Liposuction is an invasive procedure for body shape correction. Often it is performed on patients who struggle to get rid of local fat deposits despite proper nutrition and regular exercising. Liposuction is not a weight loss method. Liposuction is not suitable for treatment of cellulite.
Liposuction can be performed in different body parts (most common are waist, belly, thighs, arms, chin etc.).
Choosing the procedure, patient must always evaluate realistically the expectations and possible complications, as well as plan postoperative period. Aim to follow beauty standard or someone else’s expectations cannot be the surgery goal.
Patient must realize that medicine is not an accurate science, and sometimes despite all efforts of healthcare providers, desired result cannot be achieved.
Liposuction is often performed under general anaesthesia, however sometimes local anaesthesia can be an option.
Before liposuction, discussed body areas (figure 1) are infiltrated with mixture of local anaesthetic and adrenaline to reduce bleeding and facilitate pain relief after surgery. Infiltration cannula is inserted subcutaneously through small incisions, which are later used to insert liposuction cannula.
Fat from under the skin is sucked with cannula (figure 2) using negative pressure. Negative pressure can be created with vacuum aspirator or single use syringe attached to cannula. Surgeon uses pendulum movements to remove fat evenly on different subcutaneous levels. This way it is possible to remove up to few litres of liquid fat. After procedure, skin incisions are stitched. Sometimes tubes are inserted to drain tissue fluid from area of surgery.
First days after surgery rest is recommended, as well as pain relief, when needed. 1-2 months after surgery you may need to wear compressive corset or special elastic pants to minimize swelling in the areas of surgery. Physical activity allowed after surgery depends on extent of procedure. If liposuction was performed on few areas of the body, you might have to refrain from intensive physical activity for up to few weeks, and then gradually get back to usual activity.
You should discuss with your surgeon wound management and other postoperative recommendations. Result of liposuction is visible only when swelling goes down. This may take up to couple of months. Results are long term, but they depend on lifestyle, physical activity, nutrition and natural biological processes, such as aging.
Known and common complications
Surgery risk is increased by smoking, obesity, chronic heart and vascular diseases, diabetes and other endocrine diseases, as well as some other chronic conditions. Before surgery, you must notify the surgeon if you have hypertension, heart and vascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, blood clotting disorders or any other chronic conditions, also if you smoke, have allergies or take any medications and supplements.
- Uneven contour in the area of liposuction (5-100%)
- Excessive skin and/or wrinkling in the area of liposuction (up to 5%)
- Undesirable scarring of surgical incisions, scar hypertrophy (up to 5%)
- Haematoma in the areas of liposuction and nearby (up to 10%)
- Prolonged healing of wounds (up to 5%)
- Infection (up to 2%)
- Asymmetry (up to 100%)
- Fluid collection, prolonged swelling in the areas of liposuction (up to 5%)
- Changes in skin sensitivity (1-5%)
- Prolonged pain (5%)
- Changes in skin colour (up to 3%)
- Need of another surgery (up to 5%)