedures that target larger areas of the body, patients can return home on the day of surgery. In subsequent days, patients are recommended to limit arm movement as much as possible. Practitioners will provide a compression garment to restrict motion, which will help reduce swelling.
The frequency of the procedure is due in large part to the region’s particular resistance to exercise and diet. Liposuction on this area commonly involves the removal of the uppermost layers of fat from the waistline to increase the practitioner’s ability to “sculpt” the area. Depending on the scale of the procedure, the doctor may ask the patient to wear elasticized shorts in the treated area to reduce swelling.
1. Tumescent Liposuction
Tumescent Liposuction is viewed as the safest method for liposuction as it has reduced blood loss to as little as 1%. Other benefits include the fact that it has made certain procedures that used to require general or epidural anaesthesia now feasible with only local anaesthetic. The use of a localized anaesthetic such as lidocaine permits surgeons a window of 10 hours for surgery to safely take place, and allows the patient to avoid the post-operative nausea and vomiting associated with general anaesthesia.
2. Ultrasonic-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
3. Laser-Assisted Liposuction ((SmartLipo))
Among the most noted advantages of this technique over traditional methods is its ability to target specific areas, a precision afforded by a smaller cannula (the metal instrument that houses the laser itself). Unlike traditional liposuction, which uses 3-5 mm cannulas, this new technology employs a significantly smaller 1-mm diameter cannula. The incisions for SmartLipo techniques are consequently minimal in size and number, depending on how many areas are treated, thus also reducing the risk of scarring post-surgery.
Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty), however, focuses on the midsection exclusively. And while liposuction is primarily geared towards individuals who carry an excessive amount of fat, abdominoplasty is well suited to post-bariatric cases, where patients have large amounts of loose skin, possibly because of recent extreme weight loss.
Liposuction & Fat Transfer
There are a number of possible fat transfer procedures. Lipografting (also known as ‘fat grafting’), for instance, can be used to smooth out dermal regions affected by acne, scarring, injury, or past surgeries. Autologous fat grafting, another fat transfer procedure, can also help reconstruct female breasts after single- or double-mastectomies.
The Risks of Liposuction
All risks associated with liposuction can be exacerbated if a large area is being operated on, a high volume of fat is being removed, or more than one procedure is being performed on the same day. This includes doing “complementary” cosmetic procedures such as tummy tucks, face-lifts, and breast reductions. That said, most patients do not experience major complications.
Following surgery, doctors will administer painkillers (analgesics) designed to reduce the patient’s physical discomfort as well as minimize the swelling of the surgical area. It is common for patients to experience swelling and bruising in the areas where incisions and stitching occurred. Compression garments and elasticized bandages are prescribed immediately afterward to discourage and contain swelling—these should be worn for several weeks. In the weeks following the procedure, patients are responsible for the care and disinfection of stitches and should be as vigilant as their circumstances permit. The surgeon who performed the procedure will provide an information package on how to properly clean affected areas.
Laser-Assisted Liposuction (SmartLipo)
Liposuction Risks & Complications
Anaesthesia & Sedation
Choosing the Right Surgeon
What is liposuction?
Where on my body can I get liposuction?
Do men get liposuction as well?
Is liposuction considered a safe surgery?
What are the main risks and complications associated with liposuction?
- Fat Embolism
- Organ & Nerve Damage
- Skin Death
- Excessive Bruising
- Toxicity from Anesthesia (Lidocaine Toxicity)
- In Rare Cases, Fatality
What increases the risks of complications in liposuction surgery?
What can I do to reduce my risks when undertaking liposuction surgery?
How long will I be in the hospital after undergoing liposuction?
Can I drive myself home from the hospital after liposuction surgery?
Will I be hurting after liposuction surgery?
What will the treated area look like while it heals?
Do liposuction wounds need to be cleaned?
How much downtime will I need post-liposuction surgery?
Is there a difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck?
Can I use liposuction to do a fat transfer?
What are some of the benefits of getting a fat transfer?
Is liposuction covered by insurance?
Can I get a liposuction cost estimate over the phone?
What kind of information can I expect in a liposuction cost estimate?
What factors influence liposuction surgery fees?
- The number of areas being treated.
- The size of the patient.
- The degree of difficulty the surgeon anticipates.