Liposuction is a procedure for removing fatty deposits and contouring areas of the body. Clinic-based Liposuction is referred to as liposculpture and is performed with tumescent anaesthetic.
It is important to note that liposculpture is used to reduce fat in areas of the body that are otherwise resistant to dietary modification and regular exercise. It is not a method for weight loss or generalised fat reduction per se, but in fact, is ideal for reshaping and re-contouring areas of the body.
Many of the problem areas that patients find difficult to shift with diet and exercise can be reduced or reshaped with liposculpture.
In men, areas such as the breasts (man boobs), lower abdomen (spare tyre), and hips (love handles) can be treated. In women, areas such as the chin, abdomen (muffin top), post-pregnancy fat, inner and outer thighs, waist, back, and arms can be treated. The most popular request by females is Liposculpture of the hips, lower abdomen, and back to create the sought-after hourglass figure. In select cases, fat transfer to the buttocks can be performed to further enhance this hourglass shape.
Liposuction results are essentially permanent. Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not come back. However, fat cells that still remain in the area treated can potentially grow and expand. As such, patients are encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle with balanced eating and exercise to maintain their overall body weight.
Liposuction Treatment Areas
Thighs & Hips
Accumulated fat in the outer thighs, inner thighs, and front of the thighs (anterior thighs) can be common in women who have a pear body shape. They may be extremely flat through the tummy and waist area, yet they carry a lot of genetically predisposed fatty deposits in the legs. Liposuction in the thigh area can bring the lower body into proportion with the upper body.
It is very common for many women to have excess fat through the hips and back area (underneath the bra strap), especially after having children but also as they get older. Removing fat from the hip region and from the area above the buttocks will help create a better back arch and transition from back to buttocks.
Liposculpture of the upper arms is almost exclusively a procedure for women. With age and with genetic predisposition, women may accumulate fat over the upper arms, giving a disproportionate and bulky appearance. The classic pendulous appearance of the arms is evident when our patients try to illustrate their upper arm fat by lifting their arms up by their side.
Ankles & Legs
Lipoedema is a chronic progressive condition characterised by the abnormal and excessive accumulation of fatty tissue, generally in the lower legs and thighs. Other areas frequently affected by lipoedema include the buttocks, thighs, lower legs, and ankles. Varicose vein disease is often present in conjunction with lipoedema and associated mild lymphedema.
Liposculpture Information for New Patients
Patients embarking on Liposuction Treatment will be required to attend the practice several times. The visits can be divided as such:
The Initial Consultation
The areas to be treated will be examined with particular emphasis on the patient’s concerns and desired outcome. Dr Paraskevas will also offer advice that will improve the outcome of the procedure and this may involve treatment of contiguous related areas and fat transfer. He may also advise to break up the procedure into smaller parts to minimise complications and adverse events.
Dr Paraskevas may make some preliminary markings on the areas that will be treated and take photos of these areas for your file. In addition to this, Dr Paraskevas will order several tests which will include:
- Full Blood Count, Liver Function Tests, Kidney Function Tests,
- Thyroid Function Tests,
- Fasting cholesterol and blood sugar levels,
- Hepatitis B, C and HIV status,
- Clotting Profile,
- beta HCG Levels (in women of child bearing age)
- ECG or stress ECG – for patients over the age of 60 or with a history cardiovascular disease
- Breast Ultrasound/mammogram (in patients undergoing breast liposuction.
- Thyroid ultrasound (may be requested in patients undergoing Chin Liposculpture)
Patients will be provided with a detailed and comprehensive Information Document and a preliminary plan for their liposuction procedure which will be discussed in great detail during the initial consultation.
Photos will be reviewed and compression garments will be measured out in preparation for the treatment.
Patients will be given a script for prophylactic antibiotics which will be started the day prior to the procedure. A detailed Pre Procedural Instruction sheet will be provided which will outline what to do in the weeks and days leading up to the procedure.
Patients will be given medication that will help them relax, reducing anxiety and also providing some pain relief. Dr Paraskevas does not use intravenous sedation and prefers that patients are alert and awake during the procedure. You will remember very little of the procedure afterwards. One of the major advantages of performing liposuction under mild oral or intramuscular sedation is that Dr Paraskevas can better assess the areas treated by having the patient stand up towards the end of the procedure and marking out any irregularities or areas that require more contouring – this is vital to obtaining a uniform, balanced and symmetrical result.
As liposuction is a sterile procedure, your skin is cleaned with antiseptic solution. Small 2-3 mm incisions are then made which will act as access points for the infiltration of local anaesthetic and removal of fat. These incisions are very small and DO NOT require suturing after the procedure.
Once the local anaesthetic solution has been infiltrated into the fat, a very thin metal tube with a blunt tip and small holes at the end, referred to as a “Cannula”, will be used to help break up the fat and then gently suction the fat out. The fat will be collected in special collection canisters and disposed of at the end of the procedure.
After the Procedure
Once finished, 2 compression garments will be fitted and foam pads will be placed in between the garments over the incision points. The compression garments, will be kept on continuously for 24 hours and then worn over 2-3 weeks to help reduce swelling, bruising, and importantly help the skin retract after the removal of the fat.
