What is Liposuction surgery?
Liposuction surgery is essentially a fat-reducing or removal surgery for cosmetic purposes. It should not be confused with weight loss or obesity management surgery. Fat cells in unwanted areas are targeted and sucked or emulsified with the help of a cannula under general anesthesia. The procedure is useful for individuals who want to get rid of unwanted fat deposits in certain areas of their bodies for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes. It is also being utilized in the following conditions:
- Lymphedema: Lymph vessels and nodes of either hands or legs swell up due to the accumulation of lymph. Liposuction helps to reduce lymph accumulation and swelling.
- Gynecomastia: Men may sometimes have enlarged breasts due to fat accumulation around the chest and nipples.
- Lipomas: Fat-saturated benign tumors may be removed with liposuction surgery.
- Lipodystrophy syndrome: In this, fat distribution in the body is affected. Some areas may be deficient in fat cells, and/or others may have excessive fat content. Liposuction helps in improving fat distribution.
Alternate Name of Liposuction Surgery
Lipo; Lipectomy; Lipoplasty; Liposculpture suction
Neck, arms, back, inner and outer thighs, calves, and buttocks.
Procedure in Liposuction Surgery
General Anesthesia is administered in case of large areas of liposuction and local Anesthesia for small areas. A cannula is inserted through a small incision. A high-pressure vacuum is attached to the cannula. Once the desired area is targeted through the cannula, the vacuum is switched on, causing a suctioning effect on the fat cells. Partial or complete removal of fat cells is done depending on the requirement. Based on the type of technique used to remove fat cells, liposuction is conducted in the following ways:
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): Ultrasound is used to guide the cannula to the fat cells. The ultrasound emulsifies the fat cells, which are eventually sucked out by the cannula.
- Solution-based liposuction: A mixture of local Anesthesia and saline is pumped into the fat cell layer, and then liposuction is carried out with a cannula.
- Dry liposuction: No solutions are pumped, keeping the area dry for fat suctioning.
- Pre-surgery fitness tests are conducted to assess your ability to withstand the surgery and post-operative recovery. These include routine blood tests, lung, and heart function assessments, and diabetes checks.
- Medications like aspirin and blood thinners must be withheld at least 2 weeks before surgery. Women must stop consuming contraceptive pills.
- A grave risk consent is obtained from the patient and caretaker.
- 12-hour overnight fasting is required.
- You will be prepped for anesthesia and surgery by a nurse.
Surgical invasive procedure
A follow-up schedule will consist of stitch removal at the end of 2 weeks and subsequent follow-up to assess the progress and monitoring of vital organs. Dressing and maintaining hygiene for the operated site are essential for 2-4 weeks, depending on the extent of the operated area.
Risks for Liposuction Surgery
- Bruising, bleeding, and swelling on and around the incision site may occur in a few cases. These are preventable with good post-op care.
- Those who have undergone liposuction for a larger area may have skin bags hanging loose.
- Risk of blood clots due to the presence of co-morbidities.
- Pain in the operated area may last for a few hours or days. Painkillers are usually begun as prophylaxis.
- Kidney, heart, and/or lung oedema: Edema is swelling in a tissue. As fluids are pumped into the fat cells, excessive fluids may be pushed back to the kidneys, lungs, and heart, causing them to swell and cause discomfort.
Recovery from Liposuction Surgery
A one or two-day stay is expected to recover from Anesthesia and pain. Medical experts will chalk out a customized diet and exercise plan to ensure that fat cells do not regrow and the contour of the part remains appropriate. Swelling around the operated area may mask the effects of liposuction. It usually subsides within 4 weeks. One can carry on with their routine activities post stitch removal.