What is Liposuction and Why is it Needed - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

Liposuction - Enhancing Body Contours

Dr.Girish Panth profile Authored by Dr.Girish Panth on 18 Apr 2014 - 14:22.

What is liposuction and why is it needed?

Liposuction (Lipoplasty / body contouring) is a surgical procedure performed for removal of excess fat from particular areas of the body using the suction technique to enhance the body’s shape. The fat suctioned out, presumably does not return to the area, if proper care is taken after the surgery, therefore the results are permanent. Liposuction does not serve as a cure for obesity nor is an alternative for dieting. Best results are observed in those patients who are healthy with normal weight and have good skin elasticity, though with localized excessive fat.

When certain areas in the body (as listed below) have a collection of excess fat deposits which does not melt away with diet plans or exercise, liposuction is recommended.

  • Buttocks
  • Thighs and inner knee
  • Back
  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Cheeks and chin

Liposuction surgery is often chosen as an option if you have excessive body fat on a specific body part, even though you have healthy BMI and normal weight.It aims to reshape your body and not lose weight.  Rarely, liposuction is also used for breast reduction. In case you are planning a liposuction, it is important to make sure that you don’t have any underlying condition like diabetes or heart diseasesthat may complicate the surgery.Sometimes, Liposuction can be done in combination with other cosmetic surgical procedures, like an abdominoplasty or face-lift surgery.

What are the types of Liposuction?

Based on the technique chosen to remove the body fats, a liposuction procedure is categorized as follows:

  • Tumescent surgery: It’s a procedure of removing fats from fatty area by injecting a solution, which is a mixture of saline solution, painkiller, and muscle contracting agent.
  • Ultrasound-assisted surgery:A procedure wherefat is melted and then removed using ultrasound energy.
  • Laser-assisted surgery: Fats are liquifiedusing the low-energy waves and then thrown out via cannula.               

How is the Liposuction done?

Based on the type of liposuction chosen and the amount of fat to be removed, it may take few hours to overnight. You can expect the following, before and during the procedure:

  • Doctors mayuse general anesthesia (typically through an IV injection )before the procedure, to desensitize you of pain during the procedure.
  • Once anesthetized, the surgeon will use a suction equipment to remove extra fat.
  • Your blood pressure and oxygen levels are observedduring the procedure.
  • Your incision may be kept open for a while to drain the unwanted fluid.
  • After the procedure, you may have swelling for about 4 weeks.
  • It will take few months to display the effects of liposuction.
  • You can expect good results for a long time, provided you maintain a healthy weight.
  • If your surgery was long, then experts may assess you for dehydration or excessive fluid loss.
  • You may be hospitalized for 2-3 days after the surgery.

What are the risks involved post Liposuction?

The following complications may be expected:

  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Bumpy/wavy skin due to uneven fat removal
  • Unusual healing of surgical site
  • Spotted appearance due to skin damage
  • Fluid accumulation under the skin
  • Nerve irritation and numbness
  • Skin infections
  • Internal organ damage due to cannula
  • Loosened fat may flow with the blood and get entered into vital organs like the lungs or brain causing a medical emergency called (fat embolism)
  • Fluid imbalance may cause heart or kidney problems
  • If you gain weight after the procedure, new fatty material can invade deep into your vital organs and cause severe condition

What are the after effects of the surgery?

  • Color change of the affected site (may be permanent)
  • The suctioned area can develop swelling which may resolve in 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Patches of pigmentation may be seenin the suctioned areas and may take 3 to 4 weeks to resolve.
  • There may be areas or patches of numbness that may recover naturally in a couple of months.
  • Scars of the incision may be permanent but the color tends to fade with time.

What all precautions I need to take after the Liposuction?

  • Normal diet from next day of the surgery, though light diet is recommended on the surgery. 
  • Plasters are removed during the outpatient visit on the following day of the operation.
  • Antibiotics and pain relief medication are recommended for a week. 
  • Outdoor activities can be resumed after a week. 

Physical activities like swimming and exercises can be resumed after a month of the surgery.


*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.