What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is not a treatment of obesity, but that it is destined to correct those parts of the body where fat persists and which is rebel to dietary regimes. Using this technique, we extract fat from various parts of the body, where there are in excess: hips, thighs, knees, ankles, arms, abdomen, face, etc. Sometimes it is complementary to other interventions (face lift, abdominoplasty, etc.). One of the advantages of liposuction is that this treatment is done without leaving visible scars.
In addition, it is currently known that fatty tissue extracted by this technique can be used to reshape body contour by injecting it in some areas (lipofilling), all with the goal of obtaining a more refined figure. We use small incisions of approximately 3 mm in length to introduce the cannulas.
Once the operation is complete, we will use a compression bandaging or an elastic garment according to the treated area. It is normal that bruises and inflammation of the tissues appear in the treated area.
Liposuction results should not be evaluated until a minimum of three months. However, these results are permanent, keeping even if the patient increases its weight after the surgery. Women tend to undergo a liposuction in the double chin, hips, thighs, abdomen, under the arms and around the breast.
Is the surgery that I want? Is this surgery effective?
The ideal candidates to undergo a liposuction are those people who possess a relatively normal weight but have piles of fat in localized areas. Most importantly for an optimum final outline is to own a firm, elastic skin (the skin that “hangs” cannot redistribute on the new body contouring and may require some additional surgical procedure to remove excess skin).
During the first consultation, Dr. Garcia-Guilarte will evaluate your general condition, existing fat deposits and tone and firmness of the skin. We will explain alternative methods to improve body contour, such as abdominoplasty, and we will discuss different options or a combination of procedures that are best for you.
This is important because it will be the quality of your skin which will determine both the volume to extract and the result to expect after your liposuction.
You must expose your expectations in a sincere and honest way, so that the doctor will be also honest and he will show you the choices available for your problem, with the risks and limitations of each one of them. Also we will explain which type of anesthesia we are going to use, the need or not of hospitalizing in the clinic where the surgery is made and the cost of the operation.
Do not forget to tell if you have had any loss or significant weight gain. In addition, you must tell us if you are smoker or if you take any medication or vitamin. Do not hesitate to ask about any question that may arise, especially those related to expectations about the results.
Surgery and Anesthetics Cirugía y la Anestesia
Liposuction is performed in the operating room, in a clinic or hospital. Liposuction should not be performed in consultation or rooms since they do not have the conditions of asepsis and minimum equipment. Many times it is in outpatient way, without hospitalization.
Some liposuctions may require a hospitalization of 1 or 2 days. If the procedure is not very extensive, that is, if the amount of fat being removed does not exceed the amount that your plastic surgeon considers dangerous depending on your health, body size, and surgery, it can be made with local anesthesia more sedation.
If the doctor plans to make a liposuction in large areas or treat several different areas, we will prefer to use general anesthesia.
A liposuction usually takes between 1 and 2 hours, but the time is variable (from 30 minutes to several hours) depending on the area and the amount. Before the operation we will make a marking of the areas for liposuction which will serve us as anatomical reference once we are in the operating room. Initially, is a small incision, 3 mm, enough to be able to insert a hollow tube called cannula of liposuction.
The other end of this tube is attached to a machine that produces empty or a special syringe. The surgeon moves the cannula between fatty deposits located under the skin, breaking up the fat and extracting it.
Currently there are different devices that assist the surgeon during surgery, as it is the case of the liposuction with ultrasound, by vibration (power assisted liposuction) or laser energy. However, the most remarkable aspect of our procedure is that a large percentage of your liposuction will be done while you are standing. This is so given that later you will enjoy its result mainly in standing position and not being lying.
After the surgery we will put you a girdle, stockings or elastic bandage over the treated area to control the swelling and bleeding and help the skin to fit the new contour. It is often necessary to wear it for 2 or 3 weeks, and then only during the day for a few weeks more, depending on the instructions of your doctor.
Antibiotics may also be given to prevent infection depending on the treated area. You do not have to wait to have an optimal appearance just after the surgery; In addition you will find heavier due to excess fluids. The liposuction areas will be swollen and with bruises, and you can have a itch sensation. Therefore, you must wait to enjoy your best result. The pain can be relieved with medication prescribed by your plastic surgeon.
You can lose sensitivity in the treated area; you don’t have to worry, it will return. Healing is a gradual process. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you to start walking as soon as possible (to prevent the formation of venous thrombi in the legs), but you must not perform intense activities for 2 to 4 weeks. You can return to work in 2 or 3 days, or as much, after 2 weeks since the operation, depending on the extent of liposuction and the recommendations of your surgeon.
The swelling and bruising will disappear in the first or second month after liposuction; however, a minimal inflammation may remain for 6 or more months.
Liposuction is a safe technique, provided that the selection the patient is good, the operating room is well equipped and it is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. However, in some cases complications may occur especially when high amounts of fat are removed at once.
An uncommon complication, though possible, is the accumulation of fluid (which must be drained) and, even more uncommon, the accumulation of blood (hematoma). Although serious complications are very rare, the infection and excessive loss of fluids can cause a serious situation. Choosing a qualified plastic surgeon, who performs this technique at a authorized clinic, and following carefully his instructions, risks can be reduced.
Liposuction scars are minimal and located strategically so that they are hidden, even when patients wear bikini. However, some aesthetic problems can occur regardless of the experience of the surgeon, such as ripples on the treated skin, pigmentation changes which may be permanent if we expose to the sun. In some cases, asymmetries may occur requiring a second intervention.
Liposuction is a very effective technique to provide a new body contour with minimal scars. The results may be permanent, if you have a proper diet and you practice exercise regularly. If you gain weight, it shall more evenly and not only in the localized fat deposits.
Most of the patients are very satisfied with the results of his/her liposuction; they can use more varied clothing and they are more satisfied with their body. Provided that your expectations for the future are realistic, you will be happy with your new silhouette. The results become apparent after 6 weeks, when most of the swelling has disappeared.