Liposuction Surgery Types: What is the Safest Lipo Method?Body Plastic Surgery
Having a firm and fit body is one of the many factors that can improve your self-image; however, local accumulation of fat tissue and saggy skin can challenge everybody in accepting their body. Fortunately, today, various body sculpting methods improve the shape and tone of the tissues by removing excess fat and skin.
Liposuction surgery is a cosmetic surgery that helps eliminate local fat deposits in different body parts. This article discusses different aspects of this surgery, such as its procedure, types, side effects, risks, etc.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, lipectomy, or simply lipo, is a surgical procedure through which extra fat cells are sucked out of the body by specific surgical devices. If you have unwanted fat in your abdomen, thighs, hips and sides, arms, back, inside the knee, chest, cheeks, chin, neck, legs, and ankles, you can undergo this surgery and enjoy its excellent results.
Although liposuction surgery is a fast way to reach a fit and beautiful body, it is not a weight-loss surgery and is only suitable for removing local fat deposits. Therefore, if you're overweight, you should first lose weight through diet, exercise, or other surgeries (such as gastric bypass surgery) and then contour your body with liposuction.
Reasons to Undergo Liposuction
Although liposuction doesn't improve cellulite, stretch marks, or other skin irregularities, it can benefit you in other ways. Mainly, liposuction is performed when extra fat masses can't be removed by diet or exercise. Some other reasons why people undergo liposuction include:
- It can treat gynecomastia;
- It can be done together with breast reduction surgery;
- It will boost your self-confidence;
- It can help you regain your pre-pregnancy body;
- It will improve your overall health;
- It enhances collagen production;
- It reduces fat production in the operated area.
Good Candidates for Lipoplasty
A good candidate for lipoplasty should have the following features:
- Having good overall health;
- Being mentally healthy;
- Not having blood disorders that may affect the surgery, such as restricted blood flow, hemophilia, etc.;
- Having a good immune system;
- Not having diabetes or hepatitis;
- Having elastic skin and good muscle tone;
- Being within 15% to 30% of their ideal body weight;
- Be a nonsmoker.
Different Types of Liposuction Surgery
In the following, different types of liposuction surgery are introduced:
- Tumescent Liposuction
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
- Power-assisted Liposuction (PAL)
- Laser-assisted liposuction (LAP)
- VASER Liposuction
Tumescent liposuction is a plastic surgery where fat deposits are first liquefied by saline solution. Then, they are sucked out of the body by a cannula vacuum device. This surgery is done under local anesthesia and has a short recovery period.
The most noticeable advantage of tumescent liposuction is that the surgeon uses lidocaine to numb the treatment site; therefore, you will not face unpleasant complications of general anesthesia, such as nausea, headache, dizziness, muscle pain, bruising, etc.
On the other hand, tumescent liposuction is not a suitable method for the ones who expect significant changes.
Although tumescent liposuction is a safe procedure, it has some risks and side effects, such as:
- Mild pain in the parts where lidocaine is injected;
- Minimal bleeding;
- Skin irregularities;
- Pain in the incision sites;
- Mild discomfort during the recovery period.
It is also noteworthy that the recovery period of tumescent liposuction is 24 to 72 hours. Most people can return to work a day after tumescent liposuction, but if you have pain, you can take a day off and use pain medications to relieve your soreness.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction, or ultrasonic liposuction, is a lipoplasty that has recently attracted more attention. In this surgery, first, the surgeon numbs the target area and then inserts a rod into the body to deliver ultrasonic energy to fat deposits. Once the fat cells have been liquified, they are easily removed by a cannula.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction, an outpatient procedure, can be used for different parts of the body, such as the belly, back, breasts, buttocks, arms, and legs. However, people with weak immune systems, diabetes, and blood problems should not undergo UAL.
The benefits of ultrasonic liposuction surgery include the following:
- It is done under local or topical anesthesia;
- It can be done at doctor’s office, so you don’t have to get hospitalized;
- It is precise;
- It has a very short recovery period;
- It can be used for very stubborn fat cells;
- The whole procedure takes short.
On the other hand, UAL has some possible risks and drawbacks, such as:
- Formation of holes in the abdomen after the surgery;
- Skin loss;
- Nerve damage;
- Development of seroma in the operated area;
- Low blood pressure;
The recovery period of ultrasonic liposuction is between 3 to 5 days. After the procedure, you will probably have pain and swelling, so wear a compression garment and take painkillers to minimize these side effects.
Power-assisted Liposuction (PAL)
Power-assisted liposuction is another lipectomy in which the fat deposits are first broken down and detached by vibration. Then, they are removed from the body using a cannula. PAL, the safest and less-invasive form of liposuction, is mainly done under local anesthesia and has a short recovery period. Also, the incisions during this surgery are minimal and often don't need sutures.
