WHAT IS LIPOSUCTION?
Liposuction is the perhaps most frequently sought cosmetic operation on a global scale. It aims at the removal of localized fat, i.e. to smooth out a surface. It is recommended for patients who are satisfied with their body weight, but complain of a localized aggregation of fat in some areas which remains unaffected by dieting, exercise, etc.
WHEN TO UNDERGO LIPOSUCTION
Many people are under the false impression that liposuction offers an easy way to lose weight. Those who view this operation as a weight loss method will never be satisfied, as even if they were to remove a localized aggregation of fat, their body weight would remain broadly the same. In any case, liposuction is not a full-body operation; such an endeavor would exceed the limits of the method.
Liposuction has evolved in recent years thanks to technological developments, and as such new methods, such as laser lipolysis, power assisted liposuction, and ultrasonic liposuction, are being employed.
MOST FREQUENT LOCATIONS OF LIPOSUCTION
The standard areas where localized fat tends to aggregate are the following:
- Side of the thighs
- Inner thighs
- Front of the thighs
- Inner knees
- Sides (Love Handles)
- Upper arms
- Neck (double chin)
- Gynecomastia (aggregation of fat in the male breast)
More than one of these areas can be operated upon simultaneously during one procedure. However, exactly how many areas can be operated upon at the same time depends on various factors, such as the expanse of these areas and the patient’s physical condition.
HOW LIPOSUCTION IS PERFORMED
Before the procedure begins, the plastic surgeon will draw around the area from which fat is to be removed, using a special marker. At this stage, the patient may wish to consult with the surgeon one last time, in order to remind them of any particular details before the liposuction is performed. The area is then disinfected, and an infiltrative solution is administered. This solution is composed of saline mixed with adrenaline and local anaesthesia. This liquid is deposited throughout the area wherein the liposuction will be performed.
Afterwards, the plastic surgeon will remove the fat using a cannula, which is inserted via an incision. This incision should have a length of less than one centimetre, and as such should leave an indiscernible mark, in a very subtle spot. The liposuction cannula is actually a thin, metallic tube, which features a number of small holes on one end, through which the fat is absorbed. This fat will end up in the suction machine, which is connected to the cannula by a longer rubber tube.
If the doctor is performing laser lipolysis, then this method is employed to dissolve the fat before the suction. The recommended method is to place an optical fiber into the fat tissue, which will carry all the power of the laser machine into the fat and dissolve it. The removal of the fat then follows, using classic or power assisted liposuction. More in-depth information about laser lipolysis can be found below.
Power assisted liposuction is, in practice, a method based on a machine wherein the cannula’s movement is mechanized. The cannula vibrates approximately 5000 times a minute, and as a result the fat is dissolved and absorbed with greater speed. This offers several advantages, as far as the quality of the final product is concerned. More information about power assisted liposuction may be found below.
The operation is not painful, and with the right anaesthetic treatment, the patient should not experience pain during or after the liposuction.
Depending on the patient’s wishes and the expanse of the area wherein the liposuction is performed, the types of anaesthesia which may be administered include local anaesthesia, local anaesthesia with sedation, epidural anaesthesia, and general anaesthesia.
It is important that patients undertaking the procedure do not suffer from serious problems that they are not able to keep in check. When liposuction is performed on healthy patients, in a clinical environment with an appropriate infrastructure, it is a procedure with a high level of safety.
Once the surgeon has completed the fat removal procedure, working on one area after another, he or she will put a corset in place, which will act like a splint to keep the tissues steady and allow them to heal attached to their new position. This corset must be worn by the patient 24 hours a day for approximately a month.
After the liposuction, the patient is required to remain at the clinic for a time ranging between a few hours and a full day. When the patient returns home, she/he will present some edema and swelling in the area where the liposuction was performed, as well as some bruising.
The pain experienced after liposuction varies from case to case. It also depends upon the expanse of the area upon which the procedure has been performed. Usually, the patient will experience no particular pain over the next few days, but will rather feel similar to an unfit person after a session of intense exercise.
If the area which has been suctioned is small, then the patient may even return to work on the following day. For larger areas, a few days of rest are necessary before one fully resumes their daily activities. Exercise is usually permitted one month after liposuction.
