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Removal of Excess Fat (liposuction)

Body reshaping with liposuction (removal of fat with vacuum) is a technique that involves the removal of locally accumulated fat deposits. With liposuction, most commonly the accumulated fats in the buttocks, outer thighs, inner thighs, front thighs, hips, abdominal region, and rarely arms, knees, trunk, back, breast, neck, and jowl are removed, and these areas are reshaped. Until twenty years ago, the areas with excess fat accumulation had been reshaped with surgical incisions. As a result, this method led to undesirable results making the patients unhappy. Removing the excess fat through small holes by means of vacuum and consequently correcting the body contour has made a new breakthrough in the field of plastic surgery. Development of an incision-free and scar-free procedure has brought happiness to both patients and physicians.

Preoperative Evaluation:

If a person considers having a liposuction, the first step to take is to consult a plastic surgeon. The patient should openheartedly discuss his/her expectations about ‘looking good’ and ‘feeling good’ after surgery, by keeping in mind the fact that it is a surgical procedure intended for correction, not perfection.

Emotional balance is one of the most important factors required to be identified before attempting to have any plastic surgery. Liposuction can correct your body contours but cannot change your way of life. Plastic surgery can improve your appearance and refresh your self-confidence, but the rest is up to you.

Liposuction is not a procedure that can be carried out as an alternative to any program involving weight-loss through diet or exercise; and it is not a cure for obesity. It is a surgical technique, which is suitable for cases evaluated and selected carefully. Your surgeon may recommend you the surgical removal of the excess skin and adipose tissues, in addition to liposuction or as an alternative to it.

The secret in the success of the body contouring with liposuction is the fact that besides fat removal, this technique also allows for the removal of a certain amount (approximately 50%) of fat cells and fat receptors; and as a result, makes impossible the recurrence of excessive fat accumulation in these regions. When making a body re-shaping plan, evaluation of all the local fat accumulation centers and including them all in the liposuction regions is one of the most important approaches for success. Otherwise, fat removal from only one or two of these regions would cause excessive fat accumulation in the other four regions in the future.

Besides the surgical technique to be used, your surgeon discusses also the anesthesia, the place where the surgery will be performed, exact success rate of the surgical procedure, as well as specific details about your condition. Before deciding to have liposuction, you must discuss with your surgeon the additional factors, which need to be take into consideration, such as the risks and cost of the surgery.

You need to be informed of the potential risks of the surgical procedure, and the specific challenges associated with liposuction (eg: Sometimes a second surgery may be needed in cases involving extreme excess fat). The post-operative complications such as infection or localized blood accumulation are rarely encountered and can be treated. You can reduce the risk of complications by following your surgeon’ in the healing and follow up periods.

Surgical Procedure:

In the technique that we call “superwet”, a certain amount of serum ranging from one to four liter and even five liter, depending on the sizes of the patient, is given with intent to burn the fats and allow them to be removed with vacuum later on. This technique allows for the absorption of less bloody fat masses (for lessening the blood loss).

Liposuction is carried out for thinning disproportionately enlarged buttocks, hips, thighs, abdomen, and waist regions in people, whose weight and body structure are relatively close to normal. Besides these changes, also the removal of excess fats from the arms, calves, knees, upper chest area, and jowl is carried out with the same surgical procedure.

The scope of the procedure depends on the desired changes and what are appropriate from your surgeon’s point of view. Based on the recommendation of your surgeon, you can have the operation as an in-patient or an out-patient at our outpatient department.

Liposuction can be done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia that involves the anesthetization of only the area that will be treated. Before anesthesia, medication is given for relieving the tension. A sedative (antianxiety) local anesthetic will allow you to be comfortable during surgery. In case of general anesthesia, you will be unconscious through the surgery.

Surgery begins with an incision of approximately 0.5 cm made in the area, where liposuction will be applied. A thin and blunt ended tubular cannula having small holes close to its end is inserted into the incision. Its end that remains outside is connected to a suction unit. In the subcutaneous tissue, the surgeon uses the cannula in such a way as to separate the excess fat that is intended to be removed. A high vacuum pressure is created, and the fat is sucked out of the body. Sometimes an additional incision may be required for removing the all the unwanted fat deposits and for being able to access them. The incision is closed with several sutures, in such a way as to leave a small and often conceivable scar.

After surgery, stretch compression socks can be used in people who have no sagging skin, or stretch compression bandages in other people by ensuring that they are applied to the entire area of treatment, for accelerating the shrinkage of the skin in a way that the tissue under the skin smoothly complies with the resultant shape. In this method that provides a stretch compression, special compression stockings intended for reducing the bruising and swelling in the surgical site can be used for a period of three weeks. Depending on the scope of the surgery, the operation may take 45 minutes to 2 hours and even longer.

After Surgery:

In a few days after surgery, there may be a mild pain manageable with painkillers. Drowsiness and mild pain may also continue for a longer time. Walking is helpful for ensuring these complaints to be eliminated faster.

An in-patient is discharged from hospital usually one day after the operation but discharge may take longer in some exceptional cases. Protective bands are usually removed in the first week after surgery. Stretch compression socks are recommended to be used for an additional period of 2 to 3 weeks. Form the 6th day after surgery, 5 to10 sessions of physical therapy would be useful. A little bit swelling and bruising will occur and their complete disappearance will take 6 to 8 weeks.