Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure designed to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific body areas, including thighs, abdomen, buttocks, hips, neck, and chin.
It aims to alter the body’s contours. Liposuction is not a substitute for standard weight loss methods, and patients should already have a proper routine of healthy eating and exercise before surgery. Most patients find that maintaining the results of liposuction is a good motivator in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Liposuction takes 1-3 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital facility. Depending on the extent of the liposuction, it can be performed as a day procedure or require an overnight stay.
Plastic surgeon Dr Alaina Taylor will make a few tiny incisions in the chosen area where fat will be removed. Fluid will then be injected to help soften the fat and reduce potential bruising, after which a small, thin tube known as a cannula will be inserted to begin removing the fat that exists between the skin and muscle.
This process is continued in the chosen areas multiple times until the desired amount has been removed. If the fat is being reintroduced elsewhere on the body, the recipient site will be prepped as the removed fat is put through a purification process to eliminate any fluids present. Once complete, this purified fat is injected into the chosen areas where the patient has experienced volume loss, such as the cheeks, breasts, and buttocks. The incisions are then closed with sutures to finish the surgery.
Immediately after the procedure, you may experience swelling, numbness, and some pain, but this will subside after several weeks and can be managed with pain medication. You will also be fitted with a compression garment on the surgical site to reduce bruising and swelling and reinforce your body’s new contours. You may be able to return to work after a few days of rest, but you may need up to several weeks’ downtime depending on the extent of liposuction done. You will also need to avoid vigorous exercise and activity for roughly one month. It may take up to six months for the final results of your liposuction surgery to be revealed.
Risks and complications
Risks and complications have the potential to arise with any procedure you undergo, whether it be medical or cosmetic, and understanding these risks is vital in helping you decide if liposuction is suitable for you.
The potential risks and complications associated with liposuction can include:
- Uneven skin, with ripples or dimples
- Changes to skin sensation and temporary numbness
- Poor scarring
- Skin colour changes
- Excessive bleeding
- Fluid accumulation under the surgical site
- Fat necrosis (if fat is being redistributed elsewhere)
It is crucial that you follow the post-operative instructions given to you by Dr Taylor if you choose to undergo your procedure. This will minimise the potential for risks or complications to arise and reduce the chances of visibly poor scarring occurring.
How Does Liposuction Work?
Liposuction is an intricate process that alters your body contours. Liposuction typically involves the following steps:
- Anaesthesia: Liposuction takes 1-3 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital facility.
- Incision: Small incisions are made in inconspicuous areas near the targeted fat deposits. These incisions are carefully positioned to maintain natural contours.
- Fat removal: The surgeon uses a thin tube called a cannula, which is connected to a suction device, to carefully remove the excess fat deposits.
- Closure: Once the desired results are achieved, the incisions are closed using sutures. The surgeon may place absorbent dressings or compression garments to support the new contours.
Types Of Liposuction Techniques
Also known as suction-assisted liposuction (SAL) involves manually breaking up fat cells using a cannula and suctioning them out. This technique requires physical manipulation by the surgeon to dislodge and remove the fat.
Tumescent liposuction includes injecting a solution into the treatment area before the fat-removal process. The solution typically contains a local anaesthetic, such as lidocaine, and a vasoconstrictor to reduce bleeding. The injected solution helps numb the area, minimise discomfort, and facilitate fat removal.
Laser-assisted liposuction utilises laser energy to liquefy the fat cells before suctioning them out. The laser energy is delivered through a fibre-optic cannula, which helps break down fat cells and promotes skin tightening.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction involves using ultrasonic energy to emulsify the fat cells, making them easier to extract. The ultrasound energy is transmitted through a specialised cannula, which helps target and break down the fat cells without damaging surrounding tissues.
Who Can Benefit From Liposuction North Sydney?
Liposuction, a cosmetic surgery, may be suitable for individuals who have localised areas of excess skin that do not react to diet and exercise efforts. It is not intended as a weight-loss solution but rather as a body-contouring procedure. Eligible candidates should be in good overall health, have realistic expectations, and be committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle post-surgery.
Liposuction Results and Expectations
The initial results of liposuction can be visible immediately after the procedure, but the final results become more apparent as swelling subsides. It may take several weeks to a few months for the full results to become evident. Liposuction permanently eliminates fat cells from the treated areas. However, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage weight to ensure long-term results. Weight gain can affect the remaining fat cells and potentially compromise the outcome.
Various factors can influence the outcome of liposuction, including the individual’s skin elasticity, overall health, and age.
It is important for individuals to have realistic expectations for the results of liposuction. While the procedure can significantly improve body contours and reduce localised fat, it is not a substitute for weight loss or a solution for addressing cellulite.