A great deal of controversy surrounds the concept of a technique similar to liposuction called “liposculpture” (for more information read: What is Liposculpture?) On the one hand, it can be seen as an art form that is beneficial for the customer in that it helps to enhance their self-esteem. What may seem superficial to one person can seem empowering to another. Few people that choose to see a qualified liposculpture surgeon will tell you that they are doing so because they feel that what is on the outside is more important than what is on the inside.
It’s far more likely that they will tell you they are doing so because they want to look on the outside the way that they feel on the inside, or because they are tired of feeling judged. On the other hand, plastic surgery can become an addiction for some. Liposculpture can also lead to some troubling complications. Roughly one in a thousand patients who undergo liposculpture will experience serious complications. With this in mind, if you choose to look for a liposculpture surgeon, here are a few things to look for.
What the Best Liposculpture Surgeons Should Be Like
Your surgeon should view the process as an art form. Liposculpture should not be viewed simply as a process of taking as much fat as possible out of the body. Where they choose to eliminate excess fat, and the amount that they take out should be very carefully chosen. The goal is not just to lose weight, but to shape your body into the form that is best suited for your purposes. In some cases you may even want to consider fat injections.
How seriously your surgeon takes these issues is a very important part of the process. Make sure your doctor is eager to work with you in deciding what your ideal outcome is. If your surgeon is intent on selling you on a body plan, or doesn’t seem to care much about what you’ll look like when the process is finished, it’s time to move on to somebody else.
Liposcupture Surgeons Should Be Chosen Carefully
Liposculpture surgery is not a casual operation and has the potential to cause serious problems. There can be allergic reactions to medications used during surgery, infections, skin damage, damage beneath the skin, skin death, internal organ puncture, bumpy or withered skin, fat embolisation, burns, lidocaine toxicity, and fluid imbalances. The long list of potential problems shouldn’t be taken as an indication that such problems are common, in fact they are fairly rare, and have decreased dramatically in number since the 1990s when attention was brought to bear on the subject.
The point is that even though liposculpture surgery is undergone for cosmetic purposes and not to correct any medical problems, it poses just as much risk to the patient as any other serious operation. Your surgeon should be very upfront about the risks of liposculpture. They should take your health very seriously and make every effort to learn as much as they can about your medical background. If one surgeon refuses to perform the operation on you for medical reasons, it is strongly advised that you don’t look for somebody else who will.
Understand The Liposculpture Process
Before choosing to search for a top liposculpture surgeon, you should know what liposculpture liposuction is, and what it isn’t. It is not a substitute for dieting. The purpose of the operation is primarily to reshape your body, not to reduce its overall weight. If you are not living a healthy lifestyle to begin with, the weight will just come back when you are finished. There are many different kinds of liposuction, but what works for one patient may not be right for another.
The skill of the surgeon is far more important than the type of operation, and any surgeon you speak with should emphasize this. Liposculpture will not bring you instant gratification. While the process is fast, it is not overnight. You will see a noticeable difference two days after the surgery is performed, when the dressing comes off, but the real changes to your body won’t be fully visible for up to a year after the operation.
When You Have Chosen a Good Liposculpture Surgeon
Once you have chosen a surgeon, here is what you can expect when you undergo a liposculpture procedure. You and your doctor should discuss beforehand what the outcome of the procedure will look like. On the day of the operation you will sign a consent form. An hour or so before surgery, sometimes after the operation, you will be given an antibiotic to protect you from possible infections during the surgery. The areas of the body that you have chosen to have sculpted will be marked off while you are in a standing position.
Often times photos will be taken at this point so that you can see what you look like before and after the procedure. Once you are in the operating room, a sterilizing solution will be applied to the areas of your body that the fat will be removed from. This will protect you from any bacteria or viruses that could get into your body during surgery. A local anesthetic will be injected, and you may be given a sedative if you wish to have one. At each point in the body where the fat will be removed, a small incision is made, about a quarter of an inch.
What To Expect During Liposculpture Surgery
Since you will be losing body fluid, you will most likely be given an IV to keep you hydrated. You will have devices attached to keep track of your blood pressure, heart rate, and the oxygen in your blood. You should only feel a scraping sensation as the tube collects the fat from your body. You should be able to get up and walk around the same day of the surgery as long as you aren’t given global anesthetic, but you should not drive yourself home.
Choosing to work with a liposculpture surgeon should not be taken lightly, but if you decide that it is right for you than there is certainly no need to get anxious about the procedure. As long as you approach the subject as carefully and deliberately as any operation you would have done on your body, you can rest assured that you have made the decision that is best for you.
What Is Liposculpture?
We’ve all heard of liposuction, but now there is a new way to remove the excess fatty tissues and deposits from under your skin. Known as liposculpture, this procedure produces the same results as liposuction, but is less invasive. Liposculpture does not use large incisions to suck the fat out of your body, nor does it require general anesthesia, which is responsible for the majority of health complications. It should be known that it contours specific parts of the body instead of completely resculpting it. Liposculpture is relatively new, having been introduced in the 1970s. It’s been gaining popularity in the last few years, but most people have no idea what it is. Here is a quick overview of the entire process to help you better understand the procedure.
