Liposuction is a procedure aimed at removing excess fat deposits from different areas of the body in order to improve the body’s contours.The areas that are most frequently targeted are the thighs, hips, abdomen, flanks, and arms. Indications for treatment are frequently due to:
- Disproportionate excess fat
- Lipoma removal
- Contour improvement
Types of liposuction
There are several liposuction techniques that are available. The basis of liposuction is to use specifically designed suction cannulas, which are attached to a special vacuum pump, to aspirate the fat from the target area. In the past, liposuction had a tendency to be unsafe due to the uncontrolled nature of fluid shifts around the body. With the introduction of ‘tumescent’ techniques, liposuction has become a very safe surgical technique in experienced hands.
The addition of other components, such as ultrasonic equipment (UAL, VASER), lasers (smart lipo, Prolipo, Lipolite), power assisted liposuction (PAL), Water jet assisted liposuction, etc., can help improve the outcome of the procedure. Each liposuction technique has its own combination of benefits and drawbacks. Some techniques are better used under certain circumstances and the area being treated, the patient’s skin quality and the goals of the treatment need to be taken into consideration.
Successfully reshaping any aspect of the body starts with being in good health before the surgical procedure. If you plan to lose weight, aim for a weight that you consider ‘ideal’ before considering liposuction. Being in shape before this procedure will ensure an ideal outcome and quicker recovery.
This procedure usually takes a couple of hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic. A small incision will be made, which will allow a cannula to be inserted under the skin, through which the unwanted fat will be aspirated. In some cases, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover, especially if this surgery was combined with other procedures. You will also need to wear a post-operative garment for several weeks to ensure a good outcome.
The recovery time for liposuction can vary between patients. For most people, it will be about a week before they can resume normal activities. During the first few weeks, exercise should be limited to walking or inclined walking, and low-impact exercises can slowly be introduced. Walking and movement in the few days after the procedure prevents blood clots, DVTs and lung complications such as pneumonia. It can take a few months before a final result is seen due to swelling and healing of the area.
As with any operative procedure, there are risks involved. The most common complications are minor bleeding, bruising, infection, wound healing problems, and some pain. The specific risks involved with liposuction include the following:
- A few small scars used for access
- Fluid accumulation in the areas being treated
- Irregular appearing skin
- Scarring problems
- Persistent swelling
- Numbness around the areas being treated
- Recurrence of fat to the area
Not everyone is a good candidate for liposuction. Dr Perron can discuss your specific circumstances and expectations, and help decide what is best for you.
Yes. We are born with only a certain number of fat cells that continue to grow until puberty when their numbers stabilise. The only thing that will affect the results you achieve with liposuction is gain weight, as this causes an enlargement of the fat cells. Weight gain changes the shape of your body can make you feel as if you’ve reversed your results.
Body shape, genetics, dietary patterns, exercise habits and gender can all influence where fat is deposited. Liposuction can remove the fatty deposits that diet and exercise cannot. Popular areas for this procedure include the hips, abdomen, thighs and arms.
Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back, however, fat cells that remain in the treated areas can expand, as do fat cells in other parts of your body. If you do not gain weight after the procedure, you will be able to maintain your new body shape.
Liposuction is ideal for anyone who has reached their ideal weight but has stubborn pockets of fat they would like to remove. This surgery is not a substitute for healthy living and shouldn’t be used for weight loss. It is essential to quit smoking prior to your surgery. Patients should be in good physical health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved. It is also beneficial to have good skin elasticity. While there is no age limit for liposuction, older patients do have less skin elasticity, which may affect the results of the procedure.
It is normal to experience some bruising and swelling around the treated area. The area may also be tender and there could be mild pain but this will subside with enough rest. The best way to control the swelling is to wear the pressure garment that Dr Perron provides you with.
It will be necessary to wear the pressure garment day and night for the first two weeks. This will help with swelling and ensure you achieve the best results. For the next few weeks, it is recommended that you wear the garment for 12 hours a day. Dr Perron will advise you on how you can achieve the best results.
This depends on the age and skin elasticity of the patient in question. Generally, if you have good skin elasticity, the skin should shrink and not become flabby after surgery. The pressure garment will also help support the treated area.
It is advisable for patients to take a few days off work to recover after liposuction but patients with physically demanding jobs may require a longer recovery time. Taking time to recover will help you to manage any side effects and will ensure the best results. While some walking is recommended after surgery, it is best to avoid any strenuous activities for at least a month.
Scheduling a personalised consultation with Dr Perron is the only way to receive an accurate estimate of what a liposuction procedure would cost. However, this specific procedure starts at about $3,000. Every patient has very specific requirements and may require additional time in surgery, which will affect the cost. Anaesthetist fees, as well as whether the procedure will be combined with others, will also impact costs. For example, many patients who want to get rid of excess fat are also concerned about sagging skin – only surgery can get rid of sagging skin, which means a combination procedure will be required. In some exceptional circumstances, liposuction costs may be covered by health insurance providers, but this is rare as liposuction is almost always a cosmetic procedure. You can speak to Dr Perron about this possibility, but then it’s recommended that you acquire a GP referral prior to your consultation.