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The Smallest Changes Make a Big Difference: Liposuction
Liposuction is a surgical procedure you undergo by using a suction technique to remove fat from parts of your body like the buttocks, arms, hips, abdomen, or neck.
You can also call it body contouring, lipo, liposculpture, or lipoplasty because it contours those areas. In some cases, people consider for the treatment of gynecomastia or breast reduction.
Even though people consider liposuction when you have too much fat in a specific part of your body such as the upper arms, buttocks, calves and ankles, chin and neck, hips and thighs, it shouldn’t be considered an alternative for weight-loss. If you want to lose weight, you are more likely to do so through regular exercise or a fitness diet.
Liposuction not only enhances your appearance but also promotes overall wellbeing, reduces sweating, and more. Many benefits come with having liposuction; they include:
- It helps to remove benign fatty tumors in specific areas of your body
- It helps men that suffer from gynecomastia by removing excess fatty breast tissue.
- It improves the contour of the body.
- It has immediate results
- It influences better habits like a good diet or exercise, as you must maintain the results.
- It improves your overall health due to the volume of fat lost during the procedure
- It can help deal with sweat and chaffing in body parts
- It can help you gain confidence
There are different types of liposuction; they include:
Types of Liposuction
UAL (Ultrasound-assisted liposuction)
During UAL, the doctor puts a metal rod that emits ultrasound energy under your skin. It then breaks down the fat cell walls and separates the fat for easier removal. A new type of UAL, called the vaser-assisted liposuction, involves using an instrument that improves body contouring with a lower chance of skin injuries.
This is a traditional type of liposuction. The surgeon administers an anesthetic to reduce pain, epinephrine- which causes constriction of the blood vessels, and a saltwater mixture to help with fat removal. The surgeon then makes minor cuts in the skin and inserts a thin tube connected to a vacuum that draws fluids and fats from the body.
PAL (Power-assisted liposuction)
You should consider this technique if you have had previous liposuction or large fat volume. In this type of liposuction, the surgeon uses a cannula that moves in fat in a back-and-forth motion. Although, this kind of liposuction allows the surgeon to remove the fat with more precision. It causes less swelling and pain.
Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL)
This type of liposuction uses high-intensity laser light to break down fat for removal. The surgeon makes a minor opening in the skin, inserts a laser fiber, and mixes fat deposits. And then, a cannula removes the fat.
How to prepare for a liposuction
Before liposuction, the surgeon will tell you what to expect after reviewing your medical history. It is essential to let the surgeon know of any medications or supplement you might be taking or medical conditions you have.
You will need to stop taking certain medicines like NSAIDs before and during your surgery.
The surgery is usually done in an office setting if your procedure requires only a small volume of fat. However, suppose you plan on having different procedures done simultaneously. In that case, the procedure has to take place in a clinic, and because they might have to stay overnight for a constant checkup, you need someone to be with you.
How your procedure goes depends on the technique your surgeon decides. He/she will choose the method due to the area you want to work on, your eventual treatment plans, and whether you have had prior liposuction.
The surgeon your medical history, mark circles or lines on parts of your body, take before pictures that you can compare with afterwards.
Liposuctions generally require anesthesia; it could be general anesthesia or the one limited to a particular part of your body to make it feel numb. General anesthesia puts you in a state of temporary unconsciousness.
You will be placed on a sedative through an IV injection to keep you relaxed and calm. The liposuction may go on for hours, depending on the severity of the fat.
It is normal to feel bruised or some pain level afterwards; painkillers will be administered for the pain and antibiotics to avoid infections. Your incisions will be open and have temporary drains to encourage fluid drainage. You also need to wear tight-fitting compression to reduce the swelling for a while.
It is advisable to delay doing any exercise forms for at least a month before. However, you should be well enough to go back to your routine in a few days.
If you decide to have liposuction, you have to be in uncomplicated good health, and because there is no surgery without possible risks, the potential complications that can occur with liposuction include:
This usually is a rare occurrence, but it is possible. Severe infections could be life-threatening.
It is possible to have permanent or temporary numbness in the affected area.
Accumulation of fluid
Seromas (Temporary pockets of fluid) may form under the skin; this can be drained with a needle.
Irregularities of contours
The skin may appear bumpy due to poor skin elasticity or uneven fat removal.
Lidocaine (an anesthetic administered during liposuction to ease the pain) is generally safe. Still, in rare circumstances, toxicity may appear, causing nerve and heart problems.
This is a medical emergency. Loosened fat may rupture and get trapped in a blood vessel entering the brain or lungs.
This is rare, but it happens when a cannula penetrates too deeply, puncturing an internal organ. A surgical repair can fix it.
The risk of complications increases if you will be undergoing multiple procedures or more extensive parts of the body. It is vital to talk to your doctor and know the kind of liposuction suitable for you.
It is expected for your fat distribution to change after the liposculpture. As long as you maintain your average body weight, the result stays permanent.