Liposuction/Lipoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove fat. Liposuction slims & reshapes specific areas of the body by permanently removing localized or regional fat deposits, thereby improving and achieving the desired body contours and proportions. This ultimately results in enhancing self-image.
Both obese as well as people in the normal weight range are candidates for liposuction. For those with average weight it works best by removing localized fat deposits that are stubborn, recurrent or do not respond to diet and exercise. For an obese person, it primarily reshapes multiple areas, resulting in permanent fat and weight loss. Some of the most desired areas for fat removal are double chin, arms, chest, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs & calves.
The body produces fat cells during three different periods: in utero, early childhood and early adolescence. In general, after reaching puberty, the total number of fat cells in the body does not increase (exception being morbid obesity). Fat cells that are removed through Liposuction are not replaced by other fat cells, so the resultant loss of fat & weight is usually permanent.
During the procedure, the area from where the fat is to be removed is marked and infiltrated with saline based solutions (tumescent fluid) through a small (less than 1 cm) & inconspicuous incision. The fat is then liquefied and sucked out of the body with the help of a powerful suction device. The fat may be liquefied with the help of Ultrasonic, Laser and Vibra assisted devices or with conventional liposuction cannulas. The Liposuction procedure may be carried out under local, regional or general anesthesia, based on the area to be treated and the preference of plastic surgeon or the patient.
The extra fat present in different parts of the body can usually be removed in a single session. For a person who is obese, large volume liposuction (Mega-Liposuction) can comfortably remove more than 5 litres of liquefied fat and even up to 15 to 20 litres of fat in one session. When fat needs to be removed from multiple areas of the body e.g. front and back, it may require more than one session. As blood loss during the liposuction procedure is minimal, blood transfusions are not required.
Liposuction as a procedure needs to be carried out at a fully equipped surgical facility. A patient undergoing small volume liposuction may be discharged in less than 24 hours. A large volume liposuction patient will preferably be required to stay for 24 hours post-surgery. However patient are mobilised within 4-6 hours of the surgery.
During the initial healing period, the patient may commonly experience some swelling, numbness, soreness or discomfort which can easily be controlled with medication. Tiny incisions, used for liposuction, may be left open to allow excess fluid to seep out during the immediate post-operative periods. With time these seal off on their own. Pressure garments are worn either immediately post-surgery or after 2-3 days (large volume liposuction patients). It is preferable to wear the pressure garments continuously for a period of 2-3 months to prevent any oedema and help achieve smooth contouring and skin tightening. Post the liposuction procedure, it is advisable to follow the Plastic Surgeon’s instructions and attend follow up visits as scheduled.
The skin laxity partly reduces after liposuction and is usually taken care of with continual use of a pressure garment. However for an area with excessively loosened skin or in some older patients with poor skin elasticity, a procedure of Skin-Plasty e.g. Abdominoplasty/ Tummy Tuck/ Body Lift/ Breast Ptosis correction or Thigh & Arm-plasty is preferred to achieve nice contour. This may be combined with liposuction during primary surgery or carried out on a later date.
A person who has undergone small volume Liposuction can resume normal activities within a couple of days while a person who has undergone large volume liposuction may resume normal activities within 7-10 days.
After Liposuction, patients will appreciate immediate deflation of the operated area. But the swelling that ensues will delay the actual visible results. This will become apparent after a period of 3 weeks to 3 months and will continue to improve over a year. In order to enjoy the effects and benefits of your Liposuction procedure, it is important to maintain your weight and practice a healthy lifestyle which includes eating right and regular physical activity.