Liposuction is a technique that has been developed and evolved over the last 40 years and has become very popular because it corrects local adiposities without leaving traces and large scars. The evolution of liposuction in recent years is rapid, because new technologies have been added that allow greater precision in manipulations, safety, less injury to tissues and for this reason we are now referring to liposuction as liposculpture. This means that the aim of the operation is not only to remove local “fat”, but to create new body proportions, which are maintained even when losing or adding weight.
Liposuction is in no way a technique with which an obese person will lose weight, nor is it a method of slimming. In some cases of extensive liposuction, there may indeed be a significant difference on the scale, but any surgical intervention in this direction should definitely be accompanied by the patient’s will to change his lifestyle and get rid of excess weight. Liposuction is a very important tool that can help a lot in the effort of every person to make a significant and big change in their body type.
In the past, liposuction was a way to remove areas of local fat, such as “buns, tummy and grips in general”. Modern methods now offer a more holistic approach. This means that we extend the correction areas in order to create shape, in women curves and in men angles. For example, a liposuction of the abdomen should definitely be accompanied by liposuction on the flanks of the torso, because it is a continuation of the abdomen and needs to be treated as a whole.
In general, the basic indications of fat removal that we distinguish are the following:
- Reduction of local fat in zones/areas of the body
- Liposculpture for better contour and shape on the body
- Lipedema treatment
- In addition to other surgeries, such as abdominoplasty, breast and face surgeries
The modern approach distinguishes two liposuction techniques: high definition and high performance. High-definition liposuction is the one with which we seek to highlight muscle toning more in relatively thin people. This is possible thanks to thin cannulas of assisted liposuction that are sometimes combined with some form of energy, such as Vaser or Laser. The results are similar whichever technique we follow, as long as the equipment allows a high-definition liposculpture, which in some cases is combined with the addition of fat at targeted points for even better shape performance. High-definition liposuction has a very specific audience and cannot be applied to anyone.
The most common areas of liposuction:
- Abdomen liposuction
- Flank liposuction
- Thigh liposuction
- Gastrocnemius liposuction
- Ankle liposuction
- Knee liposuction
- Submandibular liposuction
- Arm liposuction
- Breast liposuction
The most common technique is the so-called high-performance liposuction, i.e. high-performance liposuction. With modern techniques we can safely remove large amounts of body fat and sculpt the body very effectively. The average fat removal in these cases is 3-5 liters and can reach up to 7-8 liters in some cases. It is an operation that can literally completely change a person’s body type and life. The areas where we apply high-performance liposuction are mainly the abdomen, chest and legs.
Regarding the equipment chosen by each plastic sureon to achieve the excellent results of liposuction, it is, in my opinion, of secondary importance. I personally prefer the so-called Microaire pulsed liposuction (PAL), due to its speed, high precision of manipulations and atraumatic character. In some cases I combine pulsating liposuction with spray liposuction (Water Assisted Liposuction) also known as Bodyjet. However, regardless of the name and technology, it is still just another tool that in the right hands can offer spectacular results.
As far as the incisions are concerned, they are very small, 4-6 mm long. and always placed in folds or other distinctive points of the body so that they are the least visible. Before removing fat, a solution containing local anesthetic called tumescent solution is injected along with drugs that limit blood loss. The removal of fat is then done based on preoperative planning, following some basic principles to avoid relaxation and other problems.
Recovery after a liposuction
Liposuction can be performed under local anaesthesia, either under local with sedation or under general anaesthesia. The factor that determines our choice is the extent of the areas we need to work on and the total fat removal that is necessary. This is because there is a limit of the amount of local anaesthetic (xylocaine) that can be administered per patient, which cannot be exceed due to safety reasons. This amount can only cover a certain extent in terms of analgesia. The combination of local anaesthesia with total anaesthesia is usually preferable when it comes to extensive liposuction, both in terms of practicality and safety.
Hospitalization time is from a short time to a twenty-four hour period. Postoperatively, we use special pressure dressings or a special elastic garment for the first postoperative month.
Thanks to new techniques and technologies of bloodless liposuction, in small liposuctions bruises are minimal to non-existent. Postoperative swelling subsides very quickly and pain after surgery is zero. When large volumes are removed or multiple areas are treated, the pain lasts for 4-5 days, swelling and bruising takes 10-15 days to subside and there can be a general weakness for a few weeks. In even larger liposuction, where the total removal volume can exceed 7-8 liters, hospitalization of 1-2 days is usually required, and recovery can be even longer.