Liposculpture is a surgery that allows remodelling of the body profile and shape and the removal of excess fat in all parts of the body. The method is based on the use of thin cannulas in which the vacuum effect is achieved via negative pressure. This allows the delicate and homogenous removal of excess fat. Therefore, liposculpture or liposuction is not a surgery aimed at making one lose his/her overall weight. This means that to maintain the results, it is necessary to have a balanced diet. Liposculpture is an evolution of liposuction as it uses microcannulas to model specific areas of the body.
Why undergo this surgery?
The ideal patients for liposculpture/liposuction have a normal and stable weight with fat areas that are difficult to remove just by following a diet or doing physical exercise. Nonetheless, if one follows a wrong diet, the residual adipocytes will accumulate fat and ruin the benefits of the liposuction. The most treated areas are thighs, buttocks, hips, breast, back, upper arms, neck and chin. Combined treatments are common, e.g. liposuction of thighs and legs or buttocks and hips. It is even possible to have good results in case of liposuction of areas not close to one another such as thighs and arms. Moreover, a good skin elasticity is fundamental to have optimised results. Liposuction in areas with little cutaneous elasticity may indeed require further surgery for cutaneous resection in order to achieve the desired outcome.
What needs to be done before surgery?
The specialist examination with the plastic surgeon will help to eliminate doubts and perplexities and understand exactly how the surgery will be made and all options suitable for one’s case. It is always important to evaluate the feasibility of the surgery and – most important – the patient’s expectations.
How is the surgery performed?
The surgery is done under general or local anaesthesia depending on how large is the area subject to treatment. Duration is variable. A solution is injected in the area to be treated before proceeding with the suction. The solution is a physiological solution, a local anaesthetic and a drug that causes vasoconstriction in order to reduce blood loss. Little incisions – a few millimetres long – are then made and a cannula is inserted subcutaneously. The size of the cannula varies depending on the treated area. Lipo-assistance devices such as PAL Microaire may be used for optimised results. The fat and liquid are then removed via a suction system. Once this procedure is over, the area is medicated and disinfected. A compressive dressing is then applied to reduce post-surgery swelling. The fat tissue collected can be treated and injected again to correct areas such as buttocks and breasts to have real body contouring.
What happens after the operation?
Patients are normally dismissed on the same day. At the end of the liposuction, it is normal to have liquids accumulated in the operated area, which may be swollen and painful for a few days, especially if the treated area is large. Specific massages of the area are advised to drain excess fluid. Immediately use the compression garment indicated by the doctor during the initial consultation. Wear the garment day and night for the first month and then during the day, depending on the doctor’s indications. Lead a quiet life and do not make any great efforts for 6/7 days. You can then lead a normal life. Avoid gymnastics for at least one month. After about 24 hours, the wound is medicated, the compressive bandage is removed and depending on the case, support hoses, a girdle or body shaper will be used. It is advisable to start walking soon after legs’ liposuction to favour blood circulation and liquid absorption. Movements are limited by the dressing that will then be replaced by support hoses. In the first days after surgery, it is possible to have swelling, stiffness and pain in the breast, irritation and asthenia. The post-surgery photos will be taken after about a month from surgery; regular check-ups will be then established for the follow-up period.
Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed to reduce post-surgery pain. Patients will have to take antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections.
Residual scars are just a few millimetres in size, invisible, or aesthetically irrelevant.
Patients that have had liposuction are normally very satisfied due to the evident results in the treated area and no visible or relevant scars. A good outcome of the surgery depends on the patient’s initial clinical conditions, the removal of a suitable amount of fat tissue and compliance with the doctor’s post-surgery indications. The outcome is clear after 4 – 6 weeks, long lasting and more evident in time if associated with a correct diet and physical activity. The positive aspects are both psychological and physical: newly found self-esteem, elimination of physical imperfections and a new harmony throughout the entire body.
What are the possible risks?
Possible though rare complications linked to the surgery are hematomas and bleeding, infections, seromas and bad healing. The skin may sometimes appear irregular, wrinkled or cracked due to an irregular removal of fat and little skin elasticity. These imperfections may even be permanent.