Lipoplasty/ Suction Lipectomy/Liposculpture
During liposuction a hollow tube-shaped surgical tool or a small canula is placed deep into the fatty tissue beneath the skin. Suction is then applied until the required fat is removed. The vital to success is ensuring that the fat under the skin is removed and remains smooth between the outer layers of skin. The Tumescent procedure is the most common method used as it involves the infiltration of saline in to the fat prior to extraction. This solution usually contains local anaesthetic and a constrictive agent which combine to loosen the fat, shrink the blood vessels and anaesthetize the area. This enables the surgeon to remove fat more easily and with less pain, bruising and blood loss.
There are different techniques in liposuction:
• Liposculpture describes the technique of shaping the waist, hips and thighs to give a well proportioned shape.
• Liposhaping refers to an all over removal of body fat to reduce overall size.
• Lipostructure is the method of using small amounts of extracted body fat to reshape the facial contour.
• Lipobuilding is the technique of using larger amounts of extracted body fat to increase the breast size or expand body contours.
• Superficial Liposuction creates skin shrinkage by removing the fat directly under the skin.
• Tridimentional Liposuction combines extraction of all 3 levels of fat to shape and lift the body and shrink the skin.
Liposuction can be performed on almost all areas of the body. The most common areas are the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin and cheek, male chests, female breasts, knees, calves and ankles. The fat removed can be transferred to fill or enhance facial or body contours in other areas if necessary.
The surgery requires a hospital admission for atleast one night
Duration of Operation
The time taken to perform liposuction can vary greatly depending on the amount of fat to be removed. The amount of fat extracted from a small area can be from 500ml and increase to 7 liters for total body shaping. It is considered unwise to remove more than 7 liters in one procedure as the body can go into shock.
Local or General anaesthesia – depending on your particular procedure and your comfort level.
Pre Operative Care
Surgeons advised that patients to do the following prior to the liposuction surgery to avoid post operation bleeding or any complications:
• Inform the surgeon of any allergies, all medical conditions, and any medication that the patient are taking (both prescription and non-prescription)
• Avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin or brufen for two weeks before surgery.
• Avoid smoking for two weeks as smoking can affect body’s reaction to the anaesthetic and slow down the healing process.
• Inform the surgeon if suffering from hypertension.
On the day of the consultation, the surgeon will assess your general health and which areas of the body have fat deposits that can be treated with liposuction. It is possible that the surgeon may decide that, for example, an abdominoplasty, or a ‘tummy tuck’, may in fact be more suitable to your needs.
Post Operative Care
After liposuction surgery, patients should expect the following:
• Bandage and support garment. After surgery, the area is covered with a compression garment designed to hold the body in shape whilst the remaining fat compresses into the new contour. This garment is worn day and night for approximately 2 months but may be taken off for a short time daily for a shower or bath.
• Stitches. Surface sutures are removed after approximately 5 days and deeper sutures might stay for up to 7 days before being removed.
• Post op dressings. The surgeon will give directions on bathing and changing of dressing.
• Swelling and bruising. The extent of the post-operative swelling and bruising depends on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily. Every person is different. It is necessary to not perform any strenuous activity after surgery to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the wound. Tension can stretch your incisions and increase scarring. The surgeon will discuss when a patient can return to their normal daily activities.
• Medications. Prescriptions for pain medication that the patient will take as needed, and antibiotics that will be taken for several days to decrease chances of infection.
• Recovery. The recovery period is usually about a week. While there should still be some swelling and bruising, most people are happy with the result and return to work after approximately 1-2 weeks. Patients should consult a surgeon as to when they may return to work.
Risks and Complications
Risks are inherent to any surgical procedure. But do not worry, all precautions are taken by Plastic Surgery Phuket’s surgeons to avoid these risks.
Here are the most common risks of this surgery:
• change in sensation to the affected area
Seeking immediate care from health professional is advised for patients who will suffer from the following:
• bleeding that does not stop
• lightheaded feeling and have trouble breathing
• new and sudden chest pain
• more pain when taking deep breaths or cough
The improvement will become evident after the swelling has subsided. However, you’ll be able to see a noticeable difference in the contour of your body quite soon after surgery. After about three months, any mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible within the next 6 months. After your procedure you could expect to reduce 1 garment size, however, this is not a weight reduction technique.