Since power-assisted liposuction is done under local anesthesia, you will not face the complications of anesthetics. However, this method has some possible risks and shortcomings, such as:
- Allergy to lidocaine or epinephrine;
- Loose skin;
- Mild pain in the incisions;
- Tenderness in the operated area;
- Mild bleeding;
- Discharges are coming out of the cuts.
Depending on the extent and location of surgery, you must take 3 to 7 days off work to recover completely. You may experience mild pain and bruise during recovery, which drugs can control.
Laser-assisted liposuction (LAP)
Laser-assisted liposuction, also referred to as laser lipo, and laser liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure with a short recovery period. This surgery takes an hour per area, mainly done under local anesthesia, and suits all skin types.
During the laser lipo, the surgeon makes small incisions (each with a length of 1 to 3mm) and inserts a micro laser device into the body to liquefy the fat walls. Once the fats are melted down, they are extracted by a suctioning device.
It should be noted that laser-assisted liposuction is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding moms, as well as the ones with:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding;
- A history of atrophic scar and keloid formation;
- A history of chronic infection;
- Liver disease;
- Heart disease.
The recovery period of LAP involves minimal swelling, bruising, pain in the incision site, and mild bleeding and discharging. Still, you can return to work a couple of days after the operation. The advantage of this method is that your skin will be tighter and smoother after the operation because the laser beams stimulate collagen production.
Keep in mind that the results of LAP appear gradually, and it may take up to six months to see your surgery's final results.
VASER Liposuction (Vibration amplification of sound energy)
VASER is a kind of ultrasonic liposuction in which several techniques are used to melt the fats. This method is not a weight-loss surgery and is used to remove local fat deposits, mainly on the arms, chest, abdomen, and waist.
During the VASER surgery, done under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes a few tiny incisions and injects a medicated solution to break down the fat walls. Then, the cannula and ultrasound waves are inserted into the body to melt and suck out the fat cells without damaging the nearby tissues. In some cases, the melted fats are removed using a syringe.
VASER lipo is very precise and can sculpt your body to a great extent.
However, it has some possible risks, such as:
- Swelling for days;
- Infection and fever;
- Nausea due to the anesthesia;
- Pain at the incision site;
- Minimal scarring;
- Skin irregularities such as hyperpigmentation;
- Loose or wrinkled skin.
Since VASER is done under general anesthesia, its recovery will last longer. Also, the final results of VASER liposuction appear 3 to 6 months after the operation. Following your surgeon’s postoperative instructions and wearing a compression garment for several weeks is essential to minimize the swelling and have a better result.
What Is the Safest Type of Liposuction?
All liposuction methods have some complications, and none of them is risk-free. The extent of each patient's side effects after liposuction surgery depends on his/her body's reaction to the operation. However, tumescent lipo and power-assisted liposuction have lower risks and higher satisfaction rates.
The main reason that these two types of liposuction surgery are the safest methods is that they involve fewer incisions and are mainly done under topical anesthesia.
How to Prepare for Liposuction?
Before liposuction surgery, you will have a consultation meeting with your doctor. In this appointment, the doctor will check your skin type and decides which technique is better for you. You can also ask the doctor about the safety and effectiveness of the chosen technique, its procedure, its side effects, and its risks.
Moreover, before undergoing any liposuction, consider the following tips:
- Find a skilled and experienced provider;
- Get as much information as you can from the internet, someone who has done this surgery before, your doctor, etc., to have a realistic expectation from the surgery;
- Get the necessary medical evaluations;
- Get a few days off from work;
- Provide a complete and detailed medical history;
- If you have an allergy or are taking certain medications, inform your doctor;
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol from a month before the operation;
- Do not take herbal supplements and blood thinners from 10 days before the surgery;
- Maintain a stable weight.
The night before liposuction
- Stop eating and drinking from 8 hours before the surgery;
- Do not apply lotions and moisturizers on the target parts;
- Take a shower because you may not be able to bathe for a couple of days;
- Ask someone to be your caregiver for the next 24 hours.
The procedure of liposuction depends on the technique used during your surgery. If you expect a great shift after the surgery, you must undergo an inpatient surgery and may need to stay a night at the hospital, but if you choose less invasive techniques, you won't be hospitalized and can get back home on the same day.
Also, the duration of the surgery depends on the number of target areas, how much fat should be removed, and what technique is used.
What to Expect after Liposuction?
As mentioned before, lipoplasty is not a weight-loss procedure; its results are permanent only if you change your lifestyle and maintain a healthy diet. After the surgery, you should expect mild pain in the treated areas, swelling, bleeding, bruising, contour irregularities, and fluid discharge. Of course, the discomforts will fade away within a week or two.
