Liposuction | Cosmetic Procedures
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    Introduction:

    Liposuction commonly known as just Lipo, is a type of cosmetic surgery that is done to remove fat from different parts of the body where it is not desired. In technical terms, liposuction is also sometimes referred to as lipoplasty or liposculpture suction lipectomy. Some of the most affected areas usually are, the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, backs of the arms, etc.

    Liposuction is an elective procedure and the amount of fat that can be safely removed varies from on patient to another and ultimately depends on the opinion of the operating surgeon. It is important to know how far one can go with liposuction. There are a few negative aspects to removing too much fat as well. “Dents” or unusual lumpiness can be seen in the skin of those patients who have been “over-suctioned”. The more fat removed, the higher the surgical risk.

    Who is a good candidate

    Not everyone can be a good candidate for a liposuction procedure. Dieting and exercising are always better alternatives to weight loss and are always recommended before liposuction is considered as a last resort.

    A good candidate should usually be over 18 years of age and generally in good health after having tried an exercise and diet regime. If the final 10 or 15 pounds persist in certain pockets of the body, that is when liposuction is considered. Conditions such as Diabetes, heart or circulation problems, any infections, etc. usually reduce the eligibility of a person for the procedure. The elasticity of the skin is also very important as it is dependent on the age of the person. In older people, the skin is less elastic therefore limiting the ability of the skin to readily tighten around the new shape.


    Different Techniques of Liposuction:
     

    Two main apparatus are used in the liposuction procedure, namely; a cannula (hollow tube) and an aspirator (a suction device). The procedure can be categorized by the amount of fluid injection during the procedure and the mechanism in which the cannula works.

    Dry Liposuction: This method is almost completely obsolete today. It is a method in which no liquid is injected at all.

    Wet Liposuction: A small amount of fluid which contains lidocaine (anesthetic), adrenaline- contracts the blood vessels and thus minimizes bleeding and a salt solution to make it isotonic. This fluid is responsible for loosening the fat cells and reducing the bruising. The loosened fat cells are then suctioned out.

    Super-wet liposuction: The infusate volume in this method is the key to the procedure and is about the same as the volume of fat to be removed. Most plastic surgeons prefer this method for high-volume liposuction as it better balances homeostasis and potential fluid overload. The procedure lasts for about two or three hours depending on the size of the area to be treated.

    Tumescent liposuction: In this procedure the surgeon injects high volumes of a solution of a local anesthetic and a vasoconstrictor. This is injected directly into the subcutaneous fat that is to be removed.

    Laser assisted liposuction (LAL): This is a liposuction procedure that makes use od thermal and photochemical energy to affect lipolysis. The use of the laser is said to positively affect the skin tightening effects through tissue coagulation.

    SOME ASSOCIATED RISK

    There are also risks associated with liposuction, including:

    • Shock (usually when not enough fluid is replaced during the surgery)
    • Fluid overload (usually from the procedure)
    • Infections (strep, staph)
    • Bleeding, blood clot
    • Tiny globules of fat in the bloodstream that block blood flow to tissue (fat embolism)
    • Nerve, skin, tissue or organ damage or burns from the heat or instruments used in liposuction
    • Uneven fat removal (asymmetry)
    • Drug reactions or overdose from the lidocaine used in the procedure
    • Scarring (skin surface may be irregular, asymmetric or even "baggy" especially in older people)

    The liposuctioned area may appear larger than before surgery because of swelling. You must wear a tight stocking, girdle or snug elastic dressing over the treated area to reduce swelling and bleeding and to help shrink the skin to fit the new contour. You should wear this garment continuously for 2 to 3 weeks.

    You are most likely to have swelling, bruising, numbness and pain, but it can be managed with medications. The stitches will be removed in 5 to 10 days. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection.

    You may feel sensations such as numbness or tingling, as well as pain, for weeks after the surgery. Walk as soon as possible after surgery to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. Avoid more strenuous exercise for about a month after the surgery.

    TIPS ON RECOVERY

    You will start to feel better after about 1 or 2 weeks following liposuction surgery. You may return to work within a few days of the surgery. Bruising and swelling usually go away within three weeks. However, you may still have some swelling several months later. Your new body shape will begin to emerge in the first couple of weeks, but the improvement won't become more visible until about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. By exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, you can help maintain your new shape.

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