It is best to avoid consuming aspirin or alcohol for a few days before the operation, as well as after it. Additionally, it is advisable but not necessary for female patient not to undergo the procedure during menstruation, or even a few days before it.
One month after liposuction, the initial results will already be apparent, and the patient’s body will have taken on a pleasing appearance. The body shape will continue improving and the final result will appear after 6 months. A month, however, should be sufficient for one to be able to visit the beach without showing signs of having undergone liposuction, and their body will certainly appear in better shape than it used to.
In order for liposuction to be performed successfully, the skin will have to be at least somewhat elastic. A small degree of sagging will not hurt. However, when greater degrees of sagging are present, it is likely best to avoid this operation. Newer methods, such as laser lipolysis and power assisted liposuction on the skin’s surfaces can result in some tightening and a reduction in sagging.
The removed fat can in some cases find other uses. This is referred to as liposculpture. Areas where the fat can be employed include the buttocks, face, and even the breasts. In general, fat can be deposited in any area of the body, provided this is deemed necessary.
The results of liposuction are permanent; this means that, provided that the patient maintains their weight, fat will not aggregate again in the areas in question. There should be no problems in the future, even in the event of a pregnancy.
WHAT IS LASER LIPOLYSIS
Laser lipolysis (aka laser liposuction, commercially known as SlimLipo, SmartLipo etc.) is a method of removing localized fat which involves dissolving the localized fat through the use of a laser, and removing it via liposuction. This is performed using a specialized laser machine, which emits energy of particular properties.
HOW “LASER LIPOSUCTION” IS PERFORMED
The laser’s energy is absorbed selectively by the fat, leaving the other tissues untouched. The transfer of energy to the fat tissue is made via an optical fiber, which is inserted under the skin through a very small incision. Thus, the fat can be dissolved. When this is done, we have the choice of allowing the organism to absorb it of its own accord, or to remove it ourselves via standard or power assisted liposuction (PAL).
ADVANTAGES OF LASER LIPOLYSIS
The advantages of laser lipolysis are:
1. Less bruising, swelling and edema, and as such a shorter recovery period.
2. A better aesthetic result. Since the dissolution of the fat is more even, the surface of the skin around the area where the liposuction was performed will be smoother.
3. Tightening of the skin. Due to the heat it produces, the laser causes some degree of tightening in the skin. This is beneficial as far as avoidance of sagging is concerned. It is common knowledge that the appearance of sagging after liposuction is one of this method’s problems. At this point, laser lipolysis provides the solution by tightening the skin to a sufficient degree to prevent further sagging.
CAUTION IN LASER LIPOLYSIS
One should know that not all lipolysis lasers are the same, and that each laser’s technical particulars determine how effective it is. The differences between the machines are quite large, and as such their effectiveness tends to vary just as much.
SlimLipo is currently the most powerful and technologically advanced lipolysis laser in the global market.
POWER ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION - PAL
Power Assisted Liposuction (aka PAL) is a method of removing localized fat, just like standard liposuction. It is based on the same essential principles, i.e. the removal of fat through a cannula, which is inserted under the skin and into the fat tissue.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN STANDARD AND POWER ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION
The difference between power assisted and standard liposuction is that in the case of the former the cannula is mechanized and moves on its own. It vibrates approximately 5000 times a minute. This offers the advantage of speed, as the fat can be absorbed at a much greater rate. Speed is a significant advantage, as it allows us to employ a thinner cannula.
ADVANTAGES OF POWER ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION
Thin cannulas offer certain advantages, which are:
1. Fat removal occurs more evenly, and as such the surface from under which it removed appears smoother (no wave patterns).
2. The incisions made to facilitate the entrance of the thinnest cannula are much smaller and as such the markings are very difficult to spot.
3. They allow us to perform superficial liposuction, which causes a small degree of tightening in the skin; on the one hand, this works to prevent sagging from appearing, and on the other it aids in the correction of cellulitis.
4. The method includes an infiltration system, which allows the infiltrating liquid to distribute more evenly. The beneficial effects of this include reduced pain and the avoidance of bruising. Therefore, it allows for better recovery.
COMBINING LASER LIPOLYSIS AND POWER ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION
The combination of laser lipolysis and power assisted liposuction enhances the results of both operations. The combination of these modern methods of liposuction also ensures the advantages of both. Therefore, their beneficial effects are cumulative.