Liposuction is a procedure aimed at removing excess fat deposits from different areas of the body, in order to improve the body’s contour. These areas can be anywhere on the body, but are frequently targeted at the thighs, hips, abdomen, flanks, and arms. Indications for treatment are frequently due to:
- Disproportionate excess of fat
- Lipoma removal
- Contour improvement
Types of liposuction
There are several liposuction techniques that are available. The basis of liposuction is the use of specifically designed suction cannulas, attached to a special aspirator, or vacuum pump, with the cannula inserted under the skin and used to aspirate, or suck, out fat from the target area. Liposuction in the past 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 assist to improve the outcome. Each liposuction technique has their own combination of benefits and drawbacks. Some techniques are better under certain circumstances depending on the application, the area being treated, patient factors such as skin quality, and the goals of treatment.
The goal of reshaping any aspect of the body starts with being in good health, and fitness before a surgical procedure. If you plan on losing 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 anesthetic. In some cases, you may need to stay in hospital after the procedure for a few days to recover, especially if combined with other procedures. You will need to wear a post-operative garment for several weeks to ensure a good outcome.
The recovery time for liposuction can be variable. For most people, it will be about a week before resuming normal activities. Exercise should be limited in the first few weeks to walking, or inclined walking, and a gradual introduction of lower impact exercise as directed. Walking and movement in the few days after the procedure prevent 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 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.
Body shape, genetics, dietary patterns, exercise habits, gender can all influence where fat is deposited. Liposuction can remove these fatty deposits that diet and exercise cannot.
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 gain weight after liposuction, then your new body shape will remain.