What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses suction to remove unwanted fat from specific areas of the body. It also helps shape these areas, which is a process called contouring. Liposuction has other names like liposculpture and body contouring.
It is important to note that liposuction isn’t considered a weight-loss method but it can remove fat in areas of the body that don’t respond to diet and exercise. The common areas of your body that are targeted are your:
- Calves and ankles.
- Chin and neck.
Why is liposuction done?
Liposuction is a strategic approach to body contouring. It works by reducing the number of fat cells in your targeted area, sculpting the body to achieve a more desirable contour. The amount of fat removed is tailored to the unique area of your body, contributing to permanent shape changes as long as a consistent body weight is maintained.
Following liposuction, your skin naturally adapts to the reshaped contours of the treated areas. Those with good skin tone and elasticity typically enjoy a smooth appearance. However, if your skin is thin and lacks elasticity, you might observe some looseness in the treated areas.
What can you expect with liposuction?
Before your procedure
Before you have any surgery, your consultation with your cosmetic surgeon is all about figuring out what you want from the surgery and what liposuction can do for you. Your surgeon will check out the area that needs help, look at how healthy you are, and explain the whole procedure so you know what you’re getting into.
They’ll take some pictures and talk to you about what you can realistically expect, the different ways to treat the area, and what might go wrong. This chat is your chance to ask any questions and share any worries you might have about the surgery. It’s an important time to make sure you’re on the same page with your surgeon before moving forward.
During your procedure
Liposuction is done using tiny, nearly invisible cuts. The process involves putting in a slim tube called a cannula through these cuts, connected to a surgical vacuum. The cannula moves back and forth, gently freeing up excess fat, and the vacuum then removes the excess fat.
After your procedure
After the procedure, your time at the clinic might be just a few hours, or your surgeon might suggest an overnight stay.
As you recover, there will be small temporary drains under your skin to get rid of extra blood or fluid. You’ll be wearing a compression garment over the treated areas, helping to manage swelling and shape your skin to the new body contours.
Your surgeon will remind you not to put too much pressure on the healing cuts and to avoid too much moving around during the initial weeks, being gentle with the treated area.
You’ll get guidance on how to take care of the treated spot, and your surgeon will prescribe medicine to prevent infections.
Understanding the risks of liposuction
Starting on your liposuction journey is an exciting step, but being aware of potential risks is crucial, as with any surgery. Here are some risks to consider:
- Possible Skin Changes: There’s a chance your skin may appear somewhat bumpy or wavy after liposuction. This might occur if the fat removal isn’t entirely even or if your skin lacks stretchiness.
- Fluid Pockets: Occasionally, your body may form small fluid pockets under the skin, known as seromas. If they appear, a quick needle drainage might be necessary. It’s important to stay aware of any unexpected bumps that form.
- Numbness and Tingling: Feeling a bit numb in the treated areas after liposuction is normal, and the nearby nerves might be a bit sensitive. Usually, this is temporary, but it’s good to be aware that it’s part of the process.
- Infection Caution: While skin infections are rare, there’s a slim chance they could occur. Though not common, following your surgeon’s instructions closely helps minimise this risk.
It’s crucial to understand these aspects before choosing to do liposuction. Understanding the potential risks ensures a smoother journey toward achieving your aesthetic goals.
Recovery after liposuction
After the surgery, you might notice quite a bit of swelling that can last for a few months, so the results will not be visible immediately. Most of the swelling will go down in about a month.
During the first four to six weeks after the procedure, you’ll wear a compression garment. This helps reduce swelling and manage any discomfort, playing an essential role in your recovery.
Once the swelling goes down, you’ll start seeing immediately the refined shape and body contours. When fat is taken out with liposuction, it doesn’t ‘grow back’. However, if you gain weight, the remaining fat cells in the treated area may get bigger. The results are long lasting as long as you maintain a stable weight. It’s important to note that although the results are permanent, your body will still naturally age after the procedure.