Liposuction, also called lipoplasty, liposculpture, suction lipectomy or lipo, is a type of cosmetic surgery which breaks up and sucks fat from various possible parts of the body. The fat is removed through a hollow instrument - a cannula inserted under the skin which is connected to a powerful, high-pressure vacuum for suction.
Genetically, everyone is predisposed to store fat in specific locations. For women, it is in the thighs, hips and buttocks; for men, around the waist. Even with diet and regular exercise, these specific areas of fat storage are difficult to get rid of.
Liposuction is commonly indicated for fat deposits which cannot be lost through diet and exercise. It is not intended as a method for weight loss and is not a treatment for obesity. It does not remove cellulite, dimples or stretch marks. The aim is aesthetic – to lose inches to change and enhance the contour of the body by removing the right amount of fat in the right way from the right areas. The safe limit for one surgery is removal of 200c.c to five liters of fat which reduces 2-8 inches from the targeted body part. Liposuction is also used to treat certain conditions such as:
ii. Gynecomastia in men
iii. Lipodystrophy syndrome
Body Areas Commonly Targeted for Liposuction:
Following are the body areas which are commonly targeted for liposuction:
5. Inner knees
8. Neckline and the area under the chin (sub-mental)
9. Outer thighs and inner thighs
10. Upper arms
Good Candidates for liposuction:
1. Those having good skin tone and elasticity. People whose skin lacks elasticity may end up with loose-looking skin in areas where the procedure was done.
2. The patient needs to be in good health - people with blood circulation problems, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, as well as those with weakened immune system should not undergo liposuction.
3. Candidates should be over the age of 18 years.
1. Patients who underwent a general anaesthetic usually spend the night in hospital. Those who had a local anesthetic may be able to leave hospital on the same day.
2. The patient will be fitted with either an elasticated support corset or bandages for the targeted area after the operation to help reduce inflammation and bruising. It is important to follow the doctor's advice on keeping the area clean.
3. Antibiotics are given immediately after the operation to reduce the risk of infection.
4. Analgesics (painkillers) are prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation.
Risks Associated with Liposuction:
Any type of major surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anaesthesia. Risk of complications is usually associated with how large the procedure is, as well as the surgeon’s skills. Following risks, unpleasant side effects, or complications are possible:
1. Bad bruising
2. Inflammation and swelling
3. Contour irregularities if the patient has poor skin elasticity, or fat removal has been uneven, the skin may appear withered, wavy or bumpy.
6. Internal organ punctures if the cannula goes in too deeply.
7. Pulmonary embolism if fat gets into the blood vessels and travels to the lungs, blocking the lungs. This can be life-threatening.
8. Pulmonary oedema - this may be a result of fluid being injected into the body. Fluid accumulates in the lungs.
9. Allergic reaction to medications or material used during surgery.
10. Skin burns - the cannula movement may cause friction burns to the skin or nerves.