Six Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Liposuction by Dr. Kocak
by Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ergun Kocak
Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures worldwide. In comparison to the previous year, the number of liposuction done in 2014 jumped by 5%. More and more people are deciding to undergo liposuction for a better body shape and contour – to finally get rid of excess fat deposits that just don’t respond to diet and exercise.
Are you planning to join the growing list of people who enjoyed the results of liposuction? Here are some things you might want to ask about the procedure:
- Am I good candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are those who have localized deposits of fat in the abdomen, thighs, arms, and neck. Despite these excess fat deposits, one must be healthy and physically fit to undergo the procedure. Ideally, a liposuction patient should not be more than 20 pounds overweight and have stable weight.
It is also important for liposuction patients to have firm, elastic skin. To achieve the best results, the skin must shrink after the procedure. If there is a lack of elasticity, the results of the surgery may be compromised.
Certain medical conditions can make you a poor candidate for liposuction. The procedure poses a greater risk for those who have the following:
- Heart or lung disease
- Excessive bleeding and blood clotting
- Poor blood circulation
- Seizure disorders
- What are the common areas treated by liposuction?
For women, the most commonly treated areas by liposuction are the abdomen, hips, outer and inner thighs, arms, buttocks, knees and neck. The usual places treated for men are the chin, neck, abdomen, flanks, and breasts.
About 3-4 areas can be done in an average patient during a single liposuction surgery which lasts for 2-3 hours. This typically covers the abdomen, hips, and sides.
As recommended by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the maximum volume of fat that can be extracted from a patient is 5 liters. If the number exceeds the standard, massive fluid shifts inside a patient’s body may cause pulmonary and cardiac complications. If the fat extracted is more than 5 liters, the complication rate would increase 3.7%.
- Can I substitute liposuction for diet and exercise?
No. Liposuction is not a substitute for proper diet and exercise. It’s for people who already tried doing such, but cannot get rid of stubborn fat deposits in certain parts of their bodies. It can complement physical efforts like diet and exercise – to stay in shape and/or to have an improved aesthetic appeal.
- What are the common risks associated with liposuction?
When done right, liposuction is safe. It is rare for serious problems and complications to arise. It has been found out that only 1 out of 50,000 cases have severe outcomes. But like with any major surgery, liposuction may still entail risks such as the following:
- Contour irregularities
- Fluid accumulation
You should be able to avoid infections and bleeding with proper care of your wounds. Should you experience any of the risks listed above, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
- How long is the recovery time for liposuction?
If your liposuction is done using local anesthesia, you may be able to leave the operating room 30 minutes right after the surgery. However, if general anesthesia is used, you may have to stay overnight if recommended by your doctor.
Generally, the recovery time for liposuction is two weeks. If the treatment is only applied to a few parts of your body, you may be able to return to work after a few days. But if the area is larger, it will take you at least 10 days to recover and go back to work. Sticking to the post-care instructions given to you by your doctor may help in recovering fast.
- Will there be scarring after the procedure?
The size of the incisions used in the procedure determines the length of the scars. Since liposuction requires small incisions, the results are small, short scars in discreet locations. These scars are hardly noticeable once they heal.