Liposuction, sometimes referred to as « lipo » by patients, slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat that you can’t seem to get rid of through diet and exercise, improving your body contours and proportion.
You are a good candidate for liposuction procedure if you are :
Important Note : Doctors don’t recommend the procedure if you have health problems with blood flow or have heart disease, diabetes, or a weak immune system.
The first step is to consult with your surgeon. Talk about your goals, the options, the risks and benefits, and the costs. Ask all your questions.
If you decide to go ahead with liposuction, your surgeon will give you instructions on how to prepare for it. These may include diet and alcohol restrictions.
Be sure to inform your surgeon of any medications you take, as well as possible allergies including (drug, latex, plasters and so on). Your surgeon will decide whether preliminary examinations are necessary, such as blood tests, an electrocardiogram, or x-rays of the lungs. If this is the case, these tests should be performed several weeks before the surgery.
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions. First, diluted local anesthesia is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion.
The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
Liposuction is used to remove fat from areas of the body that haven’t responded to diet and exercise, such as:
- Upper arms
- Calves and ankles
- Chest and back
- Hips and thighs
- Chin and neck
The procedure may last up to several hours, depending on the area and extent of fat removal.
Techniques of liposuction
Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) is a specialized ultrasound technology used to break down fat cells by sending out ultrasonic frequency waves. It’s also called high definition liposculpture as it helps to sculpture the body in a more precise and localized way.
Once the fat cells have been broken down, Surgeon will be able to remove excess fat through a suction process (the liposuction part of the procedure). The ultrasound technology used during a VASER liposuction procedure comes with certain benefits, compared to traditional liposuction procedures.
VASER liposuction is a purely cosmetic and plastic surgery procedure, it does not remove the visceral fat which is wrapped around your body organs and increases your risk for various diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
What distinguishes VASER liposuction surgery is its ability to differentiate body fat from tissues that are best left undisturbed – such as nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues. This latest generation of ultrasonic energy simply bounces off these healthy and important tissues while targeting and dissolving the less structured fat cells. Your VASER liposuction surgery will remove the fat but leave your other tissues intact. This allows your skin to retract smoothly and evenly after the procedure.
How VASER liposuction works:
- The fatty layer is infused (injected) with tumescent fluid using a thin cannula as shown in the picture.
- The high-frequency vibration of VASER ultrasonic probes causes the fat cells to break apart and liquefy into the infusion fluid.
- Liquified fat is easily removed via specially designed liposuction cannulas.
- During the healing process, your skin will retract (or « shrink down ») to give you a smooth, natural-looking result.
J-Plasma is a new treatment that uses radiofrequency energy (RF) and helium gas to create cold helium plasma to reverse the effects of sagging and laxity skin. The ionized gas stimulates the production of collagen and tightens the skin.
As the skin gets older, it starts to lose the elasticity and begins to show visible signs.
When used over the skin, the device is passed over the surface of the targeted area. Changes to the skin are immediate and clearly visible.
This method creates a mask of skin that is then wiped away, reportedly revealing younger looking skin underneath.
When used sub-dermally, the J-Plasma device is inserted under the skin via small incisions. The ionized gas is injected beneath the skin, firming up the skin instantly. This method is more commonly done on the body as an alternative to liposuction.
Is it safe ?
Potential complications of liposuction include:
- Body asymmetry caused by removing different amounts of fat tissue from different body areas
- Damage to skin, muscle, nerves, and internal organs
- Fat embolism, which are loosened fat cells that enter the bloodstream and block blood flow
- Fluid imbalance
- Irregularities in skin texture or contour, such as dimpling or bagginess
- Pooling of liquid where fat is removed
- Skin burns from ultrasound-assisted liposuction
- Swelling, which can take months to go away
While J-Plasma is not a surgical procedure, it still comes with side effects, and it’s always important to enter any procedure with a full understanding of what to expect.
Is it painful ?
Typically, you will be awake during a VASER liposuction procedure. You may feel a bit of pressure initially, but the procedure is minimally invasive and virtually painless. In terms of discomfort after, you’ll feel a little bit of muscle soreness for 24-48 hours, and much less swelling and bruising than alternative fat removal procedures. The level of pain a person experiences post-procedure can depend on overall health, areas treated, and the technical skill of your surgeon.
J-Plasma is said to be relatively pain-free. However, patients do receive local anesthesia, sometimes accompanied by an oral sedative.
Many patients worry about the length of the VASER liposuction recovery period. However, most people find the recovery and pain aren’t as bad as they thought.
Pain is usually minimal, and most patients return to most of their normal activities or work in as little as 48 hours or three to seven days. While the healing process varies from person to person, most people should plan to take at least a week off to rest and recover.
During recovery, you’ll need to wear a compression garment for a few weeks to help you heal. Any other cosmetic procedures you may have will affect your recovery time and experience. Your surgeon will talk you through this and will offer advice to help you manage your pain following the procedure.
The most common after-effects include swelling, bruising, and soreness around the areas of treatment, which are nothing to be concerned about.
It may take between four to six weeks for you to begin exercising again or undertaking strenuous activity.
Recovery time for the procedure can be quite long when compared to other non-invasive procedures. Exactly how long you need to wait before returning to work depends on the extent of your J-Plasma treatment. Different physicians have differing opinions on this as well. Patients should typically expect to be resting at home for at least ten days post-treatment.
During this recovery time, they may experience crusting and peeling of their skin, as well as redness, itchiness, and mild swelling. Aftercare can be intense, and many physicians recommend having help on hand for at least the first week.
After this time, patients can typically return to work and their other regular activities with the approval of their physician. Still, patients should expect some discomfort and continued recovery even after the ten-day mark has passed.
Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside.
As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
It’s natural for skin to lose some firmness with aging, but liposuction results are generally long lasting if you maintain your weight
Things to keep in mind
- It is not possible to improve lax skin tone with liposuction
- If you gain weight after liposuction, your fat distribution may change. For example, you may accumulate fat around your abdomen regardless of what areas were originally treated.
- You’ll want to have realistic expectations. Liposuction won’t get rid of cellulite, so if you hoped you’d come out of surgery without any, you’re out of luck.