Body Procedures | Liposuction

Body Procedures: Liposuction

Know everything about this technique:

Liposuction si used to remove localized fat by aspiration.
It’s generally used for helping people to recover the shape their bodies used to have before gaining weight, but it is also very useful for shaping a male body into a more femenine.
Each area of the body can be treated alone or combined with others in the same surgical act. The most common areas are: abdomen, waist, back, buttocks, inner thighs, outer thighs, arms, face and neck.

What results should I expect from a liposuction?
  • It removes localized fat deposits that can’t be eliminated with diets or exercise.
  • It models the body, very useful for feminization purposes. For example, if you reduce the fat of your waist, your abdomen and your thighs, your buttocks and hips will look bigger by contrast. This way, the body as a whole acquires more feminine proportions.
  • The removed fat may be used to add volume to your buttocks.
What results should I NOT expect from a liposuction?
  • It doesn’t tighten sagging skin of the abdomen. If your problem is the excess skin, you should visit the section about tummy tuck surgery.
  • It's not used to treat obesity. If you have severe eating disorders, you should visit the section about bariatric surgery.
  • It’s not used to treat cellulite. Liposuction treats deep fat deposits, but cellulite is a superficial problem.
  • Even though it can make the body look more feminine, body proportions will still be determined by the bone structure.
The surgery

It can be local or general, according to the complexity of the case and the number of areas treated.

How long will it take?
Between 30 minutes and 3 hours, according to the complexity of the case and the number of areas treated.

How is liposuction performed?
Among the many techniques, two are the most frequent:

a) Tumescent Liposuction

The surgeon injects on the areas to be treated a saline solution with local anesthetic and a vasoconstrictor substance. This generates the adequate conditions for the removal of the fat. The surgeon then makes incisions of about 0.1 inches (3 mm) long through which he inserts a long, thin tube called cannula. A special device will remove the fat deposits through the cannula by suction. The surgeon moves the cannula under the skin to reach all the affected area. To make the treated area look more homogeneous, the surgeon has to perform the suction in a pattern of crossing lines, so he/she has to insert the cannula in different places. This is why more than one incision must be made.

b) Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
In Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction, a special cannula that emits ultrasonic waves is used. This makes suction easier, since they break the fat cells and liquefy the fat.

After the surgery

How long will I have to stay hospitalized?
It's generally done on an outpatient basis, but if many areas are treated at the same time, it may be better to stay hospitalized for one day.

What kind of bandages will I need, when will they be removed?
To heal properly, you will have to wear a special bandage on the treated area for about two or three weeks. It is a bit uncomfortable but, unfortunately, it is necessary.

When will the stitches be removed?
A week after the surgery.

What about swelling and bruises?
Bruises will probably develop, they may remain there for 10 days and may migrate to lower parts of your body before disappearing completely.
During the first three or four weeks, the swelling may not subside or it may do so unevenly, causing asymmetries. Be patient: usually, the results of tumescent liposuction can be seen after 3 months, and the results of ultrasound assisted liposuction, after 4 or 6 months.

What about swelling and bruises?
No matter the kind or location of the implants, one breast may heal faster than the other and you may notice a temporary asymmetry. The inflammation is at its worst during the first three days, then it lessens progressively during the next three or four weeks. It tends to be greater and to last longer when the implants are placed behind the muscle.

What will the scars look like?
The incisions take 3 or 4 days to heal. They will soon become very difficult to notice if we do not know where they are, since they will be about 0,1 inches (3 mm) long. They number of incisions depends upon the characteristics of the area treated.

Recovery period

You will have to rest at the hotel during the first day. Usually, you may be able to go back to work, and to have fun as you used to, 3 or 4 days after the surgery, but you will have to wait between two weeks and a month before doing any hard work or physical exercise.
During the recovery period, some people may feel quite depressed. It’s quite normal to feel this way after any kind of surgery, no matter how simple it may be. You may even come to think that you made a big mistake. But don’t worry. Most of the people who are happy today and who are satisfied with the results obtained, have also felt somewhat depressed.

What are the risks and complications involved?

Every surgery, no matter how simple it may be, has certain risks, and we should not rule them out. However, it is very unlikely for a liposuction to present any complications when performed by a qualified surgeon.

  • Asymmetry. Even though the surgeon marks the areas he will operate on very carefully, there may be asymmetries.
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia.
  • Infections may develop but, if you take the right antibiotics, they will be less likely to develop.
  • Excessive fluid loss that may lead to decompensation.
  • Pulmonary thrombosis. If a blood clot travels through the bloodstream and reaches the lungs, it may cause a cardiopulmonary arrest. To prevent this, try to get up and to move your legs as soon as you can.
  • Large bruises that may need to be drained.
  • Temporary loss of pigmentation of the skin of the treated areas.
  • Ecchymosis (bruises)
  • The weight lost could be recovered. Remember that it’s up to you to keep the shape achieved after liposuction. If you eat too much or lead a sedentary life, you may gain your weight back. However, the tendency to gain weight in the treated areas is usually lower than before liposuction, since the fat cells removed will not regenerate.
Finally, the outcome...

After a typical liposuction performed in the abdomen and waist, you may lose between 7 and 11 pounds (3.5 and 5 kg). Your body will be more harmonious, which will probably make you feel better when you look at yourself in the mirror. You will find it easier to choose the clothes you want to wear and you will feel more comfortable when you choose not to wear anything at all.
The small scars will become imperceptible in no time.

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