A toned body gives the impression of attractiveness and health. Whilst watching the diet along with a regular exercise program are the mainstays of achieving the ideal physical appearance, due to lifestyle and work choices this may not always be possible. In addition to this, there always seem to be certain areas of the body where stubborn fat persists. In these cases, body contouring procedures can help, with liposuction being the most commonly sought body contouring surgery.
Liposuction can be performed on almost any part of the body. The most commonly requested areas are the neck, the arms, the tummy, love handles and the thighs. These areas tend to gain weight the easiest, and retain stubborn fat that is refractory to exercise. In women, another particularly bothersome area are the anterior axillae or armpits, which appear as an additional bulge above the outside of the breast.
The liposuction procedure is best performed on an individual who has excess fat but adequate skin elasticity, to enable skin retraction after removal of the fat is done. A body mass index (BMI) of <30kg/m2 is also desirable. Lastly, being able to keep a stable or decreasing weight over the course of the months preceding the liposuction procedure should be a pre-requisite, showing that the individual is able to maintain the body shape after healing has occurred.
During the liposuction consult, your surgeon should discuss your desires and expectations with you, along with taking an adequate medical history and examination. As liposuction is an elective procedure, you should be in general good health without any debilitating medical conditions before considering the procedure, to minimize any untoward risks.
The liposuction surgery is usually done under heavy sedation or general anaesthesia with a qualified anaesthetist to enable comfort and pain control. Small, inconspicuous skin incisions are made in well-hidden areas to first allow the infiltration of a wetting solution to the fat. This wetting solution consists of local anaesthetics and adrenaline, which help with pain reduction and bleeding control respectively.
Once the wetting solution has taken effect, usually after 5-10 minutes, the surgery can proceed. There are different methods of liposuction, with the most common ones being manual/syringe liposuction, power-assisted liposuction (PAL - MicroaireTM) and ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL – VaserTM). In addition, adjuncts such as radiofrequency tightening may be recommended to aid with skin tightening after the procedure. The type of liposuction performed is dependent on the area of the body, skin laxity and consultation with your surgeon. At Polaris Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, our surgeons are well versed in all forms of liposuction and will optimize your outcomes through proper discussion, choices and selection.
The liposuction procedure can be done as a day surgery as long as less than 2 litres of fat is removed in that session. If there are more than 2 litres projected, the procedure has to be performed in an inpatient setting, with at least 1 night’s stay in hospital. This is to mitigate the risks of larger volume liposuction where significant body fluid shifts or blood loss can occur. Other risks of liposuction include scars from the incisions, asymmetry and contour irregularities. The worst reported complication of liposuction is death, which has received a large amount of press in the past. Performed well, all these risks are very minimal and can be mitigated through proper patient and procedure selection as well as anaesthesia from well-trained specialists. Whatever the choice, liposuction in Singapore has to be performed in an accredited surgery centre, and by an approved liposuction practitioner (the full list can be found on the MOH website).
As long as there is excess fat, most areas of the body are amenable to liposuction. The art is in deciding which type of liposuction to be done on each part to produce a beautiful, natural appearing body contour. A brief description of each part and the goals of liposuction for each are as follows:
Performed well and on the right patient, liposuction can achieve a long-lasting, satisfying result and that beach-ready body. However, it should be viewed more as a body-contouring procedure rather than for weight loss. The amount of fat removed from liposuction does not often correlate to a certain weight, as fat is lighter. Lasting weight maintenance must be done through diet and exercise.
Additionally, patients with moderate to severe excess skin, such as those who have experienced massive weight loss through bariatric surgery, may require excisional procedures in addition to liposuction to restore the correct contours and treat problems such as skin chafing and infection. Liposuction alone should not be viewed as a skin-tightening procedure.
The price of liposuction surgery will depend on the extent of liposuction required. This is often based on a number of areas and/or the time required for liposuction. It is best to approach your surgeon for a thorough assessment, as well as a discussion on costs for this.