Liposuction

Liposuction is a technique to remove unwanted localised fat deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove with diet or exercise. The unsightly distribution of body fat is usually due to an inborn tendency to deposit fat in one particular body area, most commonly the hips. Other areas include the neck, arms, tummy, loins, thighs, knees and ankles' inner side.

Liposuction involves removing fat by sucking it out through a thin tube called a cannula.  In liposuction's tumescent process, the doctor injects a very dilute anesthetic solution under the skin into the fatty tissue before removing it. Afterwards, it is necessary to wear compression garments for drainage and support. Many patients usually return to work after 2 to 7 days.

It is most effective for people whose weight is average and who have firm, elastic skin. Liposuction is not a technique for treating obesity. It is not a substitute for losing weight.

Important Information About Tumescent Liposuction

1. Risks of Liposuction Surgery:   Any surgery involves the risk of infection, bleeding, scarring, or severe injury. However, tumescent liposuction has an excellent safety record. One reason that this technique is safer than other liposuction techniques is that general anesthesia is not required. The most significant risks of liposuction are those associated with general anesthesia. Eliminating general anesthesia reduces the risks in liposuction.

2. Risk of Irregularities of the Skin:  Tumescent liposuction using small cannulas is the least likely to cause any significant or noticeable post-surgical irregularities of the skin. The Tumescent fluid increases the fat compartment volume. It allows more accurate removal of fat, with greater assurance that the cannula will not inadvertently approach too near the skin's undersurface, which would cause irregularities. Thus, the tumescent technique helps to minimise the risk of post-surgical irregularities or rippling of the skin. Liposuction might improve pre-existing irregularities of the skin such as dimpling. Still, prospective patients should not assume that there will be a significant improvement. It is unrealistic to expect perfectly smooth skin. Patients should expect that their skin will have approximately the same degree of dimpling and irregularities as existed before the procedure.  However, it is still possible that a noticeable irregularity of skin may result and require touch-up surgery.

3. Risk of Scarring of the Skin:  Incisions for liposuction may result in scarring. The incisions made for inserting the cannulas are usually less than 2 to 3 mm in length and are generally virtually invisible once healed. Although you may be able to find them upon close examination, most other people would not be able to see them. Some patients may experience temporary hyper-pigmentation (darkening) that usually fades after several months. Some patients may have an inborn tendency for persistent discolouration at the incision sites. Patients with a prior history of hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation might also expect to experience it with these incisions. Certain areas of the body, such as the back or upper flanks, may be more likely to have pigmentation changes.

4. Cellulite:  Cellulite results from the pull of fibrous tissue that connects skin to the underlying muscle, causing a subtle puckering in the skin.  While improving the silhouette, liposuction of the thighs does not necessarily eliminate this puckering.  Tumescent liposuction is unlikely to get rid of Cellulite but should not worsen Cellulite.

5. Postoperative Healing:  Normal healing after tumescent liposuction involves a limited but definite degree of soreness, swelling, bruising, and lumpy firmness. Temporary mild numbness of the skin may persist for up to 4 months. Most patients can see visible improvement of their silhouette within one week after surgery. However, because of the slow resolution of post-surgical swelling, the ultimate results following liposuction usually require 3 to 6 months to be achieved.  

6. Realistic Expectations:  Although liposuction results are often quite spectacular, it is not realistic to expect perfection. It is impossible to guarantee the precise amount of improvement that will result from Liposuction. Patients should not have unrealistic expectations. Although patients can usually expect to achieve at least a 50% improvement, it is unreasonable to expect a 95% improvement or near perfection. For the perfectionist or Liposuction of an extensive area, the maximum result may require a second procedure for which an additional fee may apply. Patients who would be satisfied with a 50% improvement would be reasonably good candidates for Liposuction. If a 50% improvement would make a patient happy, Liposuction will likely meet these expectations. Consider this:

  • Start with 100 Large fat cells
  • Liposuction removed 50% resulting in 50 Large fat cells left
  • Dieting/Exercise (after Liposuction) can shrink these into 50 Small fat cells
  • Resulting in Amazing Transformation due to Partnership between the Liposuction procedure and the Patient.

Perfect symmetry and evenness may not result from this procedure

7. Longevity of Results:  The fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. If the patient later gains or loses weight, the change tends to be distributed proportionately over the entire body. Although one can expect some aging changes, provided that the patient does not gain large amounts of weight, the new, more pleasing silhouette is relatively permanent.

Liposuction Common Areas
Liposuction Treatment Areas

Before A Liposuction Procedure

You can minimise the risk of complications by not taking medications or over-the-counter preparations that might adversely affect the surgery.  Inform your doctor of any medications being taken regularly, or occasionally, including herbal remedies.

What To Expect After A Liposuction Procedure

1. Immediately following the procedure, absorbent dressings will be placed on incision wounds to collect drainage and you will be fitted with a tight compression garment which will facilitate retraction of the skin over suctioned areas. Wear the garment overnight. If the absorbent pads become saturated with drainage, they may be replaced with dry absorbent pads.  We recommend you stay in an upright position to facilitate drainage for around 6 hours after the procedure.  After that period, you may lie flat, and sleep in any comfortable position.

2. Take all medications as instructed.  This may include an antibiotic to prevent infection, and medications for inflammation, pain relief.

3. Within the first 24 hours after the procedure, you may experience dizziness and feeling faint when you stand up.  This may occur until your system adjusts to the altered fluid levels from liposuction.

4. The morning after the procedure, you may remove the garment and absorbent dressings and take a shower. Wash and dry your garment.  Wash incision sites with soap and water, apply a small amount of an antibacterial ointment and cover incision with Band-Aids. Repeat wound care once daily until your review appointment.  Put your compression garment back on.  Garments should be worn from 18 to 24 hours per day for up to 6 weeks as directed.

5. Pink coloured drainage from incisions can occur in the first 24-36 hours

6. During the first few days of recovery, you can expect moderate pain and soreness. Follow your pain medication schedule to make this discomfort manageable.

7. Swelling is normal and variable

8. Discoloration, black and blue areas, may travel down your body, but usually resolve completely within 2 weeks

9. Numbness is normal and may last up to several weeks

10. Irregularity in contour early after surgery is due to the diffuse oedema

11. We recommend avoiding strenuous activity for the first 2-3 days following the procedure. Be sure to move around to keep the circulation in your legs flowing. Most patients usually return to normal activity and work within 2-3 days following liposuction. Some patients who experience above average soreness may require a longer convalescent period. High impact aerobics activities or exercises that will raise the heart rate should not be performed for at least 2 weeks.  Take care not to push your recovery.  Flying is safe after 1 week.

12. You may not see your final results for 6 weeks to 6 months after liposuction.

Cost Of Liposuction

Liposuction cost can vary considerably according to the overall size of the treatment area. There is also a limit to how many body areas can be treated by liposuction in one procedure. The two main limitations are:

1. the safe amount of local anaesthetic that can be we can give you in one procedure
2. the amount of liquefied fat that we can safely remove from your body in one procedure 

For these reasons, you require a consultation with Dr Ho for an assessment and quotation.

Contact Sydney West Aesthetics at Merrylands, just next door to Parramatta, call us to book your consultation for Liposuction

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