Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or lipo, is a surgical procedure that breaks up and removes fat from specific parts of the body (usually the abdomen, hips, inner thighs, buttocks, arms or neck) using suction techniques. It’s a form of “plastic surgery.” As a result, these body parts change their shape, hence this procedure is also sometimes referred to as body contouring. In 2017, liposuction was second most popular surgical procedure (246,354 procedures) after breast augmentation (300,378 procedures) and followed by nose reshaping and eyelid surgeries. What makes so many people choose to go under the knife? What might be the benefits and risks of liposuction?
Benefits of liposuction
The goal of liposuction is to change the aesthetics of the body and enhance contouring. Specialists from Peoria Cosmetic Surgery in Phoenix, Arizona point out that the procedure does not aim to prevent or reduce obesity. It also cannot eliminate cellulite or stretch marks. The aim of the surgery is to permanently remove fat cells from the body. The patients can expect their body to look more youthful and firmer, which will make them feel more attractive and boost their confidence. However, it won’t give satisfying results if the person doesn’t lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle after the surgical treatment. In fact, the remaining fat cells can grow bigger.
Patients who benefit most from liposuction are those who are at a healthy weight, or at least close to it (within 30% of their ideal weight) and who remain physically active and lead a balanced diet. Liposuction is usually recommended to patients who have tried traditional methods of losing weight and have not succeeded. Before deciding to go under the knife, they are advised to move more, pay more attention to what they eat and get enough sleep.
Risks of liposuction
If your skin lacks elasticity then it might appear loose after the treatment is complete. There also might be damage beneath the skin as a result of using a cannula (a kind of a thin tube) during the procedure. This can lead to skin necrosis (death of skin cells). In extreme cases, the cannula inserted too deeply may also puncture an internal organ, such as the intestine, which can be fatal as the diagnosis may come too late, due to anesthesia (the patient won’t feel the pain).
The affected area may also feel numb and it may take a long time for the sensation to disappear. In some cases it might be permanent. Additionally, as with most surgical procedures, there is always a risk of infection which in some cases may turn out to be deadly. Surgeons point out, however, that these days the risk of infection is very rare.
As liposuction involves suction and injection of fluids, these shifts of fluid levels may also lead to kidney dysfunction or heart problems. Is is also advised not to do too much liposuction in one day as it may have dangerous effects as well.
It’s important to note that liposuction is not recommended to people with restricted blood flow or weak immune system, or those who suffer from heart disease or diabetes.