Definition: Suction Assisted Lipectomy is a cosmetic surgical procedure used to remove unwanted fat deposits that are hard to lose through exercise and/or healthy diets.
The procedure may improve the body contours and proportions. For better results, in most cases, the surgery is combined with other body contouring procedures. Liposuction is performed on areas of the body where fat tends to deposit, such as thighs, hips and buttocks, tummy, neck, breasts (also in men), arms, inner side of the knees and ankle.
How does it work?
There are several techniques used for liposuction, but the methods are similar. A special tube (cannula) connected to a suction device (aspirator) is inserted into the tiny incision made on the selected area. As the device aspirates the fat, the surgeon makes forward and backward motions with the cannula through the fat layer. For better aspiration, the fat should be liquefied either by inserting solutions into the fat deposits or using ultrasound and other devices that emulsify the fat.
What are the risks?
As any surgical procedure there is the risk of infection, thrombosis of the veins and reaction to the anesthetic medication.
Common risks to liposuction include:
- Damage to the skin or/and bleeding under the skin;
- Skin numbness;
- Irregular contours or asymmetries;
- Puncture of an internal organ;
- Fat embolism;
- Burns (friction movements with the cannula may cause burns);
- Fluid imbalance (due to aspiration of a considerable amount of fat and insertion of large amount of liquid into the selected areas).
How to get prepared for the procedure?
- Undergoing lab tests to evaluate your health state, a common procedure before any type of surgery.
- The use of anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory medication should be ceased 2 weeks prior to surgery (to prevent bleeding).
- It is recommended to stop smoking for about 2 months before surgery (smoking can result in loss of tissue)
How long does the procedure take?
It depends on the location and extent of the surgery. Usually the patient can go home the same day (especially if the procedure was performed using local anesthetic), or stay in the hospital a day or two if recovery from general anesthesia is needed.
How to recover after the procedure?
Bandages and compression garments will be applied to keep the pressure and prevent any bleeding. They should be kept for at least two weeks. It is recommended to walk at least 20 min daily, as soon as possible after the surgery, to prevent blood clots in the legs. Harsh physical exercises should be avoided for at least one or two months. The pain is manageable with proper medication.