What does liposuction consist of, doctor?
The aim of liposculpture is to improve the contours of the body by extracting localised excess fat, that is, remodelling different parts of the body. With the improved techniques and materials that have been introduced in the last few years, liposuction provides excellent results. The results are determined by factors such as the general condition of the body, the elasticity and characteristics of the skin, the state of circulatory system, the degree of cellulitis, the volumes to be eliminated, the basic bone structure, the hormonal influences and the patient’s age.
Is local anaesthesia used?
This operation is usually performed with local anaesthesia, depending on the volume and extension of the areas of the body to be treated. It can be performed with epidural or general anaesthesia if the areas are very extensive.
Does the operation cause discomfort?
The patients feel swollen and tired, so they have to rest for twenty-four hours after the operation.
Does it leave any scars?
One small scar remains in the skin where the incision was made. Its length can vary between 0.3 and 1.5 centimetres, although with the passing of time it will be almost imperceptible.
What post-operative instructions do you give?
The patient has to wear a special girdle twenty-four hours a day for a month, in order to limit the swelling and help the skin to retract. It’s also advisable to do a few sessions of lymph drainage. After twenty-four hours the patient can return to normal life. From the seventh day onwards the sutures are removed. The result begins to be appreciated after two or three weeks, but the swelling and retraction of the skin will continue to improve for three to six months. Each person is different, and the result is obtained more quickly in some patients than in others.
What risks does this operation involve?
Occasionally the following can appear: swelling for some time after the operation; haematomas, which heal up after seven to fifteen days; localised variations of sensitivity, which disappear in a matter of weeks; depigmentation or hyperpigmentation of the skin surface, which can last for up to twelve months; and also a certain degree of subcutaneous hardening of the liposuctioned zones, which can persist for a few months.
Is it true that there have been cases of shock and death of the patient due to the extraction of excessive fat?
Yes, it’s true. We have to take into account that, in addition to fat, liquids are also extracted, which can cause dehydration of the patient, leading to a state of shock, generally due to hypotension. For this reason, if more than one litre of fat is extracted, the patient must be administered liquids by means of intravenous physiological serum to prevent that state of shock. It’s not advisable to extract more than four litres of fat in a single session, because there’s more risk of thrombosis.
What about ultrasonic liposuction?
The ultrasonic method liquefies fat at a frequency of 22,000 hertz without harming the vascular and nervous structures or the tissue fibres that hold the skin together. In my experience, it’s very effective for specific applications like the back and the area of the abdomen above the navel. The post-operative phase is shorter because there is less bruising. Also, the skin retracts more and flaccidity is eliminated better.