Liposuction refers to the removal of unwanted localized fat under the skin. Using a special cannula with a hole on one side and powerful negative pressure, liposuction can be executed under general anesthesia, sedation or local anesthesia.
Liposuction may be performed alone or combined with other procedures, e.g. abdominoplasty, thigh lifting or butt lifting, but it is always subject to what patients want and what the plastic surgeon consults.
Body fat distribution
Body fat distribution depends on inheritance, diet and age.
There are fat distribution patterns:
- Α. female pattern and
- Β. male pattern.
Female pattern fat affects the hips, thighs and butt. The male
pattern fat affects the abdomen, iliac crests, trunk and neck.
Age is also a major factor in determining the fat distribution pattern. With aging, the distribution becomes centralized. Fat depositions increase on the trunk and decrease on the extremities, i.e. fat increases in the abdomen and decreases in the arms and legs.
In women, moderate weight gain increases the fat on the hips whereas in men excess fat is stored in the abdomen.
What is fat?
Fat comprises adipocytes (fat cells) which compose, store and mobilize triglycerides and free fatty acids.
Who can have liposuction
Very good candidates are those individuals with localized diet- and exercise-resistant fat, good skin elasticity and good weight-height proportions.
Planning the procedure
During the consultation, the surgeon will obtain your detailed medical history and perform thorough clinical examination. To improve the body’s contouring, we can remove and add fat (lilposculpture, liporecycling) and correct those points which lack sufficient fat.
“Tumescent” means swollen-stretched. When injecting large amounts of diluted adrenaline (capillary contraction) into the subcutaneous fat, the tissues located under the skin become swollen and stretched. At the same time, the injected solution contains a local anesthetic agent to reduce the pain.
Tumescent liposuction has proved its safety, based on the drug doses applied by the plastic surgeons. This injection substantially reduces loss of blood, bruising and postoperative pain when compared to older techniques which involved loss of blood. Postoperative pain control can last for up to 10 hours.
The liposuction cannula is made of stainless steel and enters the subcutaneous fat, i.e. the fat located under the skin. This micro-cannula measures less than 3 mm in diameter, and when properly handled, it can remove significant amounts of fat.
The cannula enters the skin through an incision measuring 1mm in diameter. This diameter provides enough space for the cannula to enter, given our skin is elastic. The same incision hosts the tumescent injection. The incisions on the skin are so tiny that, on many occasions, may not be sutured. This helps reduce postoperative edema and bruising.
Smooth results after liposuction
The use of micro-cannulas helps remove fat from all layers, without leaving the grooves left by older techniques which used larger cannulas. Thus, the result is smoother skin. Also, with the old cannulas, the patient ran the risk of having more fat removed than required from a specific body area.
Other advantages of the tumescent liposuction (smartLipo, ultrasounds)
Due to the infusion of the anesthetic drug, postoperative pain is substantially reduced and the patient may not be hospitalized. The tumescent infusion can be combined with laser (smartLipo) or ultrasounds or vibrating cannula.
The story behind tumescent liposuction
It was invented in 1985 and first published in a scientific journal in 1987. The official book on tumescent liposuction was published in 2000 by Mosby co.
Body areas treated with liposuction
- front thighs
- iliac crests
- inner thighs
What type of doctors performs the procedure
Liposuction is only performed by plastic surgeons. Check the doctor’s certificate of specialization and, in case of doubt, please refer to the Hellenic Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
Liposuction-induced complications are rare. The most common issue we face is that the patient is not that satisfied because his/her expectations were other than realistic. Thus, the most important thing is that the patient is well-informed on the possibilities of the procedure beforehand and maintains effective communication with the plastic surgeon.
The greatest risk lies within excessive liposuction, for example, excessive fat removal from multiple areas simultaneously.
Prevention is a key element for both the patient and the plastic surgeon. To prevent complications, a plastic surgeon must carefully consider which patients are operable. Burdened medical history, avoidance of excessive fat removal and avoidance of drug intake affecting blood clotting are some issues that should be carefully examined.
After the surgery
Due to the special drugs injected, tumescent infusion reduces postoperative pain and bruising. The use of a special corset reduces postoperative swelling and allows the outflow of the liposuctioned fluid. The patient has to wear the corset for 2-3 weeks at the most and s/he is allowed to have a bath 3-4days after the surgery. Bruising remits gradually. Working out is allowed 3-4 weeks after the surgery.
Watch the procedure on video.
Real story-testimonials-video In this video
Mara talks with Katerina about the reasons behind her decision to have the surgery, her worries prior to the surgery, her experience from the procedure, the extent to which her life changed and many more