Still, you must follow the postoperative care provided by your doctor for a month and wear a compression garment to support the operated tissue. Notably, some patients experience scarring after liposuction surgery, which is quite normal. You can ask your surgeon to prescribe ointments, topical creams, or silicone gels to reduce the scarring.
The duration of the recovery period depends on your health condition, the amount of fat extracted, your skin type, the number of treated areas, and the surgical technique used for you. After six weeks, all the long-lasting discomforts caused by the surgery (such as the bruising and infection) will disappear.
Still, you have to wait almost 6 months to see the actual outcome of the liposuction surgery. Moreover, the non-absorbable stitches will be removed a week after the surgery, and you can go for a gentle walk outside the house afterward.
During the liposuction aftercare period, it is necessary to consider the following tips:
- Avoid heavy activities such as running, biking, and lifting objects heavier than 5kg;
- Have a balanced diet rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins;
- Wear a compression garment for as long as your doctor has suggested;
- Take the prescribed medicines, such as antibiotics and painkillers, on time;
- Do not sit or sleep for long hours;
- Stay hydrated;
- Avoid smoking;
- Avoid having alcohol and hard-to-digest foods;
- You can do contact sports or other strenuous activities after four to six weeks.
If you want to know about the post-liposuction surgery diet, read this article.
Side Effects of Liposuction Surgery
Liposuction is mostly known for its safety and high satisfaction rate; however, it is not risk-free and involves minor complications. The possible risks and side effects of liposuction surgery include the following:
- Infection which oral or injectable antibiotics can treat;
- Lumpy, bumpy skin due to uneven accumulation of fat or poor skin quality;
- Fluid accumulation (seroma) under the skin, which a surgical needle can drain;
- Skin discoloration;
- Internal tissue puncture by cannula. This may require emergency surgical repair;
- Hyper sensation or numbness in the skin for a period of time;
- Pain and discomfort in the incision site;
- Swelling and bleeding;
- Scarring, which creams and gels can minimize;
- Fat embolism is due to the accumulation of fat cells in the vessel. This complication is considered a medical emergency as the fat cells can travel to the brain and lungs via the veins;
- Fever due to skin infection;
- Anesthesia side effects such as dizziness, headache, vomiting, etc.;
- Kidney, heart, and lung problems due to a shift in fluid levels in the body;
- Hematoma or bleeding under the skin;
- Damage to internal organs;
- Formation of a blood clot in an artery.
In sum, liposuction is an effective body plastic surgery that can improve your appearance to a great extent. Finding a skilled surgeon is one of the most important factors in achieving good results after liposuction.
If you intend to get liposuction from the best plastic surgeons in Iran, contact Raadina Co. and get more information about the price of liposuction in Iran and the best hospitals and medical centers for this surgery in the country.
FAQs on Liposuction Surgery
1) How much fat can be removed in liposuction?
The amount of fat that can be removed during this surgery depends on the fat volume, body part size, surgical technique and tools, and the patient's expectations.
2) Is the result of liposuction permanent?
Liposuction results are permanent as long as the patient maintains a stable weight.
3) Will my skin become saggy after liposuction?
After liposuction surgery, the skin adapts itself to the new contours. If you have thick and elastic skin, it will get as smooth as before, but if your skin is thin and rigid, it may get loose after the operation.
4) Is liposuction painful?
You won't feel any pain during the liposuction procedure because your surgeon has administered anesthesia. You may experience pain or tenderness after your procedure for a couple of days, which can be relieved by prescribed medications.
5) When can I return to my regular activities after surgery?
If you had an outpatient procedure, you could return to work within a few days, but you must take a few days off from work if you had an inpatient procedure. It can take six weeks to return to regular physical activities like exercising.
6) Is scarring possible after lipo?
Yes. Although the surgeons make the incisions on less visible body parts, you'll have some small scars after liposuction. You can use topical creams and ointments to reduce the scar marks.
7) Do I need a second lipoplasty?
Usually, the results of liposuction surgery are long-lasting, and it does not need to be repeated. There may be excess skin after the surgery, and additional surgery may be needed to remove them. Usually, however, the skin will tighten and conform to the new contour after the procedure.
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How long does liposuction surgery take?
The duration of liposuction surgery depends on the number of targets and how much fat should be removed. On an average, the liposuction surgery takes one to three hours to complete.
When will I see the results of liposuction?
Depending on how well your body responds to the liposuction surgery, you can see the final results of your operation in 6 to 12 weeks.
Can I get multiple plastic surgery procedures at once?
Getting multiple plastic surgeries at once depends on your general health and the types of operations you want to get. Usually, it is possible to undergo liposuction surgery and breast augmentation/reduction/lift at the same time.