What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a method of Aesthetic Surgery to remove localized fat and improve body symmetry. It is not done for body weight loss, skin tightening or removal of cellulite and stretch marks. The fat cells are removed, and the contour of the body is sculpted offering a renewed image. The amount of fat that can be removed is up to four liters. To remove more, the operation needs to be repeated.
It is usually applied to women in the buttocks, thighs and abdomen and to men in the breasts (pseudogynomastia) and abdomen. In addition, liposuction can be done on the hips, calves, neck, arms and waist.
- Who is it for?
Liposuction can be performed by people over the age of 30 who wish to either gain a lean body by releasing excess local fat that they cannot lose through exercise and diet or to get rid of chronic obesity which worsens their health and affects their overall picture. A necessary condition is that the candidate is not ill, in order to avoid any complication during the operation.
- What is the difference between liposuction and liposculpture?
As it has been pointed out, liposuction involves the local removal of excess stored fat while liposculpture is related to the process and transplant of fat cells from the parts where the local thickness was into other areas of the body. Essentially, liposculpture works in tandem with liposuction surgery for a better and more symmetrical result.
- The first visit to the doctor’s office
The first visit to the Plastic Surgeon aims to unfold the wishes and motivations of the person concerned and to make a diagnosis of the problem regarding the part of the body where the problem is located, alternative techniques for the operation and the expected results. After a consensus is reached, the Plastic Surgeon and the candidate can set the date and the procedures required for the operation.
- Is the operation painful?
Liposuction is one of the safest invasive methods with minimal complications. After all, the volume of examinations performed is aimed at the preventive control of diseases and conditions that may affect the flow and outcome of the operation.
- What complications may occur?
Complications are rare. However, the most common are edema, hematoma, hypersensitivity, serum (creating excess fluid in the surrounding area), inflammation and deformity of the scars, but they are treatable.
- What kind of tests will be needed before liposuction?
After receiving the medical history of the candidate, some tests are required to retrieve data that will allow the smooth flow of the operation. These are general blood and urine tests, biochemistry tests, an electrocardiogram and a chest x-ray and in some cases, if necessary, hormonal tests. At the same time, the Plastic Surgeon will give some additional preoperative instructions for people who are smokers or undergo medication.
- How long does liposuction last and what kind of anesthesia is required?
The duration of the operation depends on the number of points where the localized fat exists and the percentage of adipose tissue located in them, as well as on the respective technique that the Plastic Surgeon will use, in agreement with the candidate. Generally, a liposuction operation can take from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Usually, local anesthesia is used with sedation but in cases where there is an increased number of points to remove localized fat, the use of general anesthesia is recommended.
- During surgery
Whichever liposuction technique is used, the process is almost the same. The liquid method of injecting solutions (wet liposuction) that involves local anesthetic and adrenaline is usually used. Two small holes are made through which a special thin cannula with a diameter of 2-5 mm passes. The back of the cannula is connected to a silicone tube, through which the homogeneous suction of fat cells takes place with the help of the gaps created by the pump. The scars that are made are not visible to the naked eye.
- After surgery
If local anesthesia has been applied, the patient is able to leave the clinic after a few hours and return home, otherwise they will need to stay in for a day. Upon leaving the clinic and for 1-1.5 months it is important for the patient to wear an elastic bandage – corset to avoid the possibility of skin sagging. In the beginning, there will be some edemas in the affected area, maybe ecchymoses, which will gradually subside, and a slight pain, which can be relieved by the administration of analgesics. At the end of 1-2 weeks, after consultation with the Plastic Surgeon, the sutures can be removed if they are not absorbable.
- In how many days can one return to their daily activities?
The patient can return to work after 2-3 days. However, for at least 1 month they need to avoid intense daily activities and to wear the elastic bandage – corset. As time goes by, the image of the affected area will improve, as the swelling will subside, and the patient will be able to engage in more and more activities. Full recovery will occur in just 2-3 months.
Liposuction offers spectacular and permanent results in a short time. Adipocytes cannot grow again after they are removed. However, there is a risk that in the event of weight gain, fat may be stored in other areas of the body. That is why liposuction should be accompanied by good physical exercise and a healthy diet that will allow you to maintain a healthy and well-shaped body.