Liposuction is the surgery that aims to reduce the volume of body fat in localized areas, providing the patient with better body contour. Therefore, opposing to what many people think, liposuction is not indicated to lose weight because the major changes are in the body silhouette, not in the balance.
The best results from liposuction are obtained in patients with non-generalized localized fat, because large liposuction is more likely to leave contour irregularities, besides providing more risks to patients.
In liposculpture, the plastic surgeon has the opportunity to use part of the aspirated fat to fill other regions, such as the buttocks, facial grooves or any other region of the body that has depressions that can be corrected with liposculpture (also called fat grafting).
Local anesthesia, local sedation, epidural or general anesthesia, depending on the area to be operated on and the volume of fat to be aspirated.
In liposuction, fat is removed in different areas of the body through small holes in the skin, in which cannulas of various sizes are inserted and, connected to a vacuum cleaner, aspirate the desired fat to an external bottle. Adrenaline-containing solution is almost always infiltrated in the aspirated fat, which, by promoting a decrease in the blood vessel caliber in the infiltrated region, considerably reduces the bleeding in the surgery, facilitating its accomplishment. The association of liposuction with other plastic surgeries, such as breast prosthesis, abdominoplasty, mammoplasty and gluteus prosthesis, is increasingly common. The possibility or not of this association should be discussed with the plastic surgeon during the consultation.
As stated earlier, the goal of liposuction is not weight loss because one of the main reasons is that there are safe limits to liposuction fat. We must respect the limit of 40% of the body surface for liposuction areas and not exceed the volume corresponding to 7-8% of body weight if the infiltrative technique (solution infiltration with serum and adrenaline) and 5% of body weight in the technique are used non-infiltrative.
The most commonly liposuctioned areas are: abdomen, flanks, back, backs, thighs, double chin, armpits, arms and medial knee region.
In the vast majority of cases, the technique of vibro liposuction is used. A device called a vibrolipo is used, connected together with a conventional vacuum cleaner. The cannulas connected to the vibrolipo perform vibratory movements in various directions, up to 5,000 revolutions per minute, dissolving and aspirating fat more easily and quickly. In this technique, due to less trauma in the body, the patient evolves postoperatively with less pain, less swelling and less bruising (purple spots), improving and optimizing his recovery after surgery.
Length of hospital stay:
Usually 12 to 24 hours, depending on the size of liposuction.
The patient usually feels pain in the first days after surgery, but perfectly treatable with common painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. The bruises (purple spots) caused by liposuction usually come off after 2 weeks. The swelling progressively improves in the first 2 months, especially after the beginning of the lymphatic drainage and ultrasound sessions, indicated, on average, after the fifth postoperative day.
These sessions help in the regression of edema and decrease in hardening (fibrosis) of the operated area due to internal healing after surgery. After the 3rd postoperative month the edema decrease reaches 70-80%, however the definitive result is obtained after 6 months of the surgery. The compression belt should be used for at least 2 months, and in the 1st month the use should be rigorous, if possible 24 hours a day.
The ideal is to avoid prolonged sun exposure for at least 3 months and, if this exposure occurs, use sunscreen reapplying every 3 hours (patients with very white skin need a minimum protection factor of 40 for safe sun exposure).
Possible complications in the liposuction procedure include:
- Occurrence of bruising, infection and seroma;
- Sagging, especially in people who remove a large amount of fat;
- Sensitivity change;
- Perforation of internal organs;
- Thrombosis, especially in cases where the patient does not move optimally during recovery;
The result of liposuction, as in all cosmetic surgeries, will depend on the reaction of the patient's body and zeal with pre and postoperative indications.
- Fasting at least 8 hours before surgery, including water, avoiding drinks and overeating on the days preceding the procedure;
- Smokingshould be stopped30 days before surgery;
- Communicate changes in health and medication use on the eve of surgery;
- Do not wear dark colored nail polish on the day of surgery and avoid wearing jewelry, and watches;
- Manual lymphatic drainage sessionsare suggestedto decongest lymphatic pathways.
- Attend surgery with a companion.
As stated above, the definitive result of liposuction is obtained after the 6th month of surgery. However, after the 3rd month, the reduction in swelling reaches 80%, which allows the patient to have a good idea of what will be the final result of the surgery.
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