Liposuction, or fat removal surgery, is also known as liposculpture or lipoplasty. Essentially liposuction is the targeted removal of fatty deposits with the use of cannulae and a vacuum. It can be performed on men and women and virtually anywhere on the body, including the face.
Common areas for liposuction include the abdomen, hips, flanks, inner and outer thighs, knees and chin. It is sometimes performed to complement other surgical procedures such as neck lifts, tummy tucks and gynaecomastia (which is the build-up of fat tissues in the male chest) and remains the most effective method for removing fat cells in certain areas. There are different methods used including the tumescent technique, Ultrasonic liposuction, Power Assisted Lipoplasty (PAL) and SmartLipo™. The type of procedure most effective for you will be discussed with Mr Karidis during your consultation at our London clinic.
FAQs for Fat Removal Surgery (Liposuction)
Mr Karidis has been one of the pioneers in the UK in the use of the Power-Assisted Lipoplasty technique (PAL) and has been using it with great success for over 15 years. Mr Karidis feels that this is the gold standard in the field of Liposuction as it offers consistent results in his hands whilst reducing the possibility of side effects. He also feels that this is the technique by which all other lipoplasty devices should be judged. He is therefore happy to continue to offer this routinely to all his patients.
When you return to your room after your liposuction surgery, you’ll notice a drip in the back of your hand through which intravenous fluids will be administered. As you’ll lose some fluid, along with the fat during liposuction, it is normal to practise for the anaesthetist to give you intravenous fluids to replace those lost in the procedure.
Moreover, you will be wearing a snugly-fitting compression garment. This must be worn over the treated area to control swelling and bleeding, and to help your skin shrink to fit your new contour. You may feel a little drowsy as a result of the anaesthesia but are likely to feel otherwise quite well. It is very common to have some bruising, swelling and minor initial lumpiness to the area.
It is also fairly common to appear slightly uneven. This is often completely normal and will settle over the course of the coming weeks. You may feel numb or tingly in some areas due to some nerve irritation. This usually resolved within the first 6 months of surgery.
There are very few forms of surgery that are completely painless. Discomfort is a euphemism for pain and many doctors use these interchangeably. In the case of liposuction, the degrees of pain varies from patient to patient and area to area, but this can be controlled by pain killers, which will be prescribed.
The initial pain lasts around 1 week however there may be residual soreness in the treated area, mainly upon palpation, for up to 4-5 weeks. Along with the soreness, you may experience some stiffness which usually abates as your mobility increases.
Scars are not a complication but a normal event after any surgery. Depending on the area(s) needed to be treated, tiny scars about 3-4 mm in length will form. These are usually placed in natural folds of the skin where possible.
Generally, about 2-3 incisions are required for any given area. Thankfully the scars in Liposuction are very small and generally heal quite well, gradually fading with time. However, it is important to keep in mind that this may take up to two years to complete. If you are of a darker skin type, however, then expect your scars to be darkly coloured for a longer period of time (about 3 years).
Daily massage of the scars during this time period is advised to expedite and facilitate this process. You must understand however that no responsible surgeon will ever be in a position to predict any scars ultimate appearance.
The short answer to this is no. As fat cells have achieved their set number in any given part of the body by puberty, increasing your caloric intake will not lead to overall volume gains in the treated site. However, if you continue to take in more calories than your body can burn, you will notice that other areas of your body may be then be affected.
The only exception to this rule is if there is a massive weight gain. In this case, new fat cells will also be seen in the previously treated area. It is important therefore to maintain your weight afterwards by sensible eating and regular exercise.
Tips from the Top
Senior Nurse Suzi says:
A balanced healthy diet, rich in protein will help you heal from surgery – try drinking a fresh green juice every morning.
Write down any questions and take them into your consultation with Mr Karidis – that way you won’t forget anything.
Prepare your body for surgery by keeping it soft and supple by moisturising skin twice daily (avoid vitamin E containing products).
Always wear sun block (SPF 50+) over surgery scars to stop pigmentation.
Stock up on comfy lounge wear for after your surgery – front opening tops are ideal.