Last updated on February 28, 2023
Liposuction surgery is a procedure used to sculpt your body, eliminating unwanted exercise and diet-resistant pockets of fat. It can be combined with other procedures to sculpt your body into the physique you want. If you’ve been exercising regularly and eating healthy and you’re still struggling to lose fat in certain areas of your body, then you may be a candidate for liposuction. If you want to know more, call and speak with a medical professional at My Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, NSW today.
When Should You Consider Liposuction Surgery?
Anyone with localized areas of fat deposits that are disproportionate with the rest of their body should consider liposuction. These areas of fat deposits often include, but are not limited to, the upper arms, love handles, thighs, butt, and neck. If you have problem areas that exercise and diet don’t seem to affect, and you would like a sleeker, more defined contour to your body, then liposuction may be for you.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Sometimes, no matter how strict our diet or vigorous our exercise regimen, stubborn pockets of fat just won’t go away. Liposuction may benefit you if you have a minimal amount of excess skin and good skin elasticity.
You should also be only about 20lbs or so overweight, and your weight should be stable. If it has been fluctuating up and down recently, you may want to wait before moving forward with liposuction. If you plan to lose or gain a significant amount of weight or to get pregnant after surgery, you may want to wait.
How Is Liposuction Surgery Done?
Liposuction gets its name from the fact that it removes fat via suction. During the procedure, small, thin tubes known as cannulas are inserted through small incisions in the skin. The tubes are moved under your skin to target fat deposits and suction them out of the body. There are a variety of ways this can be done.
This procedure involves a “wetting solution” that includes a local anesthetic and vasodilator that is injected before surgery. It causes blood vessels to shrink down and constrict, allowing liposuction to be performed with the patient under local anesthesia while minimizing blood loss and reducing postsurgical discomfort and bleeding.
Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL)
This is the most traditional form of liposuction. It draws out fat with a vacuum.
Power-Assisted Liposuction (PDL)
PDL is similar to SAL, with the exception that an additional tool is used to increase the motion of the cannula, resulting in faster fat removal.
Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
In this procedure, energy is transmitted through a special handpiece that helps in loosening and melt fat, allowing for more of it to be removed during the procedure. UAL is best for areas of dense fat and male patients.
VASER is a variation of UAL and involves an ultrasonic cannula designed with several grooves that evenly disperse the energy, improving fat disruption and removal.
Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL)
Also referred to as Smartlipo and Slimlipo, LAL is a relatively new type of technology. Its intention is to work like UAL to disrupt fat cells and make the removal more efficient and less traumatic for patients.
What Does Your Consultation Entail?
You will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals with your surgeon during your initial consultation. You will be evaluated as a candidate for liposuction, and your surgeon will make it clear just what the procedure can and cannot do for you. Once your surgeon has a full understanding of your goals and condition, alternative and additional treatments may be considered to reach the results you want.
Your Physical Examination
Your surgeon may ask you to look in a mirror and point out exactly what bothers you about your body. You may have photos taken of your body depending on the areas you want to be treated. The photos, including 3D photos, will help your surgeon understand what you expect from the procedure and determine if those results can be achieved through liposuction surgery. The elasticity of your skin will be evaluated and specific measurements will be performed to determine skin laxity. The best candidates for surgery have excellent skin tone and tissue elasticity.
At your initial consultation, you need to bring up any plans for future pregnancies as well as your ideal weight. Your doctor may suggest a weight loss program if necessary to achieve the results you want.
Preparing for Your Procedure
You’ll be provided with preoperative instructions by your surgeon. They will also answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure you’re fit for surgery.
Certain lifestyle changes may be required to ensure safe and effective surgery. If you smoke, you will need to stop at least six weeks before the procedure as cigarette smoke can impede healing. You will also have to avoid taking any medications that interfere with your body’s inflammatory response, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, as well as any supplements or homeopathic treatments that may cause increased bleeding.
Will You Be Admitted to a Hospital?
Liposuction surgery is almost always performed on an outpatient basis. Make sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure is complete and stay with you for at least the first night following your surgery. If you are undergoing a large volume of liposuction, you may be asked to stay overnight at the surgical facility so you can be closely monitored.
