What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure to remove extra fat from certain areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck or back. It contours these areas and improves the body shape, using a suction technique.
Liposuction is also known as Lipo, Lipoplasty, or Body Contouring, and it is considered as a popular cosmetic surgery procedure, for those, who have tried diet and exercise and can’t get rid of these fat deposits.
You may be a good candidate for liposuction if you have too much body fat in certain parts with a stable body weight.
Which are the types of Liposuction?
There are various types in Liposuction as following:
- Tumescent liposuction.
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL).
- Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL).
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL).
In all techniques, it is commonly used a thin tube, called a cannula, connected to a vacuum to suction the fat from your body.
Why it's done?
You might chose the liposuction, if you have extra fat deposits in your body, which you can’t get rid from by trying diet and exercise.
The extra fat will be in certain areas, such as;
- Chest and back
- Calves and ankles
- Hips and thighs
- Chin and neck
- Upper arms
Liposuction is also used for breast reduction or treatment of gynecomastia.
How to decide if Liposuction is right for you?
Liposuction surgery is not suitable for all people. Some are good candidates, and others are not good for liposuction surgery. Your surgeon will determine if liposuction is the right choice for you, for acquire correct answer you have to share your concepts and expectations with them.
A good candidate for liposuction is who:
- Has realistic expectations.
- Has good physical shape and health capacity.
- Don’t have a lot of excess skin
- Has fat deposits that don’t go away with diet or exercise
- Has good muscle tone
- Not overweight or obese
- Is within 30% of ideal weight.
- Has firm and elastic skin.
- Don’t smoke.
Liposuction is not a good option for you if you:
- Are a patient of chronic health problems
- Have saggy skin
- Have a weak immune system
- Are overweight
- Take medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners
- Have a history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or seizures
How to prepare?
Firstly, you have to discuss with your surgeon what you expect from the surgery. Your surgeon will take a review of your medical history, by asking your medical conditions, and any medications, supplements or herbs you may having.
After deciding to have the surgery, your surgeon will ask you to stop taking certain medications including, blood thinners or NSAIDs, for three weeks before the surgery. You may also need to undergo with some lab tests before the treatment.
You should arrange someone to drive you home and stay with you for at the first night after the surgery.
What is in the liposuction surgery?
Before the surgery:
At first, your surgeon may mark circles and lines on the areas of your body to be treated. Photographs also may be collected, for comparing before and after changes.
Some liposuction procedures is done under local or regional anaesthesia, which is limited to a certain area of your body. Other procedures may need general anaesthesia, which induces a temporary state of unconsciousness. A sedative may be given to you, usually through an IV injection, to help you remain calm and relaxed.
During the surgery:
Liposuction procedure varies depending on the certain technique used. The technique is based on your treatment expectations, the area of your body to be treated, and whether you have had other liposuction surgeries in the past.
Various Liposuction procedures:
- Tumescent liposuction: It is the most common type of liposuction. The surgeon, firstly, injects a sterile solution into the area that's being treated. The solution may be a mixture of salt water, which aids fat removal, an anaesthetic (lidocaine) to relieve pain and a drug (epinephrine) that causes the blood vessels to constrict. The fluid mixture helps the affected area to swell and stiffen.
After that, the surgeon will make small cuts into your skin, then, insert a thin tube called a cannula under your skin. The cannula is connected to a vacuum that suctions fat and fluids from your body. Your body fluid may be replenished through an intravenous (IV) line.
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): This liposuction procedure is sometimes practiced in connection with traditional liposuction. During UAL, the surgeon inserts a metal rod that emits ultrasonic energy under your skin. This ruptures the fat-cell walls and breaks down the fat for easier removal.
There is a new generation of UAL, named VASER-assisted liposuction. It works by a device that may increases skin contouring and reduces the chance of skin injuries.
- Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL): This procedure is done by high-intensity laser light to break down fat for removal. During LAL, the surgeon inserts a laser fiber through a small incision in the skin and emulsifies fat deposits. The fat is then removed via a cannula.
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL): This liposuction technique uses a cannula that moves in a rapid back-and-forth motion. Through this vibration, the surgeon pulls out tough fat more easily and faster. PAL may sometimes make less pain and swelling and can let the surgeon removing fat with more precision. This technique is used to remove large volumes of fat or if the patient have had a previous liposuction procedure.
Throughout the procedure, the surgical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen level. If you feel pain during the procedure due to local anaesthesia given, you have to tell your surgeon. The medication or motions may require adjustment.
The procedure may longs to several hours, based on the extent of fat removal.
The surgery requires the removal of only a small amount of fat, it may be done in an office setting. If a large amount of fat needs to removal — or if you plan to have other procedures done at the same time — the surgery may take place in a hospital followed by an overnight stay.
If your procedure is done under general anaesthesia, you'll wake in a recovery room. You may need to spend at least a few hours in the hospital or clinic, for recovery monitoring by medical personnel. If you're in a hospital, you may stay overnight to make sure that you're not dehydrated or in shock from fluid loss.
After the surgery:
You may feel some pain, bruising and swelling after the surgery. Your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics for reduce the risk of infection, and medication to help control the pain.
After the surgery, the surgeon may leave your incisions open and place temporary drains to promote fluid drainage. You usually need to wear tight compression garments, which help reduce swelling, for a few weeks.
You may need to wait a few days before returning to work and a few weeks before continuing your normal activities — including exercise.
During this time, expect some contour irregularities as the remaining fat settles into position.
What is the result to be?
After liposuction, the skin moulds itself to the new contours of the treated areas. If you have good skin tone and elasticity, the skin is likely to appear smooth. If your skin is thin with poor elasticity, however, the skin in the treated areas may appear loose.
The resulted contour changes and body shapes are generally long lasting — as long as the weight remains stable. If your weight increases after liposuction, your fat distribution may vary. For example, you may accumulate fat around your abdomen regardless of what areas were originally treated. The new fat resulted from weight increase can appear deeper under the skin, and it can be dangerous if it grows around the liver or heart.
Liposuction doesn't reshape cellulite dimpling or other skin surface irregularities. Likewise, liposuction doesn't remove stretch marks.
What are the risks of liposuction?
Like any major surgery, liposuction also results some risks, including bleeding and anaesthesia reaction. Other possible risks of liposuction include:
You may have numbness in the surgery area temporarily or permanently. Temporary nerve irritation is also expected.
Patients may have skin infections rarely. Some may be life threatening like severe skin infection.
- Internal puncture.
A cannula, which penetrates too deeply, may puncture an internal organ, rarely. This results to emergency surgical repair.
- Kidney and heart problems.
Changes in fluid levels as fluids are being injected and suctioned out, can affect potentially life-threatening kidney, heart and lung problems.
- Fluid accumulation.
Pockets of fluid (seromas) can appear under the skin temporarily. This fluid requires draining using a needle.
- Fat embolism.
Loosened fat pieces may break away and become trapped in a blood vessel and gather in the lungs or travel to the brain. A fat embolism is a medical emergency.
- Contour irregularities.
You may have bumpy, wavy or withered skin, caused by, uneven fat removal, poor skin elasticity and unusual healing. These all changes may remain permanently. The skin may have a permanent spotted appearance caused by the thin tube (cannula) which is used in liposuction.
- Lidocaine toxicity.
In rare case, lidocaine toxicity can occur, causing serious heart and central nervous system problems.
The changes in certain areas of skin may cause asymmetry of body shape in that area.
The risk of complications increases if the surgeon is working on larger surfaces of your body or doing multiple procedures during the same operation. Talk to your surgeon about how these risks apply to you.
