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    Sculptural Liposuction


    If you're considering liposuction...

    Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas. The tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique, are helping many plastic surgeons to provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times.

    Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise.
    Liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don't respond to traditional weight-loss methods.

    Introduction

    Liposuction is a technique used to remove unwanted fat deposits. It was developed in the 1970's and is therefore well tested and gives predictable results. It is best suited to removing localised deposits of fat from the hips, tummy, waist or thighs. It can also be used in combination with other procedures such as facelifting, to remove fat from the neck, or with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to remove fat from the waistline. It is a technique for improving body shape rather than helping with weight loss.

     

    More recent developments, known as liposculpture, have added considerable refinement to our ability to reshape the contour of the body. However it is not a substitute for a controlled diet and results are best in patients who are not overweight but who have localised collections of fat. Good results also depend on elastic skin that will adapt to a new contour when the underlying fat is removed. With age skin becomes less elastic but the condition of the skin rather than your chronological age is the most important factor. This will be carefully assessed at your consultation with Dr. Freschi.

    How do I prepare for surgery?

    It is important to avoid taking any Aspirin or products containing Aspirin for 2 weeks either side of the operation since Aspirin has an adverse effect on bruising. If you are a smoker it is helpful to stop for two weeks before surgery and for a week afterwards so as not to restrict the circulation to the skin. Patients taking the oral contraceptive pill are advised to stop this for one complete cycle before surgery.

    Where will my surgery be performed?

    The surgery is usually performed at a clinic in the city of Buenos Aires where Dr. Freschi works with in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery. You will usually be admitted on the day of surgery.

    You will need a friend or relative to accompany you home when you leave hospital after surgery.

    What type of anaesthetic will be used?

    Liposuction and liposculpture is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, so you'll sleep through the entire operation. Occasionally with very localised areas it may be possible to perform liposuction under local anaesthetic with some sedation.

    What does the operation involve?

    Liposuction and liposculpture is performed via small 5 mm incisions through which the fine cannulae remove unwanted fat.

    The small incisions usually result in scars that are barely visible once healed and which are carefully positioned to be as inconspicuous as possible. At the end of the procedure an elasticated garment is applied over the area treated. This should be worn for 3-6 weeks in order to maximise compression and remodelling of the skin.

    What happens after the operation?

    Discomfort following the surgery varies from one patient to another but is not usually great. It is important to mobilise as soon as possible after the operation as resting in bed is not good for the circulation in the legs. Returning to work will depend on the extent of the liposuction but is usually between 5 and 10 days after surgery.

    It is important to wear an elasticated garment to apply light pressure over the treated area for 4-6 weeks following liposuction. This helps to reduce the swelling and encourages the skin to conform to its new shape. Vigorous exercise should not be resumed until all bruising has settled which usually takes 3-4 weeks. After 4-6 weeks you will have a good idea of the result, but this continues to improve for 3-6 months as the skin and fat becomes softer and smoother. The best results are obtained in slim people with localized fat deposits, as the tighter the skin the better it will adapt after fat removal.

    Will the fat come back?

    If you maintain a steady weight the short answer is no. People are born with a fixed number of fat cells in the body and fat is laid down in proportion to their distribution. After liposuction fat cells are removed and so if you gain weight it will preferentially be laid down elsewhere rather than at the site of your liposuction. However if you are careful with your weight and diet, the change in contour will be permanent.

    What are the risks?

    Complications following liposuction/liposculpture in correctly selected patients are extremely uncommon.

    • Some irregularity in the skin is occasionally seen but with modern instrumentation this is rare. However in the period after surgery it is not uncommon to see some waviness in the contour of the skin which is related to swelling and this resolves over 2-3 months.

    • Bruising and some swelling is to be expected after liposuction. Some people bruise more easily and so will see more discoloration in the skin than others. This almost invariably resolves soon after surgery.

    Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure worldwide. It is a highly effective technique for improving body contour with minimal scarring. The results can be permanent, providing you eat sensibly, exercise regularly, and maintain your weight. With realistic expectations and the understanding that the final results may take a few weeks before becoming apparent, you should be happy with your new shape.

    Dr. Andrés Freschi