What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that improves the body’s contour by the reshaping of specific areas or by the removal of stubborn or excess fat deposits.
Body Liposuction Quick Summary
What is body liposuction? Are there different techniques?
Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction recontours, reshapes and changes the body’s proportions. It is often combined with other cosmetic surgical procedures such as breast reductions and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) and is most commonly used to improve the appearance of the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and the arms.
Up to 5 litres of fat can be safely removed from around 3-4 areas during a liposuction procedure, so depending upon the number of areas that need treatment and the amount of fat to be removed, a number of treatments may be necessary.
There are a number of different techniques used for liposuction, and Dr. Verma will discuss this with you as well as advise on the most suitable technique for your individual needs. These are:
- Suction-Assisted Lipoplasty (SAL)
This is when the fat is removed by using a vacuum suction.
- Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)
This is when ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy your fat cells prior to a SAL procedure which then removes the liquefied fat and smooths the edges of the area that has been treated.
- Mechanical Assisted Lipoplasty (MAL)
This uses an oscillating metal tube that agitates and removes the fat and then vacuums it away.
Where is it done?: Your liposuction procedure will be performed at the brand-new Honeysuckle Day Hospital in Newcastle, a fully licensed and accredited day hospital which specializes in cosmetic surgery.
Length of surgery: Liposuction procedures will vary in duration depending upon the size of the patient, the number of areas to be treated, the type of anesthesia and whether it is being combined with another cosmetic procedure. Dr. Verma will discuss your individual circumstances with you at the time of your consultation but in most instances, surgery will take between 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Type of anaesthesia: Liposuction can be performed under General Anaesthesia or Local Anaesthesia. For larger volumes of fat in multiple sites, General Anaesthesia is used, but for smaller amounts of fat in limited sites, Local Anaesthesia is suitable.
Day surgery or inpatient stay?: Day Surgery
Costs will vary according to the amount of fat to be removed, the number of sites, the technique and the time duration required for the surgery. Dr Verma will discuss this with you at the time of your consultation and his team will provide you with a detailed quote after your visit
The liposuction consultation
Do I qualify for liposuction?
As with all cosmetic procedures, liposuction is based on each individual and not everyone is suitable. However, if you have good health, your weight is stable and you have pockets of fat or bulges that remain in spite of healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise, liposuction may be a good option for you.
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
Liposuction achieves best results for those people who have good healing qualities, maintain a healthy weight and have firm elastic skin but have stubborn fat pockets in particular areas. If you have multiple areas that require attention, you may need multiple procedures spaced 3-4 weeks apart.
Younger people with tighter skin can generally expect better results as our skin loses elasticity as we age.
Liposuction will not remove cellulite and is not a replacement for weight loss.
What to expect during the consultation?
Where will the incisions/scars be?
Scars are a part of the cosmetic surgery, however, Dr. Verma will endeavor to keep scars to a minimum and less obvious by locating incisions in areas that can be hidden such as along natural skin lines and creases. In most instances, scars fade with time.
What type of Anaesthesia will be used?
The type of anaesthesia will be either general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia, depending upon the amount of fat to be removed, the number of sites and whether the liposuction is being combined with another surgical procedure.
What are the side effects of liposuction?
With any surgical procedure, there are risks involved and most problems are easily treated and settle with time. Generally speaking, cosmetic surgery is quite safe as it is sought by healthy and fit individuals seeking improvement in the appearance.
General risks of any surgery include excessive bleeding, reaction to any of the medications (including anaesthesia), infection, poor healing or excessive scarring.
The occurrence of such complications depends mainly on whether you smoke, your general health status, how your body heals, as well as your post-operative recovery. Dr. Verma will discuss all risks and complications with you during a consultation, as well as techniques and medications which can minimize risks.
What are the risks and complications of liposuction?
There are particular risks and complications associated with liposuction which include:
- Thermal burn or heat injuries from the ultrasound device used in UAL procedures.
- Complications caused by injection of the anesthetic fluid used in SAL procedures.
- Excessive fluid loss when too much fat is removed leading to shock.
- Accumulation of fluid under the skin in a pocket.
- Development of an infection in the fatty tissues.
- Delayed healing.
- Uneven contours and rippling.
- Asymmetry or bagginess of the skin surface.
- Changes in skin pigmentation including discoloration and swelling.
- Damage of underlying structures.
- Development of clots of blood or fat in the deep veins with a danger of migration to the lungs. Heart and lung complications.
- Further surgery to address and complications.
Recovery after Liposuction
Care of your wounds
You will be provided with detailed instructions by Finesse Cosmetic Surgery with regards to care of your wounds etc. You may have dressings or bandages applied and be wrapped in a compression garment. This is to minimize swelling as well as provide support to the operation site during the healing process. You may also need to have excess blood or fluid drained through a small thin tube that is temporarily placed under the skin.
Depending upon the extent of your procedures, you may need to take a few days off work to rest. You will also need to avoid any heavy lifting, strenuous sports and exercise and swimming for a period of 6 weeks after your liposuction procedure.
When will you see results?
Initial results will be visible after your tissues heal when swelling and bruising subside which may take up to a month and final results usually take up to 6 months.
What will be your follow up schedule?
Dr. Verma will see you one week post the operation and then organize subsequent follow-ups according to how you recover. All follow-up visit costs up to three months after the operation are included in the cost of the surgery. Revision surgery for any complications carries an extra charge.
Similar to your consultation visit (see above), Dr. Verma will be taking photographs of the treated body parts in order to document its healing during follow up visits.
How long do the effects of liposuction last for?
Fat cells that have been removed with liposuction will not return. However, if you have weight gain, you will find that you may have fat pockets developing in other areas that were not problematic prior to liposuction. There is also a possibility of the remaining fat cells to become large and fatter.
Best long-term results are achieved through maintaining a stable weight, healthy eating habits, and a good exercise regime.