Liposuction for Body Sculpting After Weight Loss or Gastric Bypass
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is removal of fat deposits beneath the skin through the use of a cannula (hollow metal tube) and vacuum-like suction technology. During a liposuction surgery procedure, several small incisions will be made in the areas being treated or ‘re-contoured’ (slimmed). The cannula is inserted through the small surgical incisions, and the Specialist Surgeon then suctions out the fat using a special technique that involves moving the cannula in specific patterns or areas to remove the excess fat.
Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you might be suitable for liposuction (but only a Surgeon can assess this fully).
- Are you at a stable, normal weight or suitable BMI?
- Are you in generally good health?
- Do you have stubborn fat deposits in certain areas of your body?
- Are your expectations about what liposuction can do for your physique REASONABLE and JUSTIFIED or are you expecting miracles that surgery simply cannot provide to you?
Patients who are still significantly overweight or obese, and patients who are in poor health or who smoke or consume other drugs or medications that impede surgery outcomes – as well as patients who are planning pregnancies in the near future – are usually NOT good candidates for liposuction.
Liposuction can help achieve a more toned or natural looking body contour. That’s because good eating and regular exercise can drastically improve the health and overall size of the body, as well as improve muscle-to-fat ratios and BMI – but lifestyle alone cannot fix every body imperfection. Fat tends to become stored in certain areas of the body, often in certain places more than other parts, and it can leave you with an out-of-balance figure or excess fat in specific areas of the body, breasts or face.
Liposuction helps to remove specific, localized areas of fat to achieve a more refined or slimmer body contour.
Liposuction may help reshaping your new body
Liposuction Surgery, is one of the most popular Plastic Surgery procedures in the world. Liposuction can reduce isolated fat deposits commonly seen around the abdominal and lower buttocks regions. The use of liposuction is not limited to these areas, of course. It can be used to treat nearly any area of the body, from the upper arms to the back to the pubis area to the buttocks, hips and thighs.
Areas of stubborn fat that are isolated in the upper arms, thighs, hips, back, neck, inner knees, breasts, chin, calves, buttocks, ankles AND the waistline can often be removed using the surgery procedure known as liposuction (or Tumescent Liposuction, which is a common form of liposuction called ‘wet liposuction’ due to using a special liquid before the suctioning of fat begins).
If you have stubborn fat deposits that simply won’t go away with exercise or nutrition changes alone, no matter WHAT you’ve tried, hen you could be stuck living with these fat deposits unless you consider surgical intervention.
Tumescent or ‘wet’ liposuction, in particular, is considered an effective ‘golden standard’ for fat removal and body contouring using suction-assisted technologies. Safely performed by Surgeons around the world for a number of decades, the strategies for fat removal using liposuction methods are continually evolving.
Liposuction is NOT for weight loss (but you will lose kilos after surgery as it does remove some weight)
It is not intended to be used as a substitute for weight loss (and never will be!) or in lieu of having a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a healthy, nutritious diet.
- It is designed to be performed to remove problematic pockets of fat from the body that do not respond to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- We can only extract a relatively small amount of fat during the operation for health concerns.
- If you’re looking to lose weight, speak with your physician about the best way to improve your diet and exercise habits.
Liposuction is NOT an answer to weight loss and NOT a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. It cannot replace proper diet and regular exercise; and in fact, you’ll need to adhere to a very healthy lifestyle, diet and regular exercise to get a good result from liposuction OR even to maintain a great result.
Liposuction Surgery Techniques
Liposuction surgery has many varieties, from broad removal of excess fat to liposculpting refinement of certain areas of the body, neck or breast area.
Liposuction is frequently used in conjunction with other body shaping procedures, especially for patients who have released a lot of excess weight after bariatric surgery procedures (gastric bypass, gastric sleeves, gastric balloons and similar operations).
Liposuction can be performed on any part of the body.
Most people think that lipo is just for the abdominal area, but that’s not exactly accurate. It can actually be performed on many different parts of your body to help reduce the appearance of fat or reduce unsightly ‘bulges’ and is also often the cornerstone of many different other body contouring or body reshaping surgical techniques.
If you need your arms, thighs, chest, buttocks, or even parts of your face sculpted in some fashion, liposuction may be part of the solution.
- Liposuction can be performed BEFORE some surgeries (such as before arm reduction Brachioplasty) or
- It can be used DURING some surgeries (such as during or right before a surgical Breast Reduction or a Tummy Tuck for extra waistline contouring).
- Lipo can be used as a stand-alone procedure BUT for post-weight loss patients, it’s often used in combination with surgical excision of redundant folds of skin and excess body fat
What are the most common areas for Liposuction?
The most common areas for liposuction are shown in the illustrations, below.