Expert Doctors For you:
- Dr. Bulent Cihantimur
Estetik International Health Group, Turkey
Dr. Bülent Cihantimur, known as DoctorB, who is a world-popular plastic and reconstructive surgeon, graduated from Istanbul University Çapa Faculty of Medicine, Bülent Cihantimur, MD specialized in Plastic Surgery at Uludağ University. As the result of years of hard work and dedication, his techniques and skills earned him much awards in the past 20 years such as, The Golden Bistoury Award, The World’s Best Plastic Surgeon and Medical Man of the Year Award in 2014.
He treats patients from all over the world and is a member of a variety of social organizations including ISAPS.
- Dr. Jale Özdemir
Cosmetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Estetik International Health Group, Istanbul
Dr. Jale Ozdemir is an Aesthetics, Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgeon having more than 14+ experience from Istanbul, Turkey. She is an expert in Abdominoplasty, Liposuction, Gynecomastia, Otoplasty, Buccal Fat Removal, etc. She is graduated from Yeni Yuzyil University Medical School, followed by post-graduation from the reputed Kocaeli University Medical School, Istanbul University.
She is a member of the Turkish Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Association, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Association, Turkish Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
- Op. Dr. Alp Ercan
Memorial Atasehir Hospital, Turkey
Op. Dr. Alp Ercan is one of the most successful Plastic Surgeon in Turkey, who has an experience of more than 10 years. Dr. Alp has been associated with numerous reputed hospitals in Turkey, over the period of his prosperous and experienced career.
Dr. Alp has obtained Professional Memberships in European Association of Plastic Surgeons, Board Certification, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and Accreditation of Foreigner Medical Graduates, The USA ECFMG Certified 2018 - USA.
- Op. Dr. Turab İsmayilov
Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Hospital: Medistanbul Hospital, Turkey
Op. Dr. Turab İsmayilov is one of the most successful physicians in Turkey, especially in closed rhinoplasty surgery, Liposuction (Fat Removal) Operations and Body Shaping operations.
Op. Dr. İsmayilov aims to offer the best treatment with the best experiences to his patients. As he is very careful in matters, such as, post-operative scarring or pain relief, so, he generally keeps on working for closed operations. Medical studies show that wounding, growing and agony after shut activities are limited compared to open operations.
- Op Dr Azer Zeynalov
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon
Clinic Expert, Turkey
Op Dr Azer Zeynalov is one of the most popular plastic surgeons in Turkey, with more than 10 years of experience in the field. He graduated from Plastic Surgery Department Bezmialem Foundation University, and Medical School Azerbaijan Medical University
Op Dr Azer has participated in numerous seminars conducted in plastic and aesthetic surgery related topics, such as, National Wound Care Congress (2013), Turkish Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Association National Congress (2015), Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Association National Congress (2016), Plastic Surgery Assistant School (2016), Türk Plastic, Aesthetic Procedures Course without Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Association (2017).
- Op. Dr. Attila Hacilar
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon
Clinic Expert, Turkey
Op. Dr. Attila Hacilar is renowned Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Specialist in Turkey, with more than 16 years of success full experience. He completed his graduation from Uludağ University Faculty of Medicine in 1995, Op. Dr. in 2001, obtained his specialty at Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Liposuction covered by Health Insurance?
As liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, most health insurance plans don’t cover it. Make an enquiry with your insurance company and your surgeon about the costs and payment options, as well as who pays the amount if you feel any complications.
- What should I ensure for liposuction surgery?
You have to ensure that the place where you are getting the surgery, is accredited, and is known for its professional standards, safety and good results. Also ensure that the surgeon is board certified aesthetic surgeon.
- How Long Is My Recovery For Liposuction?
You might have to stay in the hospital based on the technique of surgery you had. In this period, you should expect bruising, swelling, and soreness, which will remain to at least a few weeks.
As part of control the swelling, your surgeon may ask you to wear a compression garment for 1 to 2 months after surgery.
You will probably need to take some antibiotics to prevent infection. Most people can return to work within a few days and get back to daily activities within 2 weeks.