Liposuction – Would You Have The Procedure?

August 28, 2014

Have you been exercising and dieting, trying to lose that extra fat to no avail? If so and you are concerned about your body image, liposuction could be the way forward. But what does it involve and is it safe? Read on to find out.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that removes pockets of fat from underneath the skin to slim down and reshape a part of your body, most commonly performed on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, arms and neck. The process improves body contours and is most commonly performed because of body image concerns although it does not improve the appearance of cellulite or saggy skin, nor does it improve your health or reduce the risk of heart disease.

Who will benefit from liposuction?

Liposuction is normally intended for people who are finding it difficult to shift fat from particular parts of their body, after having tried diets and exercise – it is not a treatment for weight loss. Areas of fat deposits are sometimes due to genetics so the easiest way to reshape the problem area is by having liposuction.

The ideal candidate needs to be physically healthy, well enough to heal and resist infection, and be close to their ideal weight. They also need to be psychologically stable and have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of the procedure. Young patients with good skin tone normally achieve the best results because their skin is more elastic than older patients, meaning it will retract easier once the fat has been removed.

What is the surgical process?

Liposuction can be performed under a general or local anaesthetic, depending on the amount of fat to be removed, normally in a day surgery. Although there are slightly different ways of performing liposuction one of the most common procedures is tumescent liposuction. This is when the areas of fat are injected with an anaesthetic liquid, causing the fat cells to swell and become firm. The anaesthetic also helps to constrict blood vessels and limit blood loss. A small cut is then made in the skin before a cannula is inserted into the incision and pushed up into the fat layer. Using a back and forth motion the cannula breaks up the fat cells before they are suctioned out.

What happens after liposuction?

After the procedure you can expect some bruising, swelling, minor pain and possible numbness but you will be encouraged to get up and walk around and resume light activities within a few days. You’ll need to wear a compression garment for 4-6 weeks after the procedure which can be removed for showering and avoid strenuous activities for at least month afterwards. It can take several months for the swelling to subside, so be patient and if the skin does not retract you may need another operation to remove the excess skin.

Are there any complications?

As with any operation there are complications that can arise. They range from delayed healing to infection, irregular skin surface to the formation of blood clots or persistent swelling to cardiac complications. Your GP or surgeon will thoroughly discuss these complications with you before you agree to the procedure.

The procedure can be permanent, provided you eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and avoid any substantial weight gain after the surgery. So would you do it?

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