Liposuction: An Introduction
Would you consider liposuction to remove unwanted fat and to contour your body? Many people have successfully used this cosmetic procedure since the 1980s. There are more options than ever today, such as micro-lipoplasty for facial contouring and laser lipo that claims to firm up your skin and remove fat simultaneously.
A popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States is liposuction for removing fat pockets and smoothing body contours. Liposuction has been one of the most frequently requested cosmetic surgery procedures for more than a decade. In 2010, more than 200,000 patients underwent liposuction, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Liposuction: A Brief History
In the cosmetic surgery world, lipoplasty has been around since the late 1970s. Initially, the fat cells were broken up and sucked out by inserting a metal tube into the fatty tissue. A less risky and more effective technique called tumescent liposuction was introduced in 1985. The liquid is injected into the body in this version of the procedure. Examples of this solution include:
It helps to plump up fat tissues to be more easily extracted without causing damage to muscles or connective tissue.
The treatment area will be anesthetized.
To further numb the area and to minimize bleeding, the blood vessels are constricted.
Most cosmetic surgeons today still use this technique due to its success in providing results while minimizing complications.
Liposuction in the Modern Era
New liposculpting methods and equipment have been developed over the last twenty years. The following are among them:
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
- Water jet assisted lipo
- Various laser lipo techniques (including SmartLipo, CoolLipo, and others)
- Power-operated lipo
Typically, every one of these new technologies is used alongside traditional tumescent liposuction. Their purpose is to dissolve or break up fat more efficiently through heat, vibration, or mechanical agitation. Some techniques may also form the overlying skin. There is still much work to be done on investigating the claims made for the different brands of liposculpting equipment. As of now, it’s impossible to tell if any of them are better than traditional tumescent lipo – or if any of them provide better results.
Liposuction Is Suitable for Who?
Lipoplasty surgery is suitable for both men and women. To become an excellent candidate, it is essential to be in good health overall, have a stable weight, and have perfect skin elasticity. Pre-surgery weight should be as close as possible to your ideal weight. The most likely patients to maintain their results over the long term are the ones committed to a healthy diet and exercise program. Liposuction is not an appropriate procedure for people who smoke or have health conditions that make them more vulnerable to complications.
Reducing discrete areas of fat accumulation is the best use of this surgery. This treatment is ideal for patients with one or more fat bulges that do not respond to healthy weight loss techniques. Patients of all genders are treated in the following areas:
- Upper and lower abdomen
- Love handles/waist
- Face and neck (micro-liposculpting)
- Upper arms
Overview of Liposuction Procedure
To determine which areas you will reshape or reduce with liposuction, you need to schedule a consultation. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your risks after taking a complete medical history as part of the consultation process. It will be apparent to you where the small scars are located (usually in hidden areas). The doctor will also discuss any potential complications – including rare ones like excessive bleeding and infection. Possible unwanted side effects include:
- A sagging or uneven appearance of the skin as a result of poor elasticity
- The buildup of fluid requiring surgical drainage
- Under the skin, scar tissue accumulates
- Skin color changes (dark patches)
- Skin sensations that change as a result of nerve damage
Sedation options can be discussed at this time to minimize discomfort. Sometimes, large volumes of fat must be removed under general anesthesia. A light sedative may be preferred by some patients, while others may not require any anesthesia aside from the local anesthesia in the tumescence solution. Additionally, you will receive detailed instructions on preparing for surgery and what to do afterward to ensure a speedy recovery.
The surgeon performed the following during the procedure:
The tumescent extract is injected into the treatment area
Using a cannula (a hollow metal tube used for breaking up and extracting fat) makes tiny incisions.
The cannula is inserted under the skin and moved back and forth to disrupt fatty tissue and remove it.
These small incisions are usually left open to allow the remaining saline solution to drain over the following days. The result is minor postoperative swelling and discomfort.
Is It Normal to Have Lumps After Liposuction?
Patients with less skin elasticity or older patients are more likely to develop lumps after liposuction. As a result of liposuction, tunnels are created beneath the skin. Body fluids fill these tunnels, which contribute to swelling. Lumpy, bumpy areas underneath the skin are often caused by swelling and fluid accumulation.
Furthermore, localized hematomas (blood beneath the skin) can create lumps as well. Remaining fat after surgery is another common cause of lumps. The lumps will usually disappear on their own.
