Liposuction (Lipoplasty/ Liposculpture)

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Liposuction is a method, in which thin cannulae are inserted via very small incisions, located usually in hidden areas and advanced to the areas of fat deposits. These deposits are then mobilized by various methods and sucked out.

No. The advantage of liposuction lies in the fact that very small incisions, typically 1cm or less need to be made. These too are sited in areas, which are normally hidden by clothes, such as groin creases, umbilicus etc.

At body temperature (37 degrees C), if a sufficiently high suction is applied, the fat vapourizes due to negative pressure. Prior infiltration of tumescent fluid ensures that there is very little bleeding. Movements of the blunt cannula helps in dislodging the fat. Hence all 3 mechanisms combined, ensure that the liquefied fat is easily sucked out.

There are many types, depending on the mechanism used to enhance the fat yield, however, the basic mechanism of infiltration of tumescent fluid and application of high suction force with use of blunt cannula remains common to all. The commonly used techniques are PAL (Power Assisted Liposuction), UAL (Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction, iUAL, eUAL), VASER, Laser Assisted Liposuction (Smartlipo, Lipocontrol) and Water Jet Assisted Liposuction.

You can have a look at weight height charts or calculate your BMI (Wt/Ht square). If you are within 15-20% of your ideal body weight, then you are a good candidate for liposuction. This though is not exclusive and there may be some exceptions

Most Plastic Surgeons limit themselves to an aspiration volume from 6-10% of the patient’s body weight. However, in selected cases, Mega-liposuction may be carried out.

Liposuction is not a weight reducing technique. It is rather, a body shaping/ sculpting technique. Since the areas of fat deposits are specifically targeted and a sculpting is done, the result is a shaped body. Even if you remain the same in terms of weight, you body will appear much thinner and shapely. However, some weight is invariably lost. At aspirations of around 7-10 litres, 5-6kgs weight loss does occur, and is seen from 1-3 months postop.

No. Liposuction is not meant for you. You should follow the diet and exercise plan under medical supervision and possibly consult a Bariatric Surgeon.

Fat accumulates in the subcutaneous (beneath the skin) layer. It also accumulates around and in between the body organs and in structures such as greater omentum. However, only the fat present in subcutaneous layer is available for liposuction. Your Plastic Surgeon will determine after examining you and with relevant investigations, if you are a suitable candidate for liposuction.

Fat accumulates more in certain areas. These are- upper and lower abdomen, thighs, hips, trochanters (saddle bags), just below the waist (love handles), knees, upper arms, breasts, under the chin, cheeks etc. All these areas are amenable to liposuction

Depending on the areas involved, the procedure may take from 1-5 hours. It may be done as a day-care procedure, or involve a hospital stay of from 1-2 days, again depending on the number of areas involved and your fitness.

There is some soreness in the areas, which have been liposculpted. However, there is no sharp pain. There is also, some degree of bruising in these areas, most of which disappears within 3 weeks.

If prior to Liposuction, you already had poor skin elasticity or hanging folds, then your skin will hang. However, if this was the case, then you are not a good candidate for Liposuction and you may require other procedures such as a tummy tuck. Your Plastic Surgeon is the best person to determine this. After liposuction, the skin with good elasticity will slowly shrink to your new, reduced size and will not hang. To aid this process, you will be required to get a set of elastic garments. You may be asked to wear these for up to 3 month.

After Liposuction, you should be able to get up, the next day. You will be able to carry out basic activities at home. By one week, you may be able to go out of house, visit friends and carry out light office work. At 3 weeks, you should be able to carry out strenuous activity and aerobics. You may require massage therapy to aid in early dispersion of swelling and to smooth out any irregularities, for upto 3 weeks postop.

CASE 1 : Tumescent Liposuction