Liposuction is sometimes mistakenly viewed as a cure-all for those who wish to rid themselves of the extra weight and fat in their bodies. The pre-conceived notion that one will magically drop several dress sizes and have smooth, supple skin post-op can be attributed to some form of exaggerated advertising or inaccurate conclusions drawn from TV and magazine articles featuring men and women who had benefited greatly from undergoing the procedure.
WHAT IS LIPOSUCTION?
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery where fat is suctioned out of the body through a hollow instrument known as a cannula. The instrument is inserted under the patient’s skin and a powerful vacuum is applied, whereby the fat is “sucked” from the body. This is usually done on the stomach area, thighs, arms, back, and anywhere else the patient and doctor deem problem areas.
According to Medical News Today, liposuction is the most common cosmetic operation in the United States with more than 300,000 procedures carried out each year.
If you are considering getting liposuction, here are some things to keep in mind and factors to consider before having the procedure.
LIPOSUCTION SHOULDN’T BE VIEWED AS A PRIMARY TOOL FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Yes, having fat sucked out from your body will lead to some kilos coming off, but it should not be viewed as the only or the primary way to lose weight.
Doctors recommend people to be within 30% of their ideal body weight before having the procedure done. They also advise patients to stop smoking prior to the operation, and if needed, lose a little weight via exercise and a healthy diet.
Existing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or blood flow/circulation problems are serious considerations. Doctors do not advocate moving forward with liposuction if a patient has these ailments. It is important to be open with your chosen doctor about your health history and current medical status so that he/she can properly assess whether or not you would be a good candidate for liposuction.
Anesthesia used can either be local or general. This all depends on the complexity of the patient’s case and the number of areas where fat is to be suctioned out of. A very small percentage of people suffer adverse effects with regards to anesthesia. Remember to list down all of your allergies so that your surgeon is aware and can proceed accordingly.
LIPOSUCTION DOES NOT REMOVE CELLULITE
This one surprises a lot of people who presume that they will come out of surgery with magical smooth and supple skin. Unfortunately, after the fat is suctioned out of the body, the cellulite doesn’t leave with it. Those dimples and stretch marks will still be there when you wake up. What liposuction does is decrease the fat from the body, thus helping contour and enhance the shape of the area that is being treated.
Patients who have existing loose skin flaps in the abdominal area may be advised by their surgeon to get a tummy tuck at the same time that they go for liposuction.
KEEP IN MIND IT IS A SURGICAL PROCEDURE
Some people become so focused on the end-goal of having less fat on their bodies, and a more shapely silhouette, that in their excitement, they forget liposuction is a surgical procedure that involves incisions to the body. These points, clearly marked out by your doctor before the procedure, are where the incisions are made and the cannula is inserted. After the fat has been sucked out of the body, the patient is stitched up and allowed to recover within the clinic. Most of the time liposuction is an out-patient procedure and after resting in the recovery room, one is sent home with care instructions. If however, the doctor plans on taking out more fat from several areas of the body, the procedure is done in a hospital where the patient stays overnight to recover.
Expect some pain, swelling, and a general feeling of soreness around the area where the liposuction was done. You will be given a compression bandage or garment to wear around the area where surgery was performed. The doctor will instruct you how to wear it and for how long. Consider this garment your new best friend as it is given to support the new contours of your body and promote healing.
As you will feel sore and tired post-op, it would be wise to make arrangements to have a family member or friend pick you up and drive you home after the surgery.
SELF-CARE AFTER LIPOSUCTION IS IMPORTANT
A number of medical journals and news articles have stressed the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle post-liposuction. They urge patients to exercise regularly and eat healthy food. Those who have undergone the surgery and would like to keep their existing fat cells at bay would do well to keep an active lifestyle.
An article in The Chicago Tribune reports that gaining weight after liposuction leads to fat cells in other parts of the body getting bigger when weight is gained back after having the surgery. The body also changes the way it stores and distributes fat throughout the body, leading to changes in the body’s shape after subsequent weight gain. The danger here is that fat now tends to form around the internal organs. Known as visceral fat, this fat is deeper in the body and found in spaces surrounding the liver, intestines and other organs. It’s presence is undesirable as it is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and type two diabetes.
WebMD news reports that doctors at the department of plastic surgery at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York reminds its patients that they “have to do all the sensible things to maintain this. Without a healthy diet and a good exercise regimen, you will put the weight back on”. He also stresses that it is a cosmetic procedure. “We can make you lose weight because we can take off, when indicated, a large volume of fat, but liposuction is a contouring procedure.”
The good news is, engaging in a healthy lifestyle after liposuction can keep the weight gain down and the unwanted fats from forming.
For more information regarding liposuction, schedule a visit or go to our website at www.drdaood.com.au. You can book a free consultation with our medical staff who would be more than happy to meet with you for a personal session to assess your needs and give you a personalized plan for the procedure you require.