Liposuction Operation and Applications
Liposuction is formed by the combination of the words, lipo (fat) and suction, and means the removal of fat from the body with the help of cannulae. The main goal in liposuction is not losing weight but is correcting the body contours and making them proportional, by removing the regional fat that remains after weight loss.
Stubborn fat remaining in some regions despite weight loss is a condition that we experience ourselves or see in people around us. The belly, the sides of the abdomen, which we call love handles, and the hips are the accumulation areas of stubborn fat. Fat in some regions does not go away, despite dieting, regular and heavy exercising. At this point, this fat is removed by liposuction, a slimmer and fit person appearance is obtained with the correction of body contours.
How is the liposuction procedure performed?
First of all, incisions of average 4 mm are made on the areas that fat removal regions will be reached. These incisions are planned in a way that they will remain under the underwear or inside the belly button and are hidden as much as possible.
A special serum is injected into the area where the procedure will be performed in order to ensure less bleeding and less pain after the operation. After waiting for an average of 15-20 minutes for the drugs in the serum to be effective, fat is removed from the body by using the liposuction cannulae attached to the aspirators that provide a vacuum effect. These are the steps in the classical liposuction technique. Some steps may be different in technology-assisted liposuction techniques, where vibration, ultrasound, or laser energy is used.
What is the fat aspiration procedure with Vaser or lipomatic techniques?
While the Vaser device is emitting ultrasonic sound waves, enabling faster break down of fat, the fat is removed through the cannulae, which have a mechanical vibration at their tips, in the lipomatic device. Both techniques can, in fact, be shown as examples to technology-assisted liposuction procedures, because it is possible to remove fat in a less traumatizing and faster way with these devices. Nevertheless, there has not been any scientific studies proving that alternative fat removal techniques are markedly superior to classical liposuction in terms of long-term operation results.
How long does the liposuction procedure take?
It is not possible to give a clear answer to this question, because various parameters, such as the number of areas to be processed, the technique to be used, the amount of fat to be removed and its distribution affect the operation duration. However, just to give an idea, while the average operation duration of a patient with an average 2 litres of fat to be removed is 1,5 hours, the average operation duration becomes approximately 2,5 hours, when fat removal from the hips is added to this. As we have mentioned above, this period may vary depending on the patient and the techniques used.
How much fat is removed in liposuction?
This issue is not yet clear. It is a fact that the body’s haemorrhage (blood pressure, pulse, and blood supply to the tissues) may deteriorate after a certain amount of fat removal. In cases where more than 5-6 litres of fat is removed, patients face difficulties in the post-operative period. Therefore, in patients who are candidates for more fat removal, fat removal may be planned to be completed in two phases.
However, in case appropriate post-operative care conditions (closely monitored follow-up, blood supply, oxygen support) are provided, more than five litres of fat removal can also be safely carried out.
What is fat embolism and what are its consequences?
Due to the nature of the liposuction procedure, the vessels that feed the fat tissue are also damaged and ruptured during this process. Sometimes large volumes of fat particles entering these ruptured vessels pass into the bloodstream, causing occlusions in the vessels and complications. Therefore, although it is very rare, a life-threatening risk may emerge.
Is liposuction painful?
To be honest, liposuction is an operation that causes pain. Although some patients feel less pain, due to higher pain thresholds, it is not quite possible to say that there will be no pain following fat removal.
The very strong painkillers used in the hospital are the most powerful weapons at hand on the first day following the operation, when our patients will feel the most pain. The use of these powerful painkillers ensures an almost painless post-operative period.
Why do swelling and bruising occur after liposuction and for how long do they remain?
A wide body surface is processed in the liposuction procedure. Considering that the cannulae enter the adipose tissue and the fat is collected with strong negative pressure, oedema increases due to the trauma caused by this. This swelling will increase due to the post-operation response of the body to the trauma, but it will decrease and disappear within days, weeks.
During the liposuction procedure, blood leaks to the subcutaneous tissues due to leakage from the blood vessels feeding the adipose tissue and bruises occur. Drugs in the fluid, which is injected into the surgery area prior to the liposuction procedure, will ensure vessels’ contraction and crinkling, reducing this blood leakage and bruises.
Following the patient’s post-operative mobilization and getting up, fluid accumulates at the lower part of the surgery area due to the gravity. In some of the patients, from whom a high volume of fat was removed, these fluids pass through the tissues and spread to the body parts under the surgery area. Therefore, swelling may occur in the genital areas of some patients, the abdomens of whom treated by liposuction.
Swelling and bruising will decrease significantly within 3 weeks following the operation.
I weighed higher on the scale following liposuction, why is this?
Immediately after the liposuction procedure, oedema occurs both locally and in the whole body, due to the reasons mentioned above. If you are a thin person with a low amount of fat to be removed (for example, if 1-1.5 litres of fat removal is planned), it is normal for you to weigh higher on the scale in this period. This does not mean that the fat removal procedure did not yield good results.
Why is a corset used after liposuction and for how long is it used?
Your doctor will make you wear a corset to limit the oedema that will emerge after the operation and to ensure proper healing of the operation area without waviness. The use of a corset for 1.5 months (continuously for 3 weeks and from evening till morning for the following 3 weeks) is usually sufficient for quick post-operation recovery and a good appearance.
When can I return to work after liposuction?
As it might be expected, there will again be personal differences but you can return to normal daily routine and business life 5-7 days later on average.