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Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure to remove unwanted fat deposits. It is a highly efficient solution in a variety of areas of the body, including hips, buttocks, neck, breast, abdomen, thighs and face. This procedure can be performed on men and women, and is designed to slim and reshape the contour of your body. Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around the world. Liposuction is an effective procedure to remove fat and to achieve more attractive sculpt that can boost your confidence. However, it's important to understand that this procedure does not tighten the skin or changes its quality. It cannot remove cellulite, dimples, scars, stretch marks or other skin defects. Also, this is not a weight-loss solution and can be performed on people who have normal and stable weight.
While liposuction is usually performed for cosmetic reasons but it is sometimes used to treat certain conditions such as:
• Lymphoedema – a long-term condition that causes swelling in the arms and legs
• Gynecomastia - fat accumulation under a man’s breasts
• Lipoedema – a condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fat in the legs, buttocks and thighs
Who is it suitable for
✔ Individuals willing to remove unwanted fat and get a more attractive body contour
✔ Liposuction is suitable for women and men with stable weight, ideally within 30% of their ideal weight
✔ Individuals with firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
✔ Healthy people with no serious illnesses that can impact recovery
✔ Liposuction normally takes 1-4 hours
✔ Depending on the type and complexity of your operation, you may go home the same day or stay in hospital
✔ The complexity and duration of liposuction vary from patient to patient, depending on their individual situation
✔ In case of small amount of fat removal, you may return to work after 2-3 days
✔ For more complex liposuction procedures, you may need to take at least 2 weeks time-off for your recovery
✔ Bruises, swelling and redness is usually visible for at least 2 weeks but can be up to 6 months
✔ It normally takes at least 6 weeks to resume strenuous exercise
✔ It can take up to 6 months to see the full effect of liposuction
Types Of Liposuction Treatments
There are different types of liposuction available. You should always consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment approach for you and whether you are suitable for this procedure. Below you can see some of the most popular liposuction treatements:
Tumescent is the most popular procedure and is the basis for most methods of liposuction. This procedure involves injecting a sterile solution consisting of saline (salt water), lidocaine (an anaesthetic) and epinephrine (a vessel-constrictor) into the area where the fat to be removed. The surgeon then makes incisions and puts in a thin tube called a cannula connected to a vacuum to suction the fat from your body.
For ultrasound-assisted liposuction, ultrasonic waves are used to disrupt fat cells for easier removal. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with tumescent liposuction. Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction is recommended for treatments with larger volumes or dense fat. This procedure is most effective on stomach area, hips, thighs and back. Ultrasound assisted liposuction can also improve body contouring.
When it comes to laser assisted liposuction method, a high-intensity laser light is used to break down fat for removal. This procedure is less invasive than the traditional liposuction, which usually leads to a quicker recovery. Laser assisted method can be performed anywhere on the body with unwanted fat. The additional benefit of this procedure is that it can also help with skin elasticity improvements.
Power-assisted liposuction uses a rapidly vibrating cannula which allows the surgeon to pull out fat more easily and faster. This procedure is usually less painful and swelling as it allows to remove fat with more precision, often resulting in quicker recovery than with traditional liposuction. Power-assisted liposuction is effective anywhere on the body with unwanted fat, even in smaller areas.
Before The Treatment
Before scheduling the treatment, you need to meet with a doctor to discuss your liposuction objectives, and perform an examination:
• Goals and expectations - Prepare to discuss your liposuction goals and your expectations. Your doctor should explain you different types of liposuction methods, potential risks, recovery and expected outcomes.
• Medical history - You should provide a complete medical history including your past and current medical conditions, and medications that you are taking.
• Examination - Your doctor is going to perform physical examination to determine the best treatment approach for you.
• Diagnostics, tests and additional examination - Be prepared to undertake additional examination, diagnostics, a specialist consultation and blood tests if your surgeon requests before preceding with this treatment.
You will be advised by your doctor how to prepare for the procedure which may include dietary and medication requirements. You may need to stop taking certain medications such as contraceptive pill and anti-inflammatory drugs.
It's recommended that you arrange for help during recovery and drive you home from a hospital.
What does it involve?
There are different types of liposuction, but generally the following is involved:
• This procedure is generally performed under either local or general anaesthesia. General anaesthesia is normally used when substantial amount of fat need to be removed
• The liposuction procedure will start with making small incisions in the area where fat to be removed and then a thin cannula is inserted through the incision. A cannula is connected to a vacuum to suction the fat from your body
• A doctor then is going to move cannula back and forth to loosen the fat and suck it out
• Depending on the method of liposuction, there could be additional techniques used such as ultrasound, heat-based, laser or water-jet assisted solutions. These are used to is to liquefy the fat cells
• Drain tubes may be placed through the incision to drain any excess fluid and blood
• At the end, sutures are applied to close the incisions
• A bandage may be applied to reduce swelling and bruising
Liposuction procedure usually takes 1-4 hours but can take longer if other treatments are done at the same time. Depending on the type and complexity of your operation, you may go home the same day or stay in hospital for 1 or 2 nights for more complex procedures.
After the treatment
Your recovery and how quickly you can return to work largely depends on your treatment type and complexity of the operation. For operations when small amount of fat is removed, patients can normally return to work after 2-3 day. For more complex operations, you may need to take at least 2 weeks time-off for your recovery. After liposuction it is common to experience some discomfort and:
• Numbness (up to 6-8 weeks)
After surgery it is likely that you will have a bandage or support corset to reduce swelling and bruising. You may need to wear bandage for couple of weeks after the treatment. You may need to take antibiotics after the operation to reduce the risk of infection. Bruising and swelling normally is visible for 2 weeks but can last up to 6 months. It normally takes at least 6 weeks to resume strenuous exercise. Recovery usually takes around 4-6 weeks but it can take up to 6 for the swelling to go away and see the full effect of the operation.
As with any operation, liposuction can occasionally result in:
• Haematoma (bleeding under the skin)
• Persistent numbness
• Development of blood cloths
• Damage of internal organs
• Skin colour change in the area of treatement
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