What is Liposuction? The Basics and What to Expect
Our surgeons perform all liposuction procedures in a fully accredited hospital, accompanied by an anesthetist to administer general anesthesia. You can expect the operation to take about 1-3 hours, depending on the size and location of your treatment area(s).
To start the procedure, tiny incisions are made and hidden in the body’s natural creases to reduce scarring. Next, a special fluid called ‘Tumescent Solution’ is infiltrated into the fat. This fluid aids in the removal of fat cells and contains adrenaline, which helps reduce post-operative bruising. Finally, the fat is suctioned out through the small incisions until the desired shape and contour are achieved. Most patients can return home the same day. However, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery.
Once the procedure is complete, your incisions will be covered with a dressing, and you will be placed in a compression garment. The garment is required and used for comfort to help reduce bruising and control excessive swelling. To ensure you achieve maximum results, you will be required to wear the compression garment under your clothing for six weeks. Your surgeon will discuss other post-op instructions with you during your initial consultation.
It is also important to note that while liposuction is a highly effective procedure, your final results may take several months to show. Swelling and bruising typically don’t last longer than six weeks, but it could take up to a year for you to fully heal. To support you during the healing process, our surgeons aim to see patients frequently after surgery. We see most of our patients for several follow-up appointments, up to a year after their treatment.
Ideal Candidates for Liposuction
Liposuction is best for people of normal weight who are struggling to lose stubborn pockets of fat, despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ideal candidates for liposuction are men and women who have good muscle tone and firm, elastic skin. We also recommend patients be within 30% of their ideal weight before scheduling surgery. Losing weight on your own is an important first step to prepare for liposuction surgery. Because liposuction is not a weight-loss surgery, you should already be eating a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle before treatment.
Certain health conditions can also complicate liposuction surgery, including restricted blood flow, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and a weak immune system. Your safety comes first. So, we require patients to be in overall good health before surgery. Still, if you currently have a condition or disease we did not mention, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have liposuction treatment. Your surgeon will ask for your full medical history during your initial consultation and let you know if you are a suitable candidate for surgery.
What Concerns Can Be Addressed by Liposuction?
Liposuction, commonly referred to as ‘lipo,’ is an immensely popular fat-removal procedure used to sculpt areas like the abdomen, thighs, arms, and neck and help patients achieve a curvier physique. The treatment is highly customisable and can be combined with other procedures to enhance your body’s natural curves. Liposuction is also a minimally invasive surgery, often resulting in little scarring and minimal downtime.
The many use cases of liposuction make it a great alternative to more invasive treatments while also providing dramatic results. In 2017 alone, over 300,000 liposuction procedures were performed on men and women in Australia, making it one of the top five cosmetic surgeries. Liposuction is a safe and effective way to change your body in ways that are not typically achieved through diet and exercise alone. However, many people are still unsure if it’s the right choice for them.
How Can Liposuction Help You?
One of the most significant reasons behind liposuction’s popularity is its versatility. Liposuction can be used to treat and sculpt several areas, including the abdomen, upper arms, buttocks, hips/thighs, and neck. Patients may also choose to combine the procedure with other treatments, such as a breast lift, breast reduction, tummy tuck, facelift. The result is a full-body makeover effect and a more flattering physique.
You probably already know that liposuction is used to remove fat, but fat removal is just one of many concerns that it can address. There are several lesser-known benefits of liposuction:
- Reduce the appearance of remnant fact pockets after major weight loss or weight loss surgery
- Remove stubborn fat from specified areas
- Remove benign lipomas (fatty tumors)
- Shape and smooth existing contours and sculpt new curves
- Treatment of gynecomastia, which is an accumulation of fat beneath a man’s breast
- Treatment of lymphedema, a collection of excess lymph fluid in the tissues which causes pain and swelling
Liposuction is a transformative procedure, but keep in mind that it is NOT an alternative to dieting nor an obesity treatment. Likewise, it is not a suitable treatment for cellulite dimpling and will not reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Consider liposuction to be more of a ‘reshaping’ tool rather than a weight-loss treatment, and remember to maintain realistic expectations based on your surgeon’s advice.
Like all surgeries, there are potential risks associated with liposuction. While we take the utmost care to minimise these complications and keep you safe, they can occur despite the best medical care. Undergoing cosmetic surgery is an important decision. It is essential that you understand the risks involved and ask your surgeon any questions you may have. The most common risks associated with liposuction are:
- Blood clots
- Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs
- Fluid accumulation
- Irregular pigmentation
- Lumpiness or fat necrosis
- Numbness to the overlying skin
- Persistent swelling
- Poor wound healing
- Rippling or loose skin, worsening of cellulite
- Scarring, including keloid scars
- Temporary or permanent pain
The Forme Institute is a group of highly qualified and experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeons. We are committed to providing the best practice procedures and the most innovative treatment options. Our team has 20+ years of combined experience practicing plastic surgery. If you’re interested in having liposuction surgery, contact us today to make a consultation appointment.