Liposuction – Is it Safe for You to have the Procedure?

Posted July 26, 2021
How safe is liposuction?

Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure that is performed to target hard to remove fat on the body (that has proven to be resistant to regular diet and exercise). It also provides the body with an improved contour and shape in the treated area. If you are interested in having liposuction, you need to know it is not a weight loss method and there are some possible risks and complications involved in having the treatment. Take a look below to learn more about liposuction and if it is safe for you to have the procedure.

Liposuction – What You Should Expect during the Procedure

The liposuction procedure begins with the administering of anesthesia to the patient. Once the anesthesia is given to the patient, small incisions are made in the targeted sites on the body (the areas containing the fat that is stubborn to remove). In general, the size of the incisions will be anywhere from a quarter to a third of an inch long. The incisions can also often be placed in discreet locations in order to minimize their visibility.

Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will insert a thin tube (which is known as a cannula) in the body in order to remove the stubborn fat cells. As the cannula is inserted into the deeper layers of fat, the surgeon will gently manipulate the cannula in a back-and-forth manner in order to dislodge the fat cells. Once the fat cells are manipulated, a pump that is attached to the other end of the cannula is used to suction the fat cells out of the body.

Once the desired amount of fat is removed from the body, the surgeon will close the incisions using sutures. In some cases, you might need to have temporary drainage tubes placed below the skin in the area with the incisions in order to collect excess fluid. The drainage tubes can stay in place anywhere from 7-10 days.

Liposuction – What to Expect after the Procedure

You can expect to experience some pain, bruising, swelling and numbness after the treatment. After the liposuction procedure, you will follow these steps to help minimize these conditions:

  • Take all of the pain medications prescribed by your doctor
  • Keep the drains in place (if they are necessary) after the surgery to get rid of any excess fluid
  • Wear compression garments (as recommended by the doctor) to help minimize the swelling after the surgery

Liposuction – Are You an Ideal Candidate

If you are thinking about having liposuction, here are some items that help to determine if a person is an ideal liposuction candidate:

  • Patients that have an excess amount of fat that won’t respond to traditional methods of eliminating the fat such as diet and exercise
  • Someone with a good amount of skin elasticity
  • Someone that is not overweight or obese
  • A person that wants to have the procedure in order to lose weight
  • A patient without a good amount of excess or saggy skin

You should consider not having liposuction if you smoke (as it impedes the healing process), are overweight, have skin that sags or you take medications that can increase the risk of bleeding (such as blood thinners).

Liposuction – Risks You Should Know

While liposuction can provide a better contour and shape to the body, there are also some risks to know before undergoing the procedure:

  • Nerve damage
  • Possible injuries to other organs such as puncture wounds
  • Numbness
  • Bruising
  • Burns from the equipment
  • Swelling
  • Soreness
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Seroma (fluid collecting under the skin)
  • Hematoma (bleeding under the skin)
  • Skin necrosis (death of skin cells)
  • Blood clot in the lungs

There are also some risks to know about, when it comes to the final results, once you have entered the recovery process:

  • Skin that is dimpled, wavy or bumpy
  • Uneven shape or contour to the final results
  • Changes in the color of the skin
  • Scarring
  • Changes in the sensation of the skin

Liposuction – Final Results and Next Steps

The fat cells that are removed during liposuction will not return which means the loss of those fat cells is permanent. In other words, if you gain additional weight, that fat will be stored in a different part of the body than the one treated by liposuction.

Now that you know how liposuction works, and the various risks and complications associated with it, you need to take the next step and schedule a consultation appointment with your doctor of choice. Make sure the doctor is experienced in performing liposuction and is also willing to answer all of your questions about the procedure. The doctor should also be able to show you “before and after’ photos of actual patients he, or she, has treated in the past.

While liposuction can provide the desired contour to the body, it also presents many risks so it is best to enter the procedure with all of the necessary information in order to gain the best results possible.

- MA


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