About the procedure
Liposuction is a technique to reshape the body by permanently removing localized fatty deposits. It can reduce fat bulges and contour the arms, buttocks, calves, thighs, hips, waists and abdomen. Liposuction is popular with both men and women and is the most commonly performed plastic surgery in the world. It is important to know that liposuction is not a cure for obesity. There is a limit of fatty tissue that can be removed safely from the human body.
Diagnosis and treatment options
Before the procedure, the surgeon will mark the precise areas of the body where the fats are to be removed. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted through a vein in your arm to make sure that the fluid level in your body remains in balance. During the procedure, the surgeon will make a tiny incision in the skin, typically in or near the buttock crease or at the site of a previous scar and insert a thin tube called a cannula into the fatty area.
The cannula is used to break up the fatty deposits and sculpt the area to the desired proportions. The unwanted fats are removed with a high-pressure vacuum, leaving the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact.
On average, the procedure takes 1-2 hours per area treated.
Post op care
For a day or two, you can expect to feel tired, as though your body has been through a workout. Your legs will be stiff and sore, and you may experience some pain, a burning sensation, swelling, bleeding or temporary numbness. Sometimes a small drainage tube is inserted under the skin to drain excess fluid. Your surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection at the incision sites.
Your stitches will be removed in a week to 10 days, unless they dissolve on their own. You will be fitted with a tight compression garment to be worn for up to six weeks after your surgery. This specially designed garment will help reduce pain and swelling and help your body settle into its new shape.
Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. You should be able to return to work within a few days if your work is fairly sedentary. You should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks as your body heals, but within 6 weeks you should be able to resume all normal activities. It is important to continue wearing the compression garment (which should be easily hidden under your clothing) until your doctor tells you that it is no longer necessary.
Potential complications include deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, fat embolism, skin necrosis, infection, asymmetry, lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area. Follow-up surgery may be needed to correct these problems. More serious complications include blood clots, infection, excessive fluid loss leading to shock, fluid build-up in the lungs and drug overdose.