Liposuction is the subdermal suction of abnormal fat deposits (lipo). Abnormal fat deposits can form in locations such as the neckline, abdomen, buttocks, upper and lower legs and knees. These deposits are caused by an increased number of fat cells in these areas. These abnormal fat deposits will only form in those people who are genetically predisposed to this. An important condition for performing liposuction is that the skin needs to be sufficiently elastic. If this is not the case and if there is additional cellulite (orange peel syndrome), then the fat deposit can be removed by means of dermolipectomy. ‘Dermo’ stands for skin, and lipectomy means cutting away fat. The disadvantage of such a surgery is that it leaves long scars. Both liposuction and dermolipectomy are plastic surgery treatments.
In the preparatory interview, we will give you a detailed description of what liposuction entails. We will discuss the entire treatment process and inform you about the risks and possible complications linked to the surgery.
Liposuction is usually performed under general anaesthesia. Only small contour deviations, e.g. excess fat in the neckline, are treated under local anaesthesia. In such cases, you can go home immediately after the surgery. For more extensive surgeries, you will need to stay at the hospital for a few days. Right before the surgery, the plastic surgeon will mark the area that needs to be corrected. After this you will be put under general anaesthesia. By means of small cuts in inconspicuous places, such as existing skin folds, the area to be operated on will be injected with a fluid that will make sucking the fat cells out easier and reduce blood loss. Once the fluid is active, the surgeon will insert suction tubes into the cuts. These tubes are connected to a powerful suction pump. The excess fat tissue can now be sucked out. Once the desired result has been achieved the skin cuts will be sutured. In some cases it is necessary to place a number of drains (small tubes) so that excess wound exudate can leave the body. These drains will be removed once there is little or no exudate production left. This will usually be the case after one or two days.
Options and expectations
Liposuction is a great technique to remove local fat tissue. It is important to know that liposuction is not a way to lose weight in case of obesity. If you have an excess of fat tissue over your entire body, then your options are dieting and intensive physical exercise. Liposuction offers contour improvements, but certainly does not offer perfection. Sometimes it is very difficult to achieve a symmetrical result. Moreover, specific irregularities in the skin cannot be corrected. It is also possible that the skin will show irregularities resulting from the treatment. This is due to the fact that liposuction of larger areas is a procedure that is more difficult to control.
After the treatment
After a liposuction, you will need to wear waisted pants, elastic bandage or a corset, depending on the treated area. This is required to attach the skin to the underlying layer. You will need to wear these compression garments day and night for a period of four to six weeks. If you wish to shower or wash yourself – which is possible after 24 hours after the surgery – you can remove the garments for a short period of time. After the surgery, you can experience painful contusions, swollen skin and a tender feeling. Fluid accumulation can occur near the ankles, which will go away after about two to six weeks. In general, the pain can be managed with paracetamol. The stitches will be removed after about one or two weeks after the surgery.
Risks and complications
As is the case for any medical procedure or surgery, there is a risk of complications. Complications are very rare. There is chance of postoperative haemorrhaging or an infection, but this rarely occurs. Immediately after the procedure, the skin is swollen, discoloured and yellow. Afterwards, there can be residual swelling and sometimes hardening that will not disappear until weeks or even months. The skin can also be temporarily numb locally. The end result of liposuction can only be determined after 6 months. In some cases, additional liposuction is needed. Thanks to a team of experienced specialists, the Blooming clinic has acquired extensive experience with liposuction over the years. Despite our expertise and experience, we feel it is important that you as our client are always informed of the risks and possible complications. Should you have any questions resulting from the information provided, then please feel free to contact us.
A liposuction will usually not be covered by your health insurer. Please contact your health insurer to see if you are eligible for reimbursement.
Should you have any questions after reading this information, the plastic surgeon of the Blooming clinic will gladly discuss these with you during a consultation.
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