The Liposuction Procedure – What you need to know
There are many different liposuction techniques performed today. These include the popular, well-proven method of tumescent liposuction, as well as other varieties such as ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL) or power assisted liposuction (PAL). Each liposuction technique having its own advantages and disadvantages, however, many Surgeons use Tumescent Liposuction because it has safely and effectively been used for body contouring surgeries by thousands of different Surgeons across the globe.
Suction-Assisted Lipectomy (SAL)
Liposuction procedures tend to involve the use of powerful suction technology. The suction device used to suction-up the excess fat is attached to a thin hollow metal tube, called a cannula. This cannula is then inserted in between the fat deposits through very small incisions in the body.
Before the actual liposuction, a special fluid is first injected into the fatty area to help prepare the fat for easier removal by suction technology.
Tumescent Liposuction is a popular proven method of liposuction. It involves injecting a special solution into the fat deposits that helps cause the fat cells to swell, therefore making them easier to remove.
This method delivers greater body contouring results as well as minimising recovery time and the amount of scarring.
Whilst other means of liposuction exist, tumescent liposuction is a proven method and considered as one of the current ‘gold standards’ of fat removal.
Please note that liposuction is a contouring procedure not a weight reducing solution and should not replace diet and exercise.
Surgery Combinations – Liposuction with other procedures
If you’ve lost a lot of weight after bariatric surgery you may want to fully maximize results in transforming and recontouring your body through surgery. This often means that other procedures might be combined with liposuction, including a Tummy Tuck, Breast Reduction or Body Lift/Belt Lipectomy.
Many cosmetic or plastic surgery procedures involve additional liposuction surgery for best results for the patient. The most common surgeries that also incorporate liposuction include: Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), Breast Reduction, Belt Lipectomy and Neck Lift Surgery
Liposuction surgery can help remove excess fat deposits on the body in areas resistant to normal nutritional weight loss approaches and strength-building body-contouring exercises. These areas typically include: Hips, Outer thighs, Inner thighs, Buttocks, Abdomen, Inner knees, Upper arms, Armpit area side rolls (down the torso where the arm rests when the arms are down by your sides), Bra-area back fat and Chest.
Recovery After Liposuction Surgery
Liposuction may be considered to be a minimally invasive procedure, but that doesn’t mean recovery is quick or relatively easy. It just might mean that this surgery has RELATIVELY less downtime and recovery discomfort than some other surgical procedures, primarily as the incisions are often a bit smaller and can sometimes heal more quickly than the larger incisions, for example, of an extended Abdominoplasty or Fleur De Lys Abdominoplasty. Often Liposuction recovery can still be a similar recovery time to that of other laparoscopic bariatric procedures.
And the fitter you are BEFORE your surgery, the better your recovery and results.
Hospitalization may or may not be required for liposuction, but for combined plastic surgery and liposuction, you are typically far better off having the procedure performed in a fully accredited hospital where you can stay overnight for a night or two (or more), this gives you the piece of mind that your liposuction recovery is on track to the best possible route.
Some people have LIPO alone as either a stand alone or preparatory procedure. If you have liposuction alone, you may be able to move around, gently, as soon as the surgical anesthesia has worn off. After the procedure is complete, bandages and/or compression garments are often applied to the areas that were treated. These compression garments are VITAL to the success of your liposuction procedure and are used for many cosmetic and non-surgical procedures that reshape the body.
Bruising and swelling are common side-effects of liposuction recovery and can be quite significant, lasting for several weeks or more. Bruising often disappears by about the two week mark or thereabouts; but some swelling may persist for over a month or even two to four months. Occasionally, patients have swelling for an even longer period of time.
- Pain, discomfort, and tenderness as a result of liposuction are often treated with over-the-counter pain relief medication.
- You will need to refrain from embarking in strenuous activities for the first month after your liposuction procedure.
- The majority of our patients are able to return to work within a few days of the procedure.
- Patients are strongly encouraged to follow after-care instructions diligently to ensure proper healing and optimal results.
Liposuction recovery time is roughly two to four weeks.
The recovery period following liposuction is not typically overly long compared to some other surgical procedures; but it still takes time and two weeks is probably on the shorter end of recovery for most patients. Most will need three to four weeks or even a few months to feel fully recovered and ready to embrace their normal activities – or gym classes – again.
As with any surgery, it is highly important that you follow your Surgeon’s instructions very precisely to help prevent any possible complications from occurring. This is particularly crucial during the first days and weeks after your LIPO surgery, where discomfort, swelling, bruising, drainage, and occasional nausea are very common.
For more information about Liposuction after weight loss, including for Arm Reductions, Thigh Reductions/Thigh Lifts or waistline shaping body contouring, send an enquiry form today.
For more information on Liposuction – send an email or phone us
To find a surgeon near you visit our Plastic Surgeons Directory HERE. To find more information send us an enquiry below or call us on (03) 8849 1464 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.