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Aesthetic Procedures: Body

Aesthetic Procedures: Body

Aesthetic Procedures: Body


Liposuction is the removal of undesirable fat through using suction cannulae. It is performed using small skin incisions, resulting in minimal scarring. Liposuction can be performed in almost any region of the body, and can help to shape, sculpt, and remove excess fat refractory to exercise, especially when there is not too much excess or lax skin.

To gain the greatest benefit from liposuction, you should be on a sensible diet and preferably an exercise program and have shown either loss or maintenance of your weight over a period of months.

How is the procedure performed?

Liposuction can be performed under local anaesthesia alone, sedation, or general anaesthesia. This depends on the estimated amount of fat to be removed. Before the procedure, your surgeon will take note of your desires and goals for the areas you would like to target and mark these and the surrounding areas to replicate the ideal peaks and troughs of the body. Liposuction is then performed using extremely small, well-hidden incisions. Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, manual, power-assisted, or ultrasound-assisted liposuction techniques are used. Liposuction techniques require factors like the estimated fat volume to be suctioned and blood loss to be taken into consideration, and wetting solution and replacement fluids will be given accordingly.

At Polaris Plastic Surgery, Dr Adrian utilizes techniques in VASER (ultrasound- assisted) liposuction to perform high-definition liposuction. This liposuction technology uses ultrasound energy to first ‘melt’ fat in the different planes, followed by the use of manual or power-assisted (PowerXTM) liposuction to remove the residue. The addition of ultrasound energy allows to better address stubborn fat, as well as stimulating post- liposuction skin retraction. Used carefully, VASER liposuction allows for fine contouring of almost any part of the face and body whilst minimizing complications.

What can you expect after the procedure?

Small volume liposuction (<2L removed) can be done as day surgery, while larger volume cases may require one night stay. After the procedure, you will be provided with compression garments to wear. This is to aid with the reduction of swelling as well as skin retraction, and should ideally be worn for at least 6 weeks. There is usually some pain and bruising at the sites of liposuction after the anaesthesia wears off, but these are manageable with medication. The downtime for most liposuction procedures is about a week.

What are the potential complications of liposuction?

Complications of liposuction, though uncommon, may include infection, contour irregularities, asymmetry, dehydration, complications from anaesthesia, and damage to deeper structures. Contour irregularities and asymmetry can be addressed through repeat procedures or fat grafting. Dehydration and complications from anaesthesia are minimized in a well-trained plastic surgeon and anaesthetist’s hands. Damage to deeper structures is extremely rare but has occurred locally as well as internationally. In most instances, this is detectable and treatable. However, in isolated cases, they could be life-threatening.
Do not hesitate to voice any concerns you may have about liposuction to the plastic surgeon at your consultation.

Are there any alternatives to liposuction?

Fat freezing (cryolipolysis) uses externally placed cooling systems to freeze fat cells, causing fat cell death and the natural removal of the waste products by the body. This may be suitable those with relatively thin layers of fat to remove. However, in cases involving larger volumes of fat, fat freezing is not as effective as liposuction and may require multiple sessions. Also, if done poorly, fat freezing can lead to contour irregularities and pain.

Other alternatives include surgical excisional techniques such as abdominoplasty, brachioplasty, thighplasty, and mastopexy.

1. Hoyos A, Perez ME, Guarin DE, Montenegro A. A Report of 736 High-Definition Lipoabdominoplasties Performed in Conjunction with Circumferential VASER Liposuction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 Sep;142(3):662-675.

2. Hoyos AE, Millard JA. VASER-assisted high-definition liposculpture. Aesthet Surg J. 2007 Nov-Dec;27(6):594-604.

3. Rohrich RJ, Leedy JE, Swamy R, Brown SA, Coleman J. Fluid resuscitation in liposuction: a retrospective review of 89 consecutive patients. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Feb;117(2):431-5.

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