Tumescent Liposculpture Technique
Liposculpture mainly differs from traditional liposuction in that it uses a tumescent solution. This is a mixture of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a saline solution). It’s injected under the skin by the problem areas. This causes the fat to expand and loosen as it increases in liquid content. The softened fat is then suctioned out using a syringe or metal tube. The lidocaine numbs the treated area, while the epinephrine minimizes blood loss as it shrinks the capillaries.
General Liposculpture Procedure
Before surgery, the doctor identifies which areas will be treated. Tiny incisions are then made (an 1/8 inch long) where the tumescent solution will be injected. After this is done, the fat is suctioned out with a tool called a microcannula, using a to-and-fro motion. The process only takes about an hour, depending on what’s treated. The incisions though are not closed when everything’s done in order to allow the body’s natural healing process to begin. Instead they are tape sealed with a compression garment. After a few days, the tape is removed, but the garment can be kept on for as much as six weeks – this helps sculpt the areas further.
Body Areas Commonly Treated with Liposculpture
These include the neckline, backs of arms, male breasts, abdomen, mid and lower back, waist, love handles, hips, buttocks and knees. Unlike liposuction, liposculpture can also tighten or firm areas of loose skin. There are many areas that can be treated with this technique, but it is important to realize that there are some areas that are better suited for other techniques, ask your surgeon what would be best if you have any questions about body areas to treat.
The Days Following Surgery
The majority of people are up and about the next day, resuming normal activities. Clearance to return to work is given after three days. It normally takes a few days after this to start performing limited exercise. You should consult with your doctor about this. Liposculpture recovery is not easy for everyone, but for the most part, people make a pretty quick recovery and are able to partake in normal activities very quickly after their surgery.
Liposculpture Results Vary from Person to Person
There is a limit to the amount of fat that can be safely removed in one operation. Usually five liters of fat is considered the upper limit. Heavier-set people can remove more, although it needs to be done over several sessions. Liposculpture reduces the chances of developing scarring or bumpy, uneven skin texture, caused by removing too little or too much fat. If it does happen, no matter – a lesser operation can remedy this. Results do vary, but some report noticing differences as early as six weeks after the procedure. Full results can take up to six months. Weight loss may occur, but surprisingly fat is actually light, so you won’t notice much of a difference on the scale. Usually it’s the change in shape that most patients look for.
Liposculpture Side Effects
Patients may experience mild discomfort after the procedure. In the days immediately following, there might be soreness or discomfort. Depending on the amount of work done and your personal pain tolerance, you could feel a slight twinge for a few weeks afterwards. Bruising and other skin discoloration lasts up to three weeks. There could also be temporary swelling of the treated areas, particularly in thighs and knees. Also, if you feel numbness, it will disappear after a few months. Doctors advise patients walk to increase circulation.
Although rare, you should beware of the following complications which could occur as a result to this type of surgery:
-Allergic reactions to medications – If you develop an itch or a rash, notify your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of anaphylaxis, a common reaction to medication, but one that can be deadly if not addressed.
-Blood collections or watery fluid in the treated areas
-Deep vein thrombosis – This is an infrequent complication of any surgery. But if you develop deep clots, they can travel to your lungs and be fatal.
The Ideal Liposculpture Candidate
Liposculpting is seen as a last resort for when fat deposits will not go away, even with diet and exercise. Genetics also plays a role as these tissues only respond to cosmetic surgery. Doctors look for patients with the following qualifications:
-being in good health
-within ten or twenty pounds of their goal weight
-having realistic expectations before and after treatment
Convenience of Liposculpture Surgery
The main appeal of liposculpture is that it’s an outpatient procedure. It can be performed within an hour in most cases (thus earning it the nickname “lunch time lipo”). More importantly, patients can drive themselves home afterwards because there are no pain-killing drugs administered by the doctor except the tumescent solution. Since it is a less invasive alternative to liposuction, many people choose it to restore their proportions. Then, they can “start over” with a healthier lifestyle.
What to Keep in Mind Regarding Liposculture
Bear in mind that the purpose of this kind of procedure is improvement, not perfection. Doctors cannot guarantee results because they vary based on the fat composition of each individual. Those with a genetic predisposition to highly fibrous fat might not see much of a reduction. Also, older patients and those with low collagen levels could experience skin sagging over treated areas since skin can reform over contours. It’s also important to maintain the results through diet and exercise.
Before undergoing liposculpture or any similar procedure, it’s essential to do your research, both on the process as well as the physician who will be performing the surgery. Take note that liposculpture is not considered plastic surgery. Therefore, if a doctor offers it, he may or may not be licensed in cosmetic procedures. To see if liposculpture is right for you, consult a professional to learn more.