Liposuction (Lipoplasty)


Why have Liposuction (Lipoplasty)? Despite being in good health and having an active life style of exercise, many individuals may still have a body with unflattering contours due to localized fat deposits. These may be due to heredity or family traits rather than lack of a good healthy life style and exercise.

If you have a desire to remove these fat deposits, located anywhere on your face or body, that have not responded a healthy life style and exercise, liposuction may be an option for you. Liposuction slims and reshapes the areas of your body by removing localized or regional excess fat deposits, thus improving your body contours and proportions and enhancing your self-image.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or suction lipoplasty, is the surgical removal of localised or regional excess fatty tissue. The preferred techniques are:

  • A tumescent or super-wet technique that requires an infusion of a special saline solution to aid the removal of excess fat.
  • Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL) where ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy the excess fat before surgical suctioning.

These techniques can be used to reduce localized fat deposits in the following areas:

  • Back
  • Hips and Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Inner knee
  • Calves and Ankles
  • Abdomen and Waist
  • Breast or Chest area
  • Cheeks
  • Chin and Neck
  • Upper arms

The Liposuction Consultation

The consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how liposuction can improve your body contours. The purpose of the consultation is to inform you about liposuction, to bring focus and clarity to the concerns that you have regarding your appearance, but also to establish a realistic expectations and a clear sense of direction for your change. It is very important to highlight to your surgeon exactly what you find most objectionable about the appearance and to try to define what you would like to see as an end result.

During the consultation, you will be asked some questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the liposuction procedure, your expectations and desired outcomes
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Your surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status; ask about any previous surgery, and any pre-existing health conditions or risks factors
  • Take photographs for your medical records
  • Inform you that you could require more than one liposuction session to achieve your goals
  • without unacceptable risk depending on your situation
  • Discuss your goals and explain the likely outcomes of your liposuction
  • The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon
  • Discuss any risks or potential complications and what to expect during your recovery.

What to expect during the Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction may be performed under general or local anaesthesia, depending on the part of the body being treated and the amount of fat that is to be removed. It can be the sole procedure or performed along with another procedure such a face lift, breast reduction or abdominal reduction. In all cases, it is normal for your anaesthetist to give you intravenous fluids to replace those lost during your procedure.

In most cases, you surgeon will require that you be relatively close to your ideal body weight. This is not an absolute requirement. Rather, it reflects the fact that there is a surgically safe limit to the volume of fat that can be removed at any one time, and a limitation on how much your skin will shrink after large volume liposuction.

Liposuction is performed though small, inconspicuous incisions. First a sterile liquid solution is introduced to reduce bleeding and trauma.then a thin hollow tube called a cannula is inserted through these incisions to loosen the excess fatty tissue using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out using a surgical vacuum.

Liposuction surgery takes between 30 minutes and several hours depending n the number of areas treated and the volume of reduction. Less extensive liposuction may be performed as a day case. For larger size reductions or multiple areas treated, an overnight hospital stay is sometimes recommended. Your surgeon will most likely require you to wear a compression garment to control the swelling (oedema) during your recovery period.

Further Reading:

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

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