Before the surgery
During the consultation for a liposuction surgery, the plastic surgeon will discuss the procedure in detail and understand the expectation of the patient. The surgeon will also conduct a few tests and examine the candidate’s health to determine whether liposuction is an option for them. This may include:
- Review of patient’s health history
- A detailed physical examination
- Blood tests and imaging studies
- Assessment by anaesthesiologist and other laboratory tests to minimize the risk of anaesthesia-related complications
Once the patient is found to be a suitable candidate for liposuction, the surgeon will inform about the preoperative preparations. This is an important step, which can influence the surgery, recovery as well as results. There will be diet and alcohol restrictions.
The patient will be asked to quit smoking, if they are a smoker, and to stop taking certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding. The patient should inform the medical team about any allergies, and if they are taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medications, herbal products and supplements.
The doctor will inform the patient whether they should continue or stop taking them. They will also provide instruction for when to stop eating and drinking before the surgery. These instructions must be followed strictly in order to undergo the surgery at the scheduled date.
During the surgery
Liposuction surgery can be performed using different techniques. These types have a common step – which is the use of a thin tube, called a vacuum-linked cannula, to absorb fat from the body.
Types of liposuction surgery
Tumescent liposuction: This is considered as the most common liposuction technique. In this, a solution containing sterile saline, lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the area where the fat will be suctioned. The benefit of this method is less bleeding, mild pain and ease of suction.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction technique: In this, sound wave energy is used to break up and melt or emulsify the cellular walls of the fat deposits present under the skin. It involves liquefaction of the solid.
VASER Liposuction: This is the most advanced ultrasound liposuction technology used to remove the accumulated fat and re-contour the body. The ultrasonic waves break down the fat deposits which is then removed. It is considered to be the best choice for women who wish to shape their body by removing the stubborn fat tissues and men who wish to have a six-pack ab. In this technique, Vaser liposuction device is attached to the cannula and the ultrasound-assisted liposuction reduces the chances of trauma underneath the skin. The walls of the fat cells are broken down by the ultrasonic waves and fat tissues are suctioned off more easily.
Laser assisted liposuction: This method involves the use of laser energy to liquefy the fat, which is then suctioned out using the cannula.
Recovery after liposuction procedure
After liposuction procedure, patients usually feel mild pain and have swelling in the area from where fat was suctioned. There might be even some noticeable bruising on the skin of the operated region. These symptoms will spontaneously disappear within a few weeks. Although the pain will be minimal, the plastic surgeon may prescribe painkiller medications to help manage the pain.
The antibiotic will also be prescribed to prevent a potential infection. The doctor may ask the patient to apply compression bandage or wear tight garments, such as corset, depending on the part of the body where liposuction surgery has been performed. This is to reduce the swelling and provide support to the new contours of the area.
The plastic surgeon will provide further information about the post-operative care after discharge from the hospital. After recovery from anaesthesia, the patient is asked to walk and mobilize under supervision of the healthcare professionals. The plastic surgeon and medical team will inform about the length of recovery period and when to resume work and non-strenuous exercises.
The plastic surgeon will schedule a follow-up visit to check on the recovery and healing. Patients must contact the medical team if they experience warmth and redness in the incision line or the surgical site, have a fever or any other symptoms that can be due to the surgery.