Liposuction surgery involves making a small incision in the affected area and sucking out the fat using various techniques.
Liposuction, commonly known as the procedure that enables the reshaping of specific areas of the human body by removing excess fat deposits. The most common performed cosmetic surgery in the United States, it sucks out fat usually from:
- FLANKS (or love handles)
The extraction of fat and the draining of body fluid are usually done with the help of ‘cannula’, a surgical instrument. It is a thin, hollow surgical instrument which is inserted into the body. The cannula used to extract can be thin or approximately 3mm in diameter or a large one of 5mm diameter. With regular exercise and dieting after the procedure, the patient can successfully maintain the lost weight.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF Liposuction?
Liposuction can help you achieve a better, slimmer and a more toned abdomen. Besides, it can also be helpful to people suffering from certain conditions causing their bodies to develop unwanted fat in certain parts or sometimes only a single part of the body. With the help of a Liposuction procedure, a person can get rid of this excess fat. It can be extremely useful in the treatment of certain conditions. Some of these conditions are:
- LYMPHEDEMA – a condition which results in the collection of excess lymph (or fluid) in tissues causing edema (or swelling) in the arms or legs. Liposuction can be used for the extraction of this unwanted fluid in the tissues, reduce swelling and eventually ease the pain and discomfort.
- LIPOMAS- causing a collection of fat cells in thin fibrous tissues usually below the skin. Usually occurring in body parts such as the arms, neck, torso and thighs. It can develop in almost any part of the body. Liposuction sucks out these excess fat cells.
- GYNECOMASTIA- or fat accumulation under a man’s chest. Liposuction gets rid of this excess unwanted fat, giving the person a natural and better look.
- LYPODYSTROPHY SYNDROME- sometimes fat accumulates in one part of the body with the other parts remaining the same or losing weight. Liposuction will help in creating an even distribution of fat.
LIPOSUCTION CANNOT HELP YOU IF:
Before the surgery, the patient’s overall health is taken into account to check for pregnancy, anemia etc. The process requires just a fixed amount of tissue to be removed, as the negatory can make the patient prone to risks. The after effect of this surgery also depends upon the type of anesthesia used and the overall health of the patient. The recovery is steadfast when used local anesthesia as compared to general anesthesia.
The reason to which this surgery gained popularity seems to be obvious. If you are dissatisfied with your body and want to look good, this surgery would be ideal. However, this surgery does not help in curing Obesity and metabolic conditions like Insulin resistance.
At present, the surgery is performed using modern techniques and methodologies. It was first performed in the 1920’s by French surgeon Charles Dujarier on a French model. The modern day development of liposuction is credited to Arpad and Giorgio Fischer In 1994, the father-son duo, invented the ‘cannula’, a thin, hollow surgical tube used to extract fat by creating tunnels within major blood vessels of the body.
METHODS OR TECHNIQUES
Liposuction can be performed using various different methods, involving different instruments and equipments that can be used. Some liposuction techniques are as follows:
- TUMESCENT TECHNIQUE- process involves numbing the area by injecting cannula into the tissues, using anesthesia to extract fat. Dilute local anesthesia is used in order to make the tissue more firm and turgid. This creates a plane where suction of fat becomes easier.
- ANESTHETIC TECHNIQUE- technique involving numbing the area before the extraction of fat. Lidocaine and Epinephrine are introduced into the body. This technique is usually used when dealing with large amounts of extraction of fat.
- DRY TECHNIQUE- It requires the use of general anesthesia rather than the local anesthesia. The general anesthesia is introduced into the fat before liposuction.
- WET TECHNIQUE- It requires the introduction of approximately 100 milliliters of local anesthesia containing epinephrine.
- SUPERWET TECHNIQUE- In this technique, the amount of fluid injected in equal to the amount of fat removed.
At recent, body contouring and liposuction are done under close medical care from the doctors, allowing just a fixed percentage of fat to be extracted in the process from a fixed body part, so as to avoid further complications after the surgery.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED FOR SEDATION?
Anesthesia is a medicinal aesthetic injected in order to block or control the pain by relaxing you. It helps you control your breathing, Blood pressure, blood flow and blood rate. It is not an infiltrate solution. There are usually three choices to choose from-
- Local Anesthesia
- IV Sedation Anesthesia
- General Anesthesia
To perform liposuction on smaller areas, usually local anesthesia is used. Smaller areas include the isolated areas of face or a partial liposuction. A partial liposuction involves just a small incision taking place for the removal of a small portion of excess fat from the abdomen, arms or any other body part. To carry a more extended procedure, IV Sedation or General Anesthesia is used. It reduces the risk of a pulmonary embolism and the patients wake up and recover faster.
