Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat in certain areas of your body using suction. This procedure takes place using cannulas, which are small and thin tubes with blunted tips. The doctor inserts the cannulas through small incisions in the patient’s skin, and then fat is suctioned through the tubes as they target certain fat deposits under the skin. Lipo can be done using the traditional methods, or it can be assisted by ultrasound or laser, which both help to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out.
This cosmetic procedure is among the most common plastic surgeries for both men and women, so it is very popular. However, it is commonly misunderstood. The purpose of lipo is not necessarily to reduce body weight or remove cellulite as a treatment of obesity. Rather, liposuction is to reshape certain areas of the body, and typically targets “problem areas” that do not respond well to diet and exercise. While this procedure is not just an alternative as a weight loss tool, it can do a lot of good.
The Benefits of Liposuction:
1. It can enhance the shape and contour of your body.
2. It may help to, or completely remove, lipomas, which are benign fatty tumors in certain areas of the body.
3. It can help men that suffer from gynecomastia (when men develop excessive amounts of fatty breast tissue) by removing the fatty breast tissue.
4. It can help treat lipodystrophy syndrome, which is when there is a fat metabolism disturbance in which there is excessive fat in some areas of the body, but none in others.
5. The effects of lipo can be very long-lasting so long as the patient’s weight does not greatly increase any time after the procedure.
6. It can improve the appearance of someone’s body, making it more natural looking, for someone who has, for instance, had a gastric band or bypass procedure by correcting abnormalities that resulted from the weight loss, like excess skin.
7. It can help treat excessive sweating in the armpit areas, as well as chafing in other areas, such as the thighs.
8. The results are for the most part immediate, so you can enhance your appearance in as little as a day. Besides swelling, which may take a few weeks to subside, the enhancements are immediate.
9. It often influences better habits, such as exercise and good dieting, as the results of lipo must be maintained.
10. It can improve a person’s well-being by improving severe imbalances and abnormalities in the body’s appearance. While it is not a substitute for a healthy living style, it can make you feel good.
Now, it is very important to remember that plastic surgery is still surgery, so there are many possible risks involved in undergoing the procedure. While some seem moderate and just a matter of common sense, others are certainly very serious and can lead to life threatening side effects. So, anyone interested in undergoing lipo should know the risks involved rather than going in blind. Here are some risks to consider.
The Risks of Liposuction:
1. It has a gradual healing process that can involve moderate scarring, bruising that may last up to 4-5 months after the surgery, and possible vomiting for the few days following the procedure.
2. It may lead to nutritional deficiencies from malabsorptive operations, or anemia.
3. It can cause thrombophlebitis, which is when a blood clot forms in a vein causing that vein to become significantly inflamed. This is more likely when the area treated is inside the knee or upper thigh.
4. Patients may experience numbness in certain areas for several weeks following the procedure, but numbness is usually only temporary.
5. There are risks of skin infections resulting from liposuction. While this is rare, the skin infections may require surgery to fix and could result in scarring.
6. Inflammation surrounding the treated areas can occur for up to 6 months after the surgery, this can also be accompanied with fluids oozing from the incisions.
7. With such significant amounts of fluids being pumped and suctioned through the body, the change in fluid levels may possibly be problematic for your heart and kidney in the future.
8. It can also be problematic for a patient’s lungs as it can cause pulmonary embolism, which is when fat enters the bloodstream and then the heart, and it can cause pulmonary edema, which is when fluid accumulates in the lungs.
9. The friction from the cannulas may cause skin burns, which can cause damage to both the skin and the nerves in the treated areas. (Skin always has a possibility to be damaged from liposuction)
10. And, of course, there is always a possibility and risk of the patient having an allergic reaction, or just a bad reaction, to the anesthesia, which can always be life-threatening in the worst cases.
There are quite a few risks involved with liposuction, but don’t let those risks make you panic. Lipo has generally been a very safe procedure, especially if done by a qualified medical professional in a properly equipped doctor’s office, surgery center, or hospital. However, as always, you must consult your doctor to make sure liposuction is right for you, as certain conditions might increase the possibility of the risks associated with lipo. Otherwise, it has been a very successful procedure for many people every year, so don’t be scared to ask!
Written by: Russell McBurnie