What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, liposculpture and suction assisted body contouring, suction lipectomy, involves the use of an instrument known as a cannula and a vacuum pump type machine for removing unwanted fat from a specific area. Liposuction can be performed on the abdomen area, the flanks, the hip area, the buttocks, the inner and outer thighs, above the knees, in the upper arms, under the chin, and neck area and anywhere else stubborn pockets of fat exist. The techniques for liposuction include “Dry”, Tumescent, the Super-Wet, internal and external Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL), Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) or MicroAire technique. There are also newer and experimental procedures which may or may not require aspiration such as Laser Liposuction, Laser Lipolisis (or Laserlipolisis), Chemical Fat Removal, Lower Level Ultrasonic-assisted fat ablation and I am sure soon to be others. Fat removal is big business — many people have some fat they wish they could get rid of.
Am I A Candidate For Liposuction?
First and foremost, an individual must be in good health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of their surgery. Communication is crucial in reaching one’s goals. You must be able to voice your desires to your surgeon if he/she is to understand what your desired results are. You should be at a steady weight (about 20% of your *ideal* body weight, although some surgeons advise anywhere from 15 to 30%) and generally healthy. Liposuction is not a means to lose weight however in special cases liposuction may help patients who are obese and who have been put on calorie-restricted diets and exercise regimens. Liposuction is typically for the removal of unwanted, stubborn fat in specific areas. You should have good elasticity so that your skin is able to bounce back to its former tightness once the fat is removed.
Although, if it is a larger area, excess skin removal may also be necessary. Discuss you goals with your surgeon so that you may reach an understanding with what can realistically be achieved.
If you have excessive stretch marks in your fatty areas or elsewhere, this may be a good indication of poor laxity of the tissues. However some patients will see this from breast implants — having stretched over night, pregnancy and size and weight gains during puberty
You must be mentally and emotionally stable to undergo an cosmetic procedure. No surgeon would agree to work on a mentally/emotionally unstable person. At least he should not. Not out of discrimination, but for reasons which may trigger a deeper depression or possessiveness during the healing process. Liposuction is not getting a cavity filled or your hair cut.
This is an operation which requires patience and stability in dealing with the healing period. Depression is already a common issue after liposuction for emotionally healthy patients so I am sure you will understand that if you do have a history of depression that you should get the approval of your physician before undergoing a procedure. Please know that many anti-depressive or anti-psychotic and even anti-anxiety medications can be dangerous if they are unknown to your anesthesiologist. Please let your surgeon or anesthesiologist know the medications you are on — all of them — if applicable.
Indications For Liposuction
Even with a good diet and regular exercise, persistent fat pockets still exist for many of us. Many of us aren’t lazy either, we do crunches and use than gosh-awful stairclimber several times a week, restrict calories and up our protein and veggies and still — saddle bags and belly fat. You hate it, I hate it — we ALL HATE IT! But it can be removed so yippee!
Those of you who have fatty areas which do not easily come off with exercise and diet, are induced by certain medications, hormonal imbalances and other causes, liposuction may be just what you’ve been looking for if you are a candidate.
Also the Buffalo Hump CAN be removed with liposuction. Persons with HIV and on certain medications may be familiar with this as well as persons who are aging. This procedure is sometimes called a Humpectomy.
Contraindications of Liposuction
If the following pertains to you, you may not be good candidate for liposuction.
having been on Accutane for six months prior or following. Accutane may increase your chances of keloid-like scarring — although the incisions are VERY small in liposuction.
collagen/scarring/connective tissue disorders
significant stretch marks
diabetes may affect outcome or increase risks
heart or lung disease
vascular problems (including common circulation problems)
other active diseases may affect outcome or increase risks
wound healing disorders
recreational drug use or excessive drinking
use of some prescription and over the counter medications, including some supplements — please see our medication & supplement list and disclose any and all medications to your surgeon or anesthesiologist.
you are pregnant
Risks & Complications Associated With Liposuction
There are more risks with liposuction due to the fat and its surrounding tissues becoming necrotic (dead tissue). If the fat becomes necrotic from lack of blood supply, the fat tends to turn orange-ish clear and drain from the incision. If the tissue becomes necrotic, that’s a completely different story. You must have the tissue removed before a major infection develops, possibly causing gangrene. Even with the ultrasonic technique, patients have been known to receive actual burns from the ultrasonic technique. The fat is actually melted within the body by ‘exciting’ the fat molecules with high frequency radio waves and is suctioned out. There may be asymmetry, hyper-pigmentation (permanent dark spots) from the bruising. Major blood loss is a factor is some cases. As is hematoma and infection. Liposuction is NOT the way to lose weight.
Another risk of liposuction* is pulmonary Thromboemboli. A thromboebolus is a blood clot and this blood clot can break free and travel to the lungs resulting in pulmonary Thromboemboli. This can put a patient into adult breathing distress and subsequently into cardiac arrest or coma — leading to the patient becoming ‘brain dead’ shortly thereafter or in a vegetative state from loss of oxygen to the brain. Pulmonary Thromboemboli can happen within three (3) weeks of the surgery but will most likely show symptoms of shortness of breath and fatigue within the first 72 hours. However, pulmonary Thromboemboli can occur suddenly, without warning. Most patients with P.E. collapse and begin rapid deterioration after attempting to climb a flight of stairs.
*facial liposuction risks are far less than body liposuction due to the amount of fat that is suctioned and disrupted.
Visit Our Sister Site To Learn About Other Important Factors Such As:
Body Types & Common Complaints/Reasons For Liposuction
Liposuction 101: The History of Liposuction
Tools of the Trade: I.V.’s, Cannulae, and Vacuum Machines – Oh My!
The Various Available Techniques
Is External UAL Better Than Internal UAL?
Tricks of the Trade
How Much Fat Can Be Safely Removed In One Procedure?
How Much Weight Will I Lose After Liposuction?
Does Fat “Grow Back”?
Will My Skin Tighten Back Up?
Is Liposuction Safe?