HOW MUCH FAT CAN BE REMOVED IN ONE OPERATIVE PROCEDURE?
In one operative procedure, about 10litres of fat can be extracted safely using the tumescent procedure. The tumescent procedure is specifically chosen for the surgery as it prevents excess loss of blood. Other techniques limit the amount of fat that can be removed.
In 2004, the AAAASF imposed a limit on the amount of fat that can be extracted in one single procedure. It has now been set to 5litres or 5000cc. Therefore, no procedure can extract more than 5000cc of fat unless the facility provides a 23 hour overnight stay.
HOW MUCH FAT CAN BE EXTRACTED FROM A BODY PART?
In pounds, only a limited amount of fat can be sucked out in order to avoid any complications or risk post surgery.
- Stomach- 2 pounds
- Inner thigh- 1 pound
- Upper back- 1.5 pounds
- Outer thighs- 2 pounds
- Upper arms- 1 pound
- Flanks or love handles- 2 pounds
WHAT SIZE OF CANNULA MUST BE USED?
There are two sizes to choose from, when considering the tube that is going to be inserted into the body sucking out the fat. The cannula can be a smaller one (or 3mm in diameter) or a comparatively a larger one (or 5mm in diameter). Mostly the smaller cannula of 3mm in diameter is used for the procedures. The advantage to that would be that the 3mm cannula will take longer time to extract fat but the process is going to be a fine one. With a slimmer instrument, you will receive better results.
With a larger cannula, the process is going to be fast, but the results garnered will be smoother and finer when the procedure is undergone using a 3mm cannula.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?
Some complications that can arise are:
- Fluid accumulation, sometimes pockets of fluid gets trapped under the skin. The possibility of that happening is very low.
- Internal puncture, caused by the cannula when penetrated too deeply, sometimes causing a hole or a puncture in an internal organ. Again, the chances of that occurring are very, very small.
- Fat embolism, or when pieces of lose fat are left under the skin after a surgery, it may gather in a blood vessel, lungs or in the brain. It is a very uncommon after effect of the procedure.
- Withering of skin or Contour Irregularities
- Infection, which can be caused by the cannula during the procedure or when the patient gets exposed to the bacteria (in the air) during the procedure. The chances of that happening are approximately less than 2%.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON AFTER EFFECTS?
The potential risks and complications of surgery are rare but the most common ones include reactions to anesthesia, blood accumulation that may need to be drained surgically and infection.
The after effects to a liposuction procedure are very common and temporary in nature. The patient is advised to take adequate amount of rest after the surgery. The apparent scarring and bruising that will be caused after the surgery will be of temporary nature and eventually expected to disappear with time. Some of the after effects of this surgery include-
- Temporary pain
- Limited mobility
WHAT ARE THE PRE-OPERATIVE REQUIREMENTS?
To begin with, you should consult with our plastic surgeon so he can discuss and tell you exactly what difference will he be making to your body.
- Get rid of bad habits and avoid smoking prior to surgery for at least 14 days.
- Get an overall medical health examination prior to procedure that clears you for surgery.
- Avoid intake of multivitamins, aspirin and herbals two weeks prior to surgery.
- Your body mass index or BMI should be less than 77 pounds.
- No intake of solid food or liquid after midnight or 12 hours before surgery.
WHAT IS THE POST- OPERATIVE RECOVERY LIKE?
Post surgery you will be provided with a compression garment inserted with Topifoam pads, to ensure effective and fast healing. Your discharge will take place after an hour to the surgery. A little bruising and numbness will occur upon the area performed liposuction on, which is a completely normal and temporary after effect.
For the next two days after the surgery, there is going to be some fluid discharge from the incisions which is nothing but diluted blood and tumescent solution. The discharge will be light pink in colour and it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Prescriptive medication such as pain killers can be taken to avoid discomfort that occurs for a few hours post surgery.
POST-OPERATIVE RECOVERY INSTRUCTIONS:
- From the day of surgery to about the next 5 days, avoid movement or going to work. Take adequate rest at home and drink plenty of fluids. Keep your compression garment on for a faster recovery. Avoid showers.
- After about 5 days, you must make a follow up. You can take off your compression garment and change into light comfortable clothes that are not too skintight.
- Limit mobility for about the next two weeks.
- After two weeks, you can resume work. Avoid extreme movement of any kind.
- After about a month to surgery, you can resume your normal activity.