Liposuction (also known as Lipoplasty, Liposculpture, Liposculpting, Fat Removal Surgery, Body Contouring Surgery, Suction Lipectomy) is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed all over the world.
1. What is liposuction?
It is a procedure that aims at shaping the body by removing stubborn fat that is unresponsive to diet and exercise. Hence, the result is a slimmer and better body shape. One must know that liposuction is not a replacement for dieting and exercise, but helps remove localized fat deposits.
The most common areas treated with liposuction are:
- Upper Arms
- Buttocks and Hips
Liposuction surgery involves making tiny incisions in the skin through which fat deposits are removed using various suction techniques.
Earlier, with the help of liposuction surgery, we were able to remove a very limited amount of fat from the small body areas. However, with the new advanced techniques such as tumescent liposuction and laser-assisted liposuction surgery, larger body areas can also be addressed.
With Mega Liposuction Surgery, more than 10 liters of fat can also be removed. Other advancements like VASER-assisted high-definition liposculpting (VAHDL) can help achieve a 6-pack abdomen or sculpted back, arms, chest, and thighs. 4D liposuction is a surgery in which the aspirated fat is transplanted to the muscles to highlight them.
2. How is Liposuction performed?
Depending on the areas being treated, liposuction may be done either under general or under local anesthesia. Similarly, the time taken for the procedure can also vary from as little as 30 minutes to several hours. During the procedure, the surgeon uses a cannula, which is a special instrument to break up and remove extra deposits of fat from the body. Post procedure, the area of the incision is covered with a dressing. Since only small incisions are made during this procedure, chances of swelling and bruising are minimal.
3. Recovery Following Liposuction Surgery
Your treating surgeon will explain to you and give you required instructions on how to take care of the incision site at home. You will be advised to avoid strenuous physical activity and to take rest. You may be advised to wear a compression garment for a few weeks post-surgery. Depending upon the extent of the areas treated, your surgeon will decide when it is appropriate to return to work and other daily activities.
4. What are the benefits of Liposuction surgery?
- Safely removes stubborn fat
- Permanent results
- Helps in body shaping and sculpting even when exercise fails
- Boosts overall health
- Reduces cellulite
- Can promote skin tightening
- Overall improvement in self esteem
- Better social and personal life
5. What are the different types of liposuction surgery?
A) Body contouring liposuction surgery
Body contouring liposuction surgery works on giving desired body shape. Abdomen and back liposuction can help women achieve an hourglass figure whereas men can achieve a V-shaped torso. Other areas that can be targeted are the double chin, upper arms, upper back, chest, saddle bag, hips, buttocks, calves and ankles.
B) Natural body sculpting liposuction surgery
In this surgery, the superficial and deep fat pads are removed thoroughly leaving a thin uniform layer of fat and visible underlying muscles. This is preferable when the patient may not be able to do long term maintenance with physical exercise post-surgery.
C) 3D body sculpting liposuction surgery
This surgery helps in achieving highlighted and visible muscles. In this, aggressive liposuction is performed at the muscle edges after uniform liposuction all over.
D) 4D Sculpting or VASER-assisted High-definition Liposuction (VAHDL) surgery
This is a highly specialized liposuction surgery that helps in achieving a 6 pack or 8 pack abdomen, sharp jawline or well highlighted back, chest, arms or thigh muscles. In this, fat cells are separated without affecting the surrounding vital tissues along with selective removal of the deep fat between the muscles.
E) Large Volume or Mega Liposuction Surgery
Depending upon the amount of fat removed, Liposuction can be classified into:
- Normal Liposuction: Volume of aspirated fat is less than 5 liters
- Large Volume Liposuction: Volume of aspirated fat is 5 liters to 10 liters
- Mega Liposuction: Volume of aspirated fat is more than 10 liters
6. Which body areas can be treated with Liposuction?
- Double chin
- Upper back
- Buffalo hump
- Female breasts
- Love Handles/ hips
7. How to plan a Liposuction surgery?
Before the surgery, you need to inform your surgeon about
- Recent infections or illness
- Medical ailments like hypertension, diabetes, thyroid etc.
- Any medications that you are taking
- Past history of surgeries, trauma or illnesses
- Drug allergies
- Family history or hereditary medical conditions
Discuss with your cosmetic surgeon regarding:
- Your concerns and goals of surgery
- Evaluation of fitness for surgery
- Pre and post op instructions
8. Step by step procedure for Liposuction Surgery
- For liposuction of a small body area, sedation or local anesthesia is sufficient.
- For liposuction of larger body areas, general anesthesia is usually required.
Depending upon the area being treated, small incisions are made at locations that are less visible which later heal with minimal scarring.
c. Fluid Infiltration:
A highly diluted fluid or tumescent anesthesia is infiltrated using a special infiltrator into the treatment area.
d. Fat Aspiration:
- Small cannulas are inserted into the skin through the tiny incisions.
- The rear-end of these cannulas is connected to a suction machine through a hollow tube.
- The surgeon then moves the cannula back and forth so as to remove the fat cells.
- The expertise of the surgeon lies in achieving desired and smooth body contours in the least traumatic way so that recovery is smooth and without complications.
- The incisions are closed with stitches or left open to drain.
e. Liposuction Immediate Recovery
- Post surgery you may be discharged on the same day or asked to stay for 1-2 days depending upon the extent of surgery and the recovery process.
- Your surgeon will advise you to wear pressure garments to achieve optimum results.
9. How long do liposuction results last?
A: Results of Liposuction generally last long if you maintain a healthy lifestyle by taking care of your diet and doing proper exercise. You need to maintain your weight so that the results last long.
10. How long does it take to see the results of liposuction?
Results of liposuction are visible even immediately after surgery but final results are seen after 6 to 8 months.
11. What are the risks and complications associated with Liposuction surgery?
Like any surgical procedure, liposuction surgery is also associated with certain risks and complications
The 2 most important factors which reduce the risk of complications are:
1. Expertise and specialization of the plastic surgeon
2. Accredited cosmetic surgery center
- Liposuction Surgery specific complications:
- Fluid accumulation
- Contour irregularities
- Fat embolism
- Kidney and heart problems
- Lidocaine toxicity
- Internal puncture
Anesthesia related complications:
Small reactions to major reactions or fluid imbalance can happen.