Liposuction is a surgical procedure used to remove excess fat (adipose tissue) from specific stubborn areas to improve the shape of your body. It helps people who feel out of proportion, due to persistent fatty deposits disfiguring the silhouette.
If you gain weight after liposuction, the fat will not accumulate at the treated sites, since the fat cells were permanently removed. Liposuction is an effective method to reshape the body with less downtime than other more invasive procedures. It can be performed on several areas of the body at the same time and is often performed complimentary to rejuvenating procedures of the face, breast or body.
Liposuction is not a weight loss method, but used to remove fat from isolated zones. It is commonly performed on abdomen, hips, back, neck, upper arms, thigh, knees and calf areas. Liposuction of the breast is preferably performed with breast reduction.
The type of anesthesia used for liposuction (local, spinal or general) depends on factors such as: the size and location of the area or areas to be treated, patient preferences, and general health. In order to reduce bleeding and pain, a mixture of saline, local anesthetic and adrenalin (tumescent solution) is injected into the subcutaneous fatty tissue. The fat is aspirated through hollow tube entering the skin via a tiny (several mm long) incision located in the most hidden places.
New machines and technologies emerge on the market every month. Since it is a vast market, many brands are heavily promoted in the media often promising superior results. Many of them are not properly tested in clinical trials, and their safety and effectiveness is questionable. In our practice, we only offer procedures and treatments that are scientifically proven in controlled clinical studies. All of them are approved and recommended by our professional societies, which are limited to Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons.
If the skin is able to contract after liposuction, and reform itself around reduced body volume, satisfactory results will be obtained. Therefore, patients considering liposuction as the only reshaping procedure should have good skin quality. Inelastic skin with decreased tone and pronounced stretch marks (striae) will not be able to shrink enough. In such cases we can only obtain a smooth and even surface with removal of the excess skin. We recommend postponing the procedure, if further weight loss or pregnancy is planned in the near future.
A minor liposuction (e.g. chin) can be performed on outpatient basis in local anesthesia. A large amount of fat is usually removed in general anesthesia and the patient should remain in the clinic for observation overnight. After the procedure, we recommend a compression garment to prevent fluid accumulation and to shape the remaining fat tissue. It should be worn for two weeks and removed only for showers, which can be taken after two days. After liposuction, mild discomfort requiring oral analgesics and swelling is expected for a few days. It usually takes about three weeks until the bruising disappears and a further few weeks until the most of the swelling disappears. Patients can return to work within a week, and resume physical activity in a month. Final result is seen after few months as tissue settles completely.
The subcutaneous fat contains bands of connective fibrous tissue that connect the skin to underlying structures. The arrangement and amount of these bands is primarily genetic and differ from one area of the body to another and also from person to person. In woman with cellulite, these fibrous bands or septa are more vertically oriented compared to the oblique position of the bands seen in man. In addition, the connective tissue layer is weaker in women and is prone to further weakening with age, enabling the fat to bulge outward. While liposuction does not specifically remove cellulite, it can improve the appearance of cellulite by thinning the fatty tissue layer and lessening the skin tension.
After liposuction complications such as infection or bleeding are rare. There is a minimal, but potentially serious risk for internal organ injury, when procedure is done by an inexperienced doctor. Circulatory disorders, which can be life threatening, have been reported but only in association with removal of massive amounts of fat. Such operations are discouraged since liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. Sufficient experience is needed to extract the fat evenly so that no unsightly contour asymmetry or unevenness appears.