If you feel like you have too much fat in your body, the easiest solution for it is through liposuction.
Although generally done for aesthetic purposes, liposuction has also been used in order to treat certain health conditions.
However, you, like many others might have mistaken liposuction as an instant solution to combat obesity. Unfortunately, you can’t just suddenly go from obese to slim. One of the requirements in order to have liposuction is to be around 30 percent of your ideal body weight.
Another you must have elastic skin and don’t smoke.
Various Uses of Liposuction
Liposuction reduces the fat that built up under the skin. This is useful for:
– Improving the body shape by removing piles of fat that you can’t seem to get rid of through regular exercise or diet.
– Improving sexual function by reducing the accumulation of fat in inner thigh, making an easier access to the vagina.
As mentioned, liposuction is used to treat several conditions, such as:
- Axillary Bromhidrosis, characterized by unpleasant odor caused by interaction between apocrine gland discharge and bacteria.
- Axillary hyperhidrosis, a condition where people sweat up to five times the amount that’s necessary to regulate body temperature, primarily in the armpits. This, like above, can cause unpleasant odor.
- Hematoma is an abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel.
- Lipoma, a benign tumor made of fat tissue.
- Maledung’s disease, a disorder of fat metabolism (lipid storage) that results in an unusual accumulation of fat deposits around the neck and shoulder areas.
- Pseudogynecomastia, or known as ‘fatty breast’, is a build-up of fat on the chest, resulting in what you call ‘man boobs’.
Who are allowed to do liposuction?
Liposuction is usually only allowed for patients who are generally healthy, especially their heart and lungs, and are not suffering from any diseases.
You are not recommended for liposuction if the following applies to you:
- You are someone who regularly takes anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs (such as aspirin), which can not be stopped for a while, such as patients with a history of heart valves, heart rhythm disturbances (atrial fibrillation), deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.
- You are just on a very low calorie diet.
- You have a history of heart disease, diabetes, or immune system disorders.
- You are morbidly obese, which is a condition where your obesity has got to the point where it disrupts physical activities along with increasing the risk of other more serious diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Liposuction in this condition is known to have the risk of death.
Liposuction was not designed as a magical solution to have a fit body without regulating your diet and exercise, especially if you are obese. You are advised to have realistic expectations before choosing to have your liposuction.
Before your liposuction
Your doctor will review your medial history, conduct a physical examination, and evaluate your psychological condition. One day before operation, your blood and urine will be examined in order to prevent or prepare for potential complications that may occur.
They will also take photos of the parts of your body where the liposuction is going to be performed on so you can compare the results later on.
You are advised to inform your doctor about your health condition, especially if:
- You are allergic to certain drugs.
- You are taking medications, including supplements and herbs. Blood thinning drugs must be stopped at least 2 weeks before procedure.
- You have a history of diseases such as blood flow disorders, diabetes, heart disease, or weak immune system.
- You have a certain lifestyle, such as smoking habits or following a strict, very low calorie diet.
You are advised to have someone accompanying you to the end of the procedure.
Various Types of Liposuction
Generally, liposuction is done using a canulla, a thin hose that is connected to a suction.
There are several types of liposuction based on its fat-breaking technique:
- Tumescent Liposuction is the most common liposuction technique. This is done injecting a tumescent solution into the fat that is going to be removed. A tumescent solution is a saline or salt water solution mixed with epinephrine and lidocaine. This makes it easier to suction fat while also minimizing the pain and bleeding.
- Super-wet Technique is similar to tumescent liposuction, except with less tumescent solution used. The amount of solution injected is adjusted to the amount of fat to be sucked. This technique is faster, but requires administration of anesthesia.
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL) uses the energy of sound waves under the skin to break down the walls of fat that will melt and thus easy to suck out.
- Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL) uses laser light to produce a series of energy that melts fat.
- Power-Assisted Liposuction makes use of a special canulla with small size and rapid vibrations to destroy fat cells. The advantage of this technique is that the incision is small and does not damage the surrounding tissue.
The procedure you are going to go through will vary depending on the chosen method and the amount of fat you want removed. However, in general, this is how liposuction is performed:
- Administration of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia will depend on the extraction technique and amount of fat removed.
- Use of liposuction and canulla (suction tube with sharp tip).
- Small incision will be made to insert the canulla into the skin where fat is to be removed. Fat will then be sucked with a pump or a large syringe.
- Some punctures on the skin may be needed in order to remove fat over a wider area. Suction tool with be inserted from various directions or different angles for a more effective suction path.
- Small tube will be placed in the area of the newly aspirated fat. This tube is useful for draining the fluid and blood that will gather for several days after the procedure.
The length of the procedure varies considerably depending on the technique used, but generally it takes 1-3 hours.
You are advised to have someone with you through the whole process (family, friend, or close relatives).
Your surgeon will put a bandage or elastic corset in the area of surgery to reduce swelling, bruising, prevent bleeding, and to maintain the shape of the body after liposuction.
You will need to wear this special corset for 2 weeks, but you can take it off occasionally, such as when bathing.
You will feel pain, tingling, or numbness in the area of surgery. It will also be bruised and swollen. This can last for 5-10 days, so you will be given anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain and swelling. You may also be given antibiotics to reduce risk of infection.
Liposuction patients usually recover completely after 2 weeks, but can return to their normal activities a few days after liposuction. However, you are still advised to avoid heavy activities for 4 weeks after surgery.
You can see the result of the surgery after 6 months, when the swelling in the area is completely gone.
The need for hospital stay will depend on the amount of fat extracted, the type of anesthesia given, and the complications that arise. However, patients who are allowed to go home after liposuction are not allowed to drive themselves.
- Streptococcus or Staphylococcus bacterial infections
- Shock, caused by the body lacking fluids when undergoing surgery
- The formation of bags filled with fluid under the skin
- Fat embolism, which is fat that is released and carried by the bloodstream, resulting in blockages in the bloodstream
- Uneven skin surface
- Side effects and allergic reactions from anesthesia
- Numbness around the skin
- Damage to nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs