Liposuction (Body Contouring, Body Sculpturing)

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Liposuction involves surgical loosening and removal of fat from an area by using long or short metal tubular instruments called cannulas connected to a vacuum suction machine. The suction cannulas are usually made of stainless steel. The tips are blunt. The cannulas have 1 to 5 holes near the tip on one side or on different sides.

Fat collections of the Hips, Thighs, Buttocks, Abdomen, Arms, Under the Chin, Upper body, etc. can be reduced by this procedure.

The Best Candidates for Liposuction :

Persons with reasonably normal weight and healthy elastic skin with extra localised fat in certain areas, get the best results from this procedure. (Healthy elastic skin has the capacity to shrink after underlying fat removal). Even though Liposuction can be done on patient's of any age, it may not give satisfactory results if the skin is loose in the particular area. One could have loose skin after loosing lot of weight or after pregnancy or one could lose the elasticity of skin due to old age or other reasons. In such patients, in addition to Liposuction, some of the skin is also removed so as to get a satisfactory contour. Although liposuction is not a substitute for dieting and exercise, it can remove stubborn areas of fat that don't respond to traditional weight-loss methods.

The fat cells once removed are removed for ever and do not multiply again. Most of the fat cells are situated under the skin. When a person gains weight the size of the fat cells increases as more and more fat is deposited in them. When one loses weight, the fat is mobilised out of the fat cells and so these cells become smaller in size. Once the fat is removed by Liposuction from a particular area it will not come back even if one gains weight by 2-3 kilos. So if patient maintains weight following Liposuction the results are permanent.

Planning surgery :

The surgeon will give specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications.

Liposuction is performed in a hospital and a day's stay in the hospital will be required.

Anesthesia for surgery :

Depending on the amount of fat removed and body sites involved the surgeon will select the type of anaesthesia that provides the safest and most effective level of comfort for the surgery

Surgical Procedure :

Fluid Injection, a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into fatty areas before the fat is removed, is commonly used by plastic surgeons today. The fluid -- a mixture of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that seals blood vessels) -- helps fat removal more easily, reduces blood loss and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.

A small cut about 4 mm to 10mm is made, a few inches away from the area to be suctioned and the suction cannulae are inserted. The cuts are usually made in the skin folds and so, the scars are barely noticeable. . The cannulas is pushed, then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. Depending upon the areas to be suctioned and recon toured or reduced, anywhere from 3 to 8 lit. of the fat is removed in one sitting. The removed material usually consists of 65% to 85% fat and the remainder would be blood, plasma and serum. It is safe to remove up to 5-8 percent of body fat in one sitting. If fat amounting to more than 8-10 percent of body weight is removed incidence of complications is very high. Fluid is lost along with the fat, and it's crucial that this fluid be replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. For this reason, patients need to be carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after the surgery.

Getting back to normal :

After the surgery, snug or tight dressings will be applied for 5 to 8 days to promote shrinkage of the skin and to minimise swelling. In most instances, one is required to wear a support or a girdle for several weeks or months during the healing time. One could feel localised areas of hardness or firmness in the suctioned areas for 1 to 4 months after the surgery.

One may require medication (by mouth) for pain relief for one to two days after the surgery. During the healing period, numbness and / or discomfort could be present. After the surgery, there will be swelling in the areas of the surgery. Even though most of the swelling disappears in the first 2-3 weeks, it takes 2-4 months for all the swelling to disappear. Skin discolouration could last upto several weeks after the surgery.

Strenuous exercises such as Gymnastics or aerobics sports or swimming should be avoided for 4 weeks.

Even though the patient is required to stay only one day in the hospital, one should stay within the close reach of the clinic for about 7 days, for follow up care. Even after multiple area liposuction, one should be able to be move around in 1 to 2 days and resume most of the normal activities in 10 to 14 days.

Uncertainty and Risk :

As judged by current worldwide experience, liposuction is amazingly safe. Rare problems that can potentially occur with any surgical procedure include infections, bleeding, fluid collections. Liposuction is associated with certain common side effects such as bruising, swelling and temporary numbness. Although irregularities of the skin are possible following liposuction, this side effect is minimized by tumescent liposuction using microcannulas On rare occasions, rippled or uneven skin or areas of loose skin could result from these surgeries, which might require further surgeries to correct them.

It is dangerous to attempt too much liposuction on the same day. There is a limit to the amount of surgical trauma that the human body can safely withstand. If the patient desires a large amount of liposuction, is it far safer to divide the procedure into two or more separate surgeries spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart, rather than to do one excessively large surgery on a single day.

It is dangerous to combine liposuction with other unrelated surgeries, such as facelift, breast surgery, or laser surgery, on the same day as liposuction. It is especially dangerous to do abdominal liposuction on the same day as a gynaecologic surgical procedure.

Your New Look :

 Results depend upon the expectations of the patients and the amount of fat that is suctioned from the given area

Usually, patients with good elastic skin and who come for recon touring a particular area are very happy with the result.

The final shape and countor will be evident 8-12 weeks after surgery.