Lumps can be reduced and eliminated with proper aftercare
You can reduce your risk of developing lumps after liposuction by following your aftercare instructions. Following the procedure, you will likely need to wear a compression garment prescribed by your doctor. During the first two weeks, you should wear this garment all the time, then during the day for the third and fourth weeks, or as your doctor directs.
Swelling, fluid accumulation, and bruising are reduced with this garment. When worn during liposuction recovery, the garment helps reduce lump formation.
You can expect lumps and bumps to diminish over time as your body heals. The bumps can be minimized and eliminated if they persist after a few months. Laser skin tightening and massage are some of the options available.
How to Quickly Recover After Liposuction
48-72 hours after surgery :
In the first few hours following liposuction surgery, patients usually experience some pain and discomfort. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication for your comfort. Patients should wear a compression garment, get enough rest, and limit physical activity during this period.
1-2 weeks after liposuction :
Some discomfort and pain may persist after Liposuction in Baton Rouge for the first two weeks. As long as the patient does not participate in strenuous activities, most patients can return to work. Make sure the incisions remain intact and observe the fluid draining.
2-5 weeks after surgery :
During this time, the pain should have subsided entirely, and the procedure results should have started to become apparent. The incisions should be completely healed at this point. Bruising and swelling may persist in some cases after-treatment of the treated areas. However, most patients can resume moderate exercise after week three or four. Up until your surgeon gives you the green light, you should refrain from doing any intensive exercises.
6+ weeks after surgery :
Usually, swelling and bruising have subsided by now, and patients can see what the procedure accomplished. Many patients can engage in high-impact exercises without wearing compression garments.
Liposuction Recovery Tips
Here are our top recovery tips for speedy and uninterrupted liposuction recovery.
Eat Well to Recover From Liposuction
Diet plays a vital role in ensuring a fast and uninterrupted recovery after liposuction. Maintaining a healthy diet can help patients avoid swelling. You can regain your body’s strength by incorporating vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients into your diet. Apart from food, liposuction should always be adequately prepared before being performed. Remember the following rules when choosing a suitable diet for recovery:
It would be best if you reduced salt intake because it tends to cause swelling by retaining water. Eat low-sodium food instead.
Increase your protein intake to promote wound healing and muscle and skin regrowth. A good source of protein should be part of every meal or snack.
Reduce the amount of sugar you consume because it suppresses your immune system, causes mineral imbalances, and increases blood sugar levels
If you suffer from nausea or bloating, consume small amounts of food several times daily.
In the post-liposuction recovery diet, you must include watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, celery, and zucchini.
Stay Active After Liposuction
Following liposuction, it is essential to rest for 24 hours. After that, some light exercise, such as a short walk, can accelerate the body’s healing process. It is important to remember that intensive exercise should be avoided for a few weeks following liposuction. Physical activity instructions from your surgeon should be very detailed about what is and is not permitted.
Hydrate in Low-Calorie Drinks
During the recovery period following liposuction, it is essential to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration. One should drink about eight glasses of water each day. However, this should be increased to about ten to twelve glasses after liposuction. In addition to water, you can replace it with tea, diluted fruit juice, or skim milk. Try to avoid Gatorade because the sodium content is high.
Clean Up the Area
The liposuction area can become infected if bandages are not changed regularly. It might be tempting to clean the area with water or other products, but avoid doing so for the first few weeks.
It is equally important to know what to wear to ensure a speedy recovery. The skin can be irritated by clothing that fits too closely and slows the recovery process.
During the recovery process, it’s important to remain comfortable, so many surgeons suggest wearing loose-fitting clothing.
Get Rid of the Bathtub
It might be tempting to take another hot bath, but this is not the time to do so. In addition to reducing healing, soaking in water may increase the risk of infection. Think about getting a gentle massage instead of taking a long soak in the bathtub.
It has been shown that lymphatic drainage massage (which involves unblocking accumulated toxins in the lymph nodes) decreases recovery time and minimizes discomfort and pain. It has also been shown that this type of massage boosts patients’ immune systems, lowering the risk of infection.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions Regarding Liposuction
For uninterrupted healing and recovery, you should follow the post-surgical instructions provided by your surgeon. You will be provided with a confining garment. Even though it isn’t the most comfortable outfit, it helps enhance post-surgical results. Keep this garment on as long as necessary. Any medicine provided by the surgeon should be taken strictly according to their instructions. Always ask your surgeon any questions specific to your recovery process.
Follow Up Regularly
Following liposuction, your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to assess your progress and monitor the healing process. You should attend your surgeon’s postoperative meetings as scheduled.