The Day of Your Procedure
Most of the time, liposuction takes about ninety minutes to complete, but that timeframe can be longer or shorter depending on how much fat is removed and the number of liposuction sites. For procedures that involve multiple sites on both sides of the body, the time it takes to complete can be longer than three hours.
Medications and Anesthesia
Your surgeon will give you medications to increase your comfort during the surgical procedure. Often, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for liposuction patients, but sometimes general anesthesia is more desirable. Your surgeon will explain the differences between them and recommend the best option for your specific needs.
Monitors will be set up for your safety during the procedure. These monitors will be used to keep track of your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen in your blood as you are anesthetized.
Techniques May Change
Once everything has been set up, your surgeon will follow the surgical plan you both discussed before your surgery. Once the operation has begun, your surgeon may decide to combine techniques or change one or more techniques to provide the best possible outcome. It’s important to talk to your surgeon and develop a level of comfort with their decision-making capabilities.
At the end of the procedure, you will be fitted with a compression garment to help shrink the skin and taken to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored while you rest. Soreness similar to a vigorous workout is common after the procedure. Most patients are permitted to go home after a short observation period.
Aftercare and Recovery
You and your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of physical activity. The duration of this time period will fluctuate from patient-to-patient based on the procedures they underwent as well as the amount of physical activity they’re used to on a daily basis.
You and your caregiver will be given detailed instructions about how to care for you post-surgery. If any drains have been placed, you’ll be instructed in their care, and you’ll be informed about any normal symptoms of healing you’ll experience after liposuction surgery.
What Does the Recovery Timeframe Look Like?
It’s extremely important that you closely follow any and all patient aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon. This will include information about the compression garments, antibiotics (if prescribed), and the level of activity that is safe to perform immediately post-surgery.
You will also be advised about the normal symptoms you will experience and how to treat them. The amount of time it takes to recover differs greatly among individuals. It’s important not to let others’ experiences hamper your own recovery.
The First Two Weeks Post-Surgery
For the first few days after surgery, you should rest. If possible, elevate the part of the body that has been affected by liposuction surgery and remember not to take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications. If your postsurgical garment is too tight, inform your surgeon as soon as possible.
Swelling and bruising typically occur within the first 48 hours after surgery. The bruising should disappear completely within seven to ten days. It is at this time that the sutures, if they were used, will be removed.
Continue With Lifestyle Changes
If you were asked to stop smoking before your surgery, you should continue to refrain from doing so to prevent bleeding and coughing. Alcohol consumption should also be avoided for at least five days after surgery or while you are taking pain medication. Straining, bending, and lifting should be avoided at all costs during the first ten days or so as well. Your surgeon will provide you with specifics, but generally speaking, you should take it very easy for the first couple weeks so as not to impede your healing or cause unnecessary pain.
How Long Will the Results Last?
Liposuction surgery offers results that are technically permanent, since fat cells have been removed from your body. However, your individual body shape and contours may be affected by weight gain, aging, pregnancy, genetics, and lifestyle factors. To maintain the results, it’s imperative that you exercise regularly and eat healthily.
Should you have questions regarding how to exercise or eat, your surgeon may be able to provide you with some suggestions, though working with a nutritionist or personal trainer can be beneficial to many patients who want to maintain their newly-sculpted physique.
Is It for You?
Liposuction surgery is a tried-and-true method for quickly and efficiently removing stubborn, unwanted fat from various locations on your body. The best candidates are those who are only slightly overweight and have specific areas they would like to improve as well as skin that is elastic enough to remain in place post-surgery.
Liposuction can help your clothes fit better and your body appear slimmer. The incisions are small and minimally invasive, which results in much smaller scars than other body sculpting procedures. It can also be done with less sedation and a shorter operating time than other options. Liposuction is meant to reduce unwanted fat, not to improve the look of cellulite or loose skin. These conditions require different treatments and procedures. If you think liposuction is right for you, call and speak with one of the medical professionals at My Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, NSW.