What is Liposuction Surgery?
Liposuction surgery, commonly known as Lipo, Liposculpture, Lipoplasty, etc., is a surgical fat removal procedure. Through this procedure, the fat layers just below one’s skin is liquefied and removed using a cannula (a hollow instrument), which is wedged under the skin, and a negative pressure suction is applied to the area to suck out the fat. Not a weight loss procedure, liposuction surgery is a mainly a body contouring procedure or a spot fat reduction process for the removal of stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to diets and exercises.
Where can it be Performed?
The liposuction procedure is the most popular cosmetic surgery for fat removal from specified parts of the body. It is chosen to contour and reshape the specified area. Some of the most common so-called ‘problem areas’ on which liposuction is performed are the belly or tummy areas with flanks, buttocks and hips, thighs, neck, face, double chin, calves, upper arms, back, areas around the bra strap, breasts, and male breasts.
The surgery removes deposits of excess fat in these areas which do not respond to diets or exercises. There is no fixed area for performing the procedure as everybody responds differently to workouts and diets. It is on a case-to-case basis and based on the choice of the patient.
Techniques and Procedure
The liposuction surgery involves making tiny holes/incisions in the skin of the patient, in the specified area and then inserting a cannula beneath the skin, into the fat deposits, through which the fat is removed. There are several different techniques that may be used, the only difference being how the fat is rendered easy to remove from the area through the cannula.
Before the procedure, the patient is required to undergo certain basic health examinations and tests to ensure if they are fit to undergo the procedure. Then depending on the body part, either local anesthesia (for smaller body parts) or general anesthesia is used. Post-surgery the surgeon leaves the incisions open for a while to enable the excess fluidsto flow out.
Some patients may be required to spend the night in the hospital under observation, generally those who have been administered general anesthesia and a large amount of fat is suctioned out. Others may be allowed to leave the same day after a few hours of observation. Support bandages are tied to the operated area to help in recovery along with prescribed antibiotics or painkillers.
There may be some bruising and numbness in the operated area for a few days following the procedure.
A pressure garment (compression garment) must be worn once the dressings are removed. This helps to reduce swelling and helps to shape the area that has been liposculpted. This can be worn from one moth to three months, as advised by the surgeon.
Liposuction surgery not being a highly invasive procedure does not require a long recovery period. Generally, the patient can resume their daily life within the next two to four days or so. The doctor prescribes antibiotics after the liposuction surgery to avoid any kind of infections, and even prescribes painkillers to combat any pains or inflammations.
Daily exercising and weight-lifting can be done after two to three weeks of the procedure in most cases. But the post-surgery care and recovery also largely depends on the area of operation and should be strictly followed as prescribed by your surgeon.
For Whom does it Work Best
The ideal candidates for liposuction surgery are adults at or around their ideal body weight or within 30% of it with firm and elastic skin, and toned muscles. The procedure does not give proper results for those with loose skin and does not even remove cellulite. Since it is not a weight-loss procedure and is a body contouring procedure, aiming at enhancing aesthetics of your body, the above factors become important for realistic expectations and better results. The patients should be healthy and non-smokers.
Those individuals near their ideal weight, generally have stubborn deposits of fat in specified areas, on which the liposuction surgery works best. These fat deposits are subcutaneous, that is, they reside between the muscle and the skin. Liposuction is not for visceral layers of fat that reside below the muscles, in and around the abdominal organs.
Wrapping it Up
Liposuction surgery is a cosmetic surgery and not a weight loss procedure contrary to popular belief. It only removes fat pockets from specified areas and in no way helps with weight loss. For the same reason, it works best for those close to their ideal body weight and with firm and elastic skin to avoid uneven results. The techniques for the surgery have evolved over time and now include different procedures for breaking down fat. The recovery is faster as the procedure is less invasive.