What is liposuction?

Liposuction enables removal of fat depositions at particular regions of the body using a specific vacuum device or special injectors. This procedure definitely aims correction of body contour, rather than weight loss. The surgery eliminated increased volume of fat tissue, which is resistant to diet and exercise, and thus, number of fat cells will be decreased.

The persistent fat deposition site is inflated with a specific injectable solution in the liposuction procedure. Next, several very small incisions are made on or near this region. Metallic tubes, measuring 2 to 6 mm in diameter, also known as cannula, are inserted through those incisions and they are connected to vacuum device with transparent tubes.

Vacuum device is turned on and cannulas are moved at appropriate depth at fat deposition sites and excess fats are removed. Vacuum procedure is maintained until desired body contour is obtained in addition to a smooth skin surface. Recently, ultrasound energy is used for this purpose. In this method, fat tissues are fragmented with ultrasound waves, and then, they are removed with vacuum.

Liposuction eliminates persistent fat deposition at deep layers while fat depositions which cause contour irregularity with a method called superficial liposuction or liposculpture technique which was developed in the last decade. Liposculpture method offers definitive outcomes in elimination of saggy skin and persistent cellulitis.

Surgery

Surgery is performed in operating theatre conditions and under supervision of an anesthesiologist. Combination of local anesthesia and sedation are preferred. For very confined or small areas, local anesthesia alone can be administered. Surgery takes 1 to 5 hours depending on the condition of regions, where vacuum is used. Cannula insertion holes are generally not stitched or only 1-2 stitches are placed. Sometimes, those cannula holes are used to place special thin tubes (drain), which help drainage of serum accumulated. Patients can be discharged in the same day or 24 hours later depending on the extent of surgery.

Patients are usually comfortable during postoperative period. Minimal pain can be felt, which can be managed with medications. Special bandages are postoperatively applied to the areas where vacuum device is used, and the patient is worn a special corset. Wound dressing is postoperatively performed. Patient continues wearing corset for 5 to 6 weeks. Violet discolorations may occur in areas where vacuum device is used. There may be swelling, sensation of tingling and burn. They disappear spontaneously in 3 weeks. Surgical scars will regress in 2 to 6 months.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I want to go through liposuction surgery. Whom should I contact?

This is an aesthetic surgery. You should necessarily contact Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons. Surgeons of other specialties claim they perform the surgery on strong demand. It will be for benefit of the patient to research the specialty of the surgeon before they go through surgery.

Which body parts are appropriate for liposuction?

It is now possible to remove fat deposits in many body regions like submandibular region, cheeks, neck, upper medial part of arm, breasts, abdomen, low back region, hips, thigh, medial part of knee and posterior part of the leg. Moreover, it is used to complement other body recontouring surgeries (abdominoplasty, breast reduction etc.).

Does liposuction procedure leave scars?

The access holes for the cannula (metal tubes used for liposuction) usually measure 2 to 4 mm. Scars of the procedure are hardly visible. The scars can be disregarded.

How much fat can be removed in one session? Can liposuction be repeated?

Maximum of 4 to 5 liters of fat can be removed in order to preserve patient’s general health and body functions. However, more fat may be removed with fluid and blood infusion. It depends on surgeon’s preference. If the areas are large, surgery can be repeated at 3-6 month intervals.