There are many cosmetic procedures that both men and women choose to undergo for various reasons. Usually, cosmetic surgery is chosen because the individual wants to look younger, perhaps has embarrassing facial hair, or is overweight. However, with the latter, there is more required from the patient than for them to simply undergo surgery.
In this article we will be looking at liposuction. What is it, and does it help you lose weight? We’ll talk about how the process is performed, what to expect during and after, and whether you are a good candidate for liposuction. Let’s start with a brief explanation of liposuction.
What is Liposuction?
In simple terms liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes excess fat when you can’t get rid of it through diet and exercise. This excess fat could be thanks to lifestyle choices, to illness and other conditions, and as a by product of recent surgery. It is not as simple as an overweight person deciding they are going to lose weight by liposuction. A patient will have to meet certain criteria before they are accepted the procedure. Let’s look at who makes a good candidate for the liposuction routine.
Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Before we go into details of how liposuction is performed you will want to know whether you – or the person you are reading this for – is a good and able candidate for this procedure. Let’s make one thing clear again: if you have not already attempted to lose weight by way of healthy eating, an exercise regime, giving up smoking, cutting down on alcohol and avoiding drugs, you are not a good candidate. No surgeon will accept you if you have not shown willing to try and lose weight.
Liposuction is not an option for the clinically obese. That is a problem that needs specialist attention. Nor is it a procedure for removing cellulite or getting rid of stretch marks. Who is it for? Anyone who meets the following criteria:
- Must be within 30% of your ideal weight.
- Must not be a smoker or must have given up in an attempt to lose weight.
- Must have firm and elastic skin.
Those not suitable include the following:
- The clinically obese are not liposuction candidates.
- The patient must have tried to lose weight via exercise and dieting.
- Must not be a smoker or heavy drinker.
- The procedure is not recommended for persons with heart disease, diabetes, blood flow problems or a compromised immune system.
If you meet these criteria, are willing to stick to a healthy diet and make the relevant lifestyle changes and want to know more the next step is to talk to your doctor. They will assess your situation and you will begin work with a dietician and others before being referred to the liposuction clinic. Now let’s look at how the procedure is performed.
How is Liposuction Performed?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that will require the patient to undertake an anaesthetic. The surgeon will discuss the various aspects of the procedure with you in detail before you agree to undergo liposuction. There are a few different forms of the procedure, so take the followings steps as the general routine as it is often performed:
- The surgeon will mark the areas on the body that will require incisions.
- The patient will be relaxed and then given either a general or a local anaesthetic, depending upon the type of liposuction and the surgeon’s preference.
- Once asleep the relevant incisions will be made where the excess fat is to be removed.
- Depending on the type of procedure a canula will be inserted in the incisions.
- Through the canula the excess fat is removed using a surgical vacuum. Emerging technology in lasers and in ultrasound may also be used to loosen the fat and make it easier to remove.
- Once complete, the surgeon will repair the incisions.
Most liposuction patients are in and out within a day, some stay overnight, but as it is a routine procedure there should be no need for an extended hospital stay. Before we talk about recovery, a quick look at the risks involved with liposuction.
What are the Risks with Liposuction?
All surgical procedures involve some level of risk. The following rather long list outlines those associated with general surgery and with liposuction:
Complications from anaesthesia
Shock (usually from not getting enough fluid during surgery)
Fluid accumulation (pockets of fluid forming under the skin)
Fat embolism (when tiny pieces of fat break away and block blood flow)
Burns from instruments
Uneven fat removal
Reactions to lidocaine
Change in skin sensation, numbness
Damage to nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and abdominal organ
Don’t let that list scare you as liposuction is a safe procedure that has been successfully performed millions of times. So, what to expect following the procedure?
What Should I Expect After Undergoing Liposuction?
The short answer as to what to expect after having liposuction is that you will need to stick to the eating, drinking and exercise regime that is agreed between you, the surgeon, and any other medical professionals who are involved in helping you achieve the aim of losing weight. You will also feel soreness for some days in the areas that have been treated and may be asked to wear supporting garments for a few weeks.
Swelling is likely in the treated areas yet should subside in a couple of weeks. Your surgeon will go into detail about what you should expect, so if anything not outlined by the surgeon occurs you should contact them immediately.
Liposuction can and will help you lose weight in tandem with an exercise and diet regime. It is not for the obese and you will need to meet the criteria listed in the article. Your first step is to see your doctor, so make an appointment now for an assessment and get things started.