Liposuction is not a method of slimming, but it essentially corrects permanently unruly areas of our body that have accumulated more than the desired fat. These areas are difficult to improve or "perfect" with diet or exercise. The technique of liposuction was first introduced by Yves-Gerard Illouz in 1977.
In practice, liposuction can occur in many parts of our body, such as belly, buttocks, arms, thighs, knees, and tibia. With the evolution of technique we are able to do and correct other areas such as the chin, neck and oval of the face. With a properly applied surface liposuction, we can correct the appearance of cellulite at the points we intervene, which is due to the tightening of the skin after this technique.
What should be done pre-operatively
Once the Plastic surgeon has a full history of the patient, he / she should fully inform the patient about the procedure and take some photos of the face and neck.
Then follow these instructions:
- Classic preoperative control.
- 12 hours before the surgery do not drink and do not eat anything.
- On the morning of the operation, we do not receive any medication unless the anesthesiologist agrees.
- Smoking should be stopped at least 3 weeks before surgery, and alcohol should be discontinued 1 week in advance.
- Meeting with the anesthesiologist before surgery. The anesthesiologist records past anesthesia experiences, whether positive or negative as well as any health problems or medication we receive.
- We do not take aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements 10 days before surgery, because they all increase the chance of bleeding during and after surgery.
- We wash our face and hair daily, 3 days prior to the operation with a pharmaceutical soap.
Type of anesthesia
Anesthesia can be either local in conjunction with drunkenness for small liposuction, or general anesthesia if it is medium and large surgery. The decision will be made after discussing the subject with the anesthetist and plastic surgeon.
In small liposuction, the person concerned may leave the hospital the same day, while in medium and longer cases one day of hospitalization is required.
Each surgeon adopts a technique that personally satisfies him, however, the general procedure is quite specific.
The incisions are very small and often hidden in natural skin aspects, such as the thigh or axillary fold, but also the navel. Fat is sucked by using a series of special cannula that is attached to a negative pressure vessel. With the help of the cannula, we perform a "tunnel" under the skin without injuring nerves and vessels, since these cannulas are round on their edges and specially designed for this purpose. Firstly we remove the deeper fat and then the surface with special care in order not to make cavities in the skin.
The amount of fat to be sucked depends on the amount of fat present in the individual and on the quality of his or her skin, which is extremely important for the quality of our results. In a very loose and thin skin we should be very careful about how much fat we will remove, because we can cause more relaxation than the pre-existing. In these cases, it is best to draw less fat in order to avoid this complication
At the end of liposuction, we close the small incisions with stitches and we wear a press fit to minimize possible hematomas, but also to limit postoperative edema.
The duration of this surgery depends on the areas that we will improve, but also on the amount of fat to be removed. The general rule is not to remove more than 3.5 liters of fat for each person concerned, otherwise the likelihood of complications increases. An average duration is 1 or 2 hours (30 minutes to 3.5 hours).
- After surgery, it is expected that some bruising will occur at the points of liposuction but also a limited swelling.
- Post-operative pain is usually mild, mainly due to the use of thin cannulae and sometimes more intense in large liposuction. With simple painkillers, the person concerned returns to his / her daily activities 4 to 7 days after the surgery. This depends once more on the amount of fat that is removed, but also on the kind of activity that the person concerned is doing. If the person concerned is always on the move during an ordinary day, then it may take longer than someone else who is doing sedentary work or working a few hours a day.
- Bursitis is absorbed within 10-15 days after surgery.
- The compression garments are necessary to be worn for 4-6 weeks after surgery, the first 3 weeks 24 hours a day and then only the morning hours (12 hours) for the rest of the time.
- For liposuction of the lower limbs, it is necessary to use a push sock in the first 3 weeks 24/24 and then for another 3 weeks exclusively in the morning.
- A generalized weakness may occur in the first few days after liposuction and especially after the removal of large amounts of fat.
- The person concerned may start exercising 3 weeks after liposuction.
- Sun exposure is not allowed for 3 weeks after surgery.
- Liposuction results begin and become visible 3 weeks after surgery, when most of the swelling has been absorbed. The skin takes about 6 months to 1 year to adapt to the new silhouette and fully tighten.
- The end result is estimated at 6 months after surgery and in most cases satisfies the person / s if the indication was correct and the person / s fully understood the preoperative instructions. Liposuction directly eliminates local fat deposits.
A well-trained surgeon minimizes the complications of liposuction. Some of these are:
- Thrombo - embolic episodes, which may occur after each surgery. They are avoided by ligating the legs during surgery, by direct postoperative mobilization of the subject (s) and by using anticoagulant drugs administered immediately after the operation.
- Hemorrhages are very rare unless there are blood coagulation disorders for which preoperative control is performed.
- Hematomas and lymphatic collection are also very rare complications.
- Bruising is common and absorbed in 10-15 days, while we can limit it with local ointments and oral medications.
- Skin necrosis is extremely rare due to the fact that modern practices are now used. It is observed in liposuction techniques with burning and non-absorbing fat.
- Infections can be avoided with antibiotics both during and after surgery. If liposuction occurs at the surgical site, this complication is extremely rare.
- Metabolic disorders can occur after major liposuction, but a surgeon is already aware of that and takes all necessary actions to prevent them.
- Sometimes some minor skin abnormalities or even very minor asymmetries may occur, which can be corrected by local anesthesia 6 months after surgery.
What we are trying to communicate is that one should not underestimate the risks of a liposuction, just realize that it is a relatively simple surgery, but that may, like any surgery, sometimes present complications.
This text may give rise to new questions. We are at your disposal for any other information.