Liposuction is one of the very well known cosmetic surgery procedure.
For whom and who gets good result?
It should be noted that liposuction is a surgery for removal of fat but not a procedure for weight reduction. It removes excess fat from a particular area of body e.g., tummy, waist, thigh, in an otherwise mild to moderate obese person. Thus it tries to give a balanced figure to the person. Generally, one session of liposuction can remove about 4 to 6 liters of fat, but improvement in contour is remarkable.
Liposuction gives best result in persons who are young, physically fit and have a good elastic skin and taught muscles.
Which area of body yield to liposuction?
In women, abdomen, thigh, side & lower hips, under the chin, around the breasts and upper arms.
In men, waist, abdomen,and around the chin.
Some men notice increase in the size of their breasts. This condition is known as gynaecomastia and it can be treated with liposuction. Some cases of gynaecomastia may require a small incision for removal of glands. This incision is made in such a way that it leaves an invisible scar.
What does the doctor do in operation?
Operation is done in general anesthesia, that is putting the patient to complete sleep. In Tumascent technique, if patient is cooperative, the surgery can be done under local anesthesia with some sedation or light general anesthesia.
In operation a small, about 1 to 1.5 cm, incision is made. A small tube is passed through this incision under the skin. This tube is connected to a special liposuction machine. This machine removes fat by creating a vacuum. In a new technique, the area from where fat is to be sucked, is filled with special fluid. This fluid and the fat are removed by liposuction. This technique is known as ‘Tumascent technique’. We now have switched over to Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL). This is a new technology used in combination with the Tumascent technique. Here, the cannua is inserted through the skin cut. This cannula is “VIBRATING” cannula. This helps to remove tough fat, giving better results.This procedure gives better result and causes less blood loss.
Once the limit of fat aspiration is reached, the wounds are closed and dressing is applied.
Before operation special pressure garment is prepared. This is applied over the dressing immediately after the surgery.
What is the course after operation?
- The patient can move around in 24 hours. Most of the patients can be allowed to go home.
- A change of dressing is required after 48 hours and on 7th day.
- Stitches are removed around 7th to 10th day. A water proof dressing is applied on the wound. This dressing is also removed.
- The pressure garments are to be worn for 4 weeks, for 24 hours. There after daily at nights for another 2 months.
- Light duty can be resumed after 7 days.
- Mild weight can be lifted after 2 weeks. Around this time one can resume full work.
- Some swelling always occurs in any area of body that is operated. Thus the part which underwent liposuction looks somewhat swollen. About 80% of the swelling goes off in 2 weeks. It takes 6 to 8 week for remaining swelling to clear. Though the result of liposuction can be seen even on operation table, it is best appreciated after 12 to 16 weeks.
- After operation the skin shows brownish discoloration and feels ‘bumpy’ that is uneven. It will clear on its own in 4 weeks. The area may feel hard, sometimes stony hard, for about 8 weeks. This is due to swelling and is best taken care of by the use of pressure garment as advised.
- Some patients feel a decreased sensation in the area operated. This is routine and clears off in about 4-6 weeks. It is important to avoid taking bath with very hot water for 6-8 weeks after operation. Lukewarm water can be used.
- Some patient may feel ticklish, or may feel “very low electric current” like sensation. This is due to return of the function in the nerves of the area of treatment. No active treatment is required for that.
What are the risks?
Liposuction in general is a very safe procedure. Life threatening complications are very rare. Some other complications are :
- Inadequate Suction: Generally the plastic surgeon tries to remove the fat according to the estimates, but sometimes the fat can not be removed as desired because of technical reasons. In such cases, a second session can be done if the patient so desires.
- Excessive Suction: This leads to undue depression in contour. It can be treated by reinjection fat from other areas of body.
- Bleeding and Infection.
- Risks of Anesthesia
It is to be noted that all these complications are uncommon and not all the complication would occur in a given patient.
When should I contact the doctor after operation?
Contact Dr. Hiren Bhatt in case of fever more than 100’ F during post operative period. Also talk to him if your pain is unbearable and not relieved by the medicines prescribed.
Does the fat refill in the area which underwent liposuction?
Fat tends to remain in the form of cells in body. Liposuction removes these ‘storehouses’ of fat. Thus in principle there is no recurrent deposition of fat. It has been seen however that when a person shows excessive weight gain, the area that underwent liposuction also shows some increase.