After the procedure, you will be observed in the “Recovery Room” until you are ready to go home. You will not be allowed to drive and as such will require transport. The nurse will carefully point out the important post procedure instructions and provide a Liposuction Pack” which will contain post-operative medications (analgesics, anti-emetics) and extra foam pads. Patients will be able to contact Dr Paraskevas any time should they have any concerns during the recovery period at home.
There will be 3 Post Op visits to check your progress:
- First Post Op Visit (within the first week)
- Second Post Op Visit (within 3 months)
- Third Post Op Visit (between 6 and 12 months)
What are the benefits of our Liposculpture technique?
- Walk in, Walk out Procedure. Liposculpture is a major refinement of the traditional technique of in hospital liposuction. Liposculpture is performed under local anaesthetic which makes it so much easier to achieve a regular and even result to the areas treated. This is because it is possible to stand up and allow the effect of gravity to be seen on the areas treated towards the end of the procedure. This in turn translates to much more predictable and aesthetically pleasing results.
- No General Anaesthetic. As no General Anaesthetic is needed for Liposculpture as opposed to traditional liposuction, the inherent risks associated with this are avoided.
- Less Discomfort, Less Bruising and Faster Recovery. Liposculpture involves the infiltration of special saline solution (called “Tumescent Anaesthetic”) into the fatty tissues before the procedure is performed. The fluid contains a local anaesthetic – lignocaine (the same anaesthetic used by dentists) and also a medication which effectively constricts small blood vessels in the fat – adrenaline. Adrenaline vastly decreases the amount of bruising that occurs with Liposculpture while the local anaesthetic produces effective relief of any discomfort during the procedure and for up to 12 hours afterwards.
- No Hospital Admission. Liposculpture is performed out of hospital. It is day surgery. There is no need for the patient having Liposculpture to stay overnight in hospital, have blood transfusions or even fluid intravenously. A half day only is required to perform the procedure, and you are encouraged to remain active following the procedure, walking on the following day or soon after and often returning to work within 3-5 days. Time off work and normal activities should be kept to a minimum. People often think they need to take holidays to have liposuction. This is not true.
- No cutting or suturing. Liposculpture is performed with very small cannulas, measuring 2 to 3 mm in diameter. Only very small incisions are required to allow passage of these cannulas into the fatty layer for suctioning of the fat. The small holes will heal on their own very quickly and do not require suturing.
If Liposculpture is so good, why aren’t all procedures done this way?
People who have had both procedures say how well they feel after Liposculpture compared to traditional liposuction. The recovery period is shorter with much less bruising and there is minimal discomfort. Now Liposculpture is performed by many doctors from many specialities. At Vein Health Medical & Cosmetic, Dr Paraskevas has been specially trained in Liposculpture and will take the necessary time to get the right result for each person.
Is Liposculpture safe?
Bruising is minimal but does occur in most cases. It lasts for 10-14 days. Infections are theoretically possible but are extremely rare and antibiotics given before and after the procedure to prevent this. Local areas of numbness can occur but this settles over time.
Who will benefit from Liposculpture?
- Women who have had children and are concerned by the unwanted accumulation of fat that child bearing has brought and that is resistant to the most rigorous gym workouts and exercise regimes. Post Pregnancy problem areas may include saddlebags, full thighs, hips, or just a “pot-belly”.
- Men who have developed love handles above the hips or accumulations of abdominal fat, not necessarily related to a lack of exercise, but often due to the natural decline in the production of growth hormone, which occurs with age.
- Men and Women who want to have a “streamlined” appearance and have the best shape that they possibly can. For such people the permanent removal of even small amounts of fat from localised areas can make a good figure dramatically better.
- Men who have unwanted accumulation s of fat over the breasts as a result of hereditary or other factors.
- Men and Women who have been significantly overweight, have lost weight and are now near their goal, but still have problems with localised accumulations that will not budge despite diet and exercise.
Is there an age limit?
Will there be scars?
Will Liposculpture work for cellulite?
What about my skin? Won’t it be wrinkly?
When should patients have Liposuction?
- Age. It is important to once again emphasize that Liposuction is primarily a body shaping procedure, NOT a weight loss procedure. As with most procedures, Liposuction is obviously best performed earlier than later. Younger patients are usually healthier, more active and their skin elasticity is better making for faster and more fulfilling results. Practically speaking, Liposuction is a procedure that is performed on patients of all ages.
- Weight. One of the most common questions we get at our clinic is “Should I try and lose more weight before I see you Doctor?” The answer to this is often quite difficult and will vary from patient to patient. For those who are minimally overweight, but generally healthy, it may be preferable to have liposuction before the patient attempts to return to their ideal weight. The main reason for this is that the fat layer to be removed will be larger and easier to suction. On the other hand, patients who are extremely overweight, may be encouraged to begin a diet and exercise plan to allow for a safer procedure.
- Planning a Pregnancy. As with most elective cosmetic procedures, liposuction is contraindicated during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, it is reasonable to suggest that females contemplating liposuction should have the procedure prior to pregnancy rather than delaying it until after. The integrity and elasticity of the skin is better prior to pregnancy in most cases, and this will allow for better results. Also, by removing the fat stores prior to pregnancy, these fat stores are less likely to expand during pregnancy and cause undue stress and stretch on the skin.