Liposuction, also known as liposculpture or lipoplasty, involves insertion of cannulas into the fat tissue to suction out adipose (fat) tissue.
The procedure is usually minimally invasive – requiring multiple small incisions, and is performed using tumescent anaesthetic. Tumescent anaesthetic involves the infusion of fluid into the fat tissue before the liposuction procedure begins. Tumescent has many advantages - it minimizes tissue damage and blood loss, as well as keeping the patient hydrated during the procedure, amongst other benefits.
Who is liposuction for?
Liposuction is primarily targeted at patients who are:
- at their ideal weight (BMI of 20-25 is ideal)
- have maintained their weight successfully for several months or years
- eats healthily
- exercises regularly
- has a localized area of fat that does not budge despite the above conditions being met. Most often this fatty area on the patient’s body traces back to genetics – other family members often suffer from the same problem.
What type of conditions and patients are unsuitable candidates for liposuction procedures?
- Patients who are overweight or obese. A maximum BMI of 35 is about the upper limit for liposuction to be performed. These, however, are more likely to be “debulking” procedures, rather than body sculpting procedures.
- Patients who hope that liposuction is a substitute for weight loss – it isn’t.
- Patients with unrealistic expectations of what the procedure will offer in terms of benefits.
- Patients who have crash dieted to get to a reasonable weight to have liposuction performed.
- Patients with very lax (loose, saggy) or thin skin must be aware that this must be addressed as a separate issue. Skin tightening with most liposuction procedures is unpredictable, and skin tightening should not be the indication for liposuction.
- Cellulite does not always improve with liposuction.
Other indications for liposuction:
There have been promising outcomes where liposuction has been used for:
• Axillary hyperhidrosis
• Axillary bromhidrosis
• Pseudo gynaecomastia (“man boobs” that are attributed to fat rather than breast tissue)
• Harvesting of stem cells. ASC – Adipose-derived Stem Cells have multiple volumizing and regenerative possibilities.
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