A liposuction (also called liposculpture) is a surgical intervention that is performed, when there is no contraindication, to eliminate localized fat deposits in different areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks and neck.
Over the past decade, liposuction, also known as "lipoplasty" or "suction lipectomy," has benefited from several new refinements. And a number of new techniques, including the tumescent technique and the super-wet technique, are helping many surgeons provide selected patients with more precise results and faster recovery times. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for diet and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to traditional weight loss methods.
If you are considering liposuction, throughout this page we will provide you with a basic understanding of the procedure, when it can help, how it is performed, and how it may look and feel after surgery. It will not answer all of your questions, as much depends on your individual circumstances. Ask your surgeon if there is anything about the procedure that you do not understand.
For men, common sites include under the chin and around the waist. Liposuction can also be used in the reduction of enlarged male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.
THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR LIPOSUCTION
To be a good candidate for liposuction, you must have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. It is important to understand that liposuction can improve your appearance and self-confidence, but it will not necessarily change your appearance to match your ideal or for others to treat you differently.
Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon. The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your expectations.
Liposuction depending on age
Your age is not an important consideration; however, older patients may have decreased skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.
Risk of Liposuction in People with Medical Problems
Liposuction carries an increased risk for people with medical problems such as diabetes, major heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.
Healthy, normal-weight people with elastic skin and pockets of excess fat are good candidates for surgery. The best candidates for liposuction are normal weight with localized areas of excess fat, such as the buttocks, hips, and thighs.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits are located, and evaluate the condition of your skin. Your surgeon will explain the body contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you.
For example, if you think you want liposuction in the abdominal area, you may learn that an abdominoplasty or "abdominoplasty" can more effectively accomplish your goals; or that a combination of traditional liposuction would be the best option for you. Be frank when discussing your expectations with your surgeon. He or she should be equally frank with you, describing the procedure in detail and explaining its risks and limitations.
GET THE ANSWERS YOU NEED ABOUT LIPOSUCTION
Considering liposuction often feels a little overwhelmed by the number of options and techniques being promoted today. However, your plastic surgeon can help.
When deciding which treatment approach is right for you, your doctor will consider effectiveness, safety, cost, and suitability for your needs. This is called surgical judgment, a skill that is developed through surgical training and experience. Your doctor also uses this judgment to prevent complications; to handle unexpected events during surgery; and to treat complications when they occur.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets, and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed. Also, while making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and, if necessary, help you at home for a day or two.
ANESTHESIA FOR LIPOSUCTION
Liposuction can be performed under general anesthesia, so you will sleep through the entire operation.
The time required to perform liposuction can vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia, and the technique used. There are several liposuction techniques that can be used to improve the ease of the procedure and improve the outcome.
The surgeon inserts a cannula through small incisions in the skin. At the other end of the tube is a vacuum pressure unit that sucks the fat out. Liposuction is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to re-contact one or more areas of the body.
Through a small incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to aspirate the layer of fat beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed and stretched through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump or a large syringe, according to the surgeon's preferences. If many sites are being treated, your surgeon will move on to the next area, working to keep the incisions as inconspicuous as possible.
The fluid is lost along with the fat, and it is crucial that this fluid be replaced during the procedure to avoid shock. For this reason, patients should be carefully monitored and given intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery.
The basic technique of liposuction, as described above, is used in all patients undergoing this procedure. However, as the procedure has been developed and perfected, several variations have been introduced. Liquid injection, a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into the fatty areas before the fat is removed, is now commonly used by plastic surgeons. The liquid, a mixture of intravenous saline, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a medication that contracts blood vessels), helps to remove fat more easily, reduces blood loss, and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.
TODA CIRUGÍA CAUSA ALGUNA INCERTIDUMBRE Y RIESGO
Liposuction is normally safe, provided that patients are carefully selected, the operating facility is properly equipped, and the physician is properly trained. Your doctor will in most cases remove less than 5 liters of "fat" which is considered safer when it comes to changing body fluids. It is important to keep in mind that although a well-trained surgeon and a state-of-the-art facility can improve your chances of a good outcome, there are no guarantees.
Although rare, complications can and do occur. Risks increase if more areas are treated at the same time or if operating sites are larger. Removal of a large amount of fat and fluid may require longer operating times than may be required for smaller operations.
The combination of these factors can create increased risks for infection; delays in healing; the formation of fat clots or blood clots, which can migrate to the lungs and cause death; excessive fluid loss, which can result in a discharge or accumulation of fluid that must be drained; burns from friction or other damage to skin or nerves or perforation from damage to vital organs; and unfavorable pharmacological reactions.
In tumescent and superhumid techniques, the anesthetic fluid injected may cause lidocaine toxicity (if the lidocaine content of the solution is too high) or fluid accumulation in the lungs (if too much fluid is administered).
Scars from liposuction are small and strategically placed to hide from view. However, imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon after lipoplasty. The surface of the skin may be uneven, asymmetrical, or even "loose," especially in the older patient. Numbness and pigment changes can occur. Sometimes, additional surgery may be recommended.
AFTER YOUR LIPOSUCTION SURGERY
After surgery, you may experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. To control swelling and help your skin better adapt to its new contours, you may be fitted with an elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks.
A tight-fitting compression garment worn after surgery helps reduce swelling.
Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
The next step is to arrange a private consultation with your surgeon. This is easy to do. Simply contact us using the online contact form and we will do the rest. Then we'll be happy to talk to you on the phone and answer any questions you may have. We know how important this procedure is to you. Our goal is to provide you with unsurpassed service.