By Dr Vikas Panthri , Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery
Trying to eliminate pockets of excess fat that accumulate on the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and other areas of the body can be a frustrating process. Often, diet and exercise help but these are just not sufficient to the reach the weight loss goal. In such cases, many people who want to achieve more aesthetically pleasing body contours turn to liposuction, which has been one of the most popular plastic surgery techniques for more than three decades now. This safe, proven procedure has allowed millions of patients to improve their figures through the precise targeting and removal of isolated deposits of fat.
Liposuction is not intended as a weight loss treatment. Rather, it is most effective and beneficial when a doctor uses it to contour a patient’s overall figure by removing pockets of fat in specific areas. Liposuction can be very useful when performed on areas such as the abdomen, flanks, hips, thigh area, buttocks, arms, and breasts
Full liposuction results will be visible several months after surgery. Liposuction is designed to improve the shape of your body and is not an option for significant weight loss. However, small pockets of fat that are unresponsive to exercise can be effectively treated.The following body areas are commonly targeted for liposuction treatment:
- Inner knees
- Flanks (love-handles)
- Neckline and the area under the chin (submental)
- Thighs – saddlebags (outer thighs), and inner thighs
- Upper arms.
Common side effects of liposuction include:
- Temporary swelling, bruising, soreness, and numbness in and around the treated areas.
- Irritation and minor scarring around the incision sites where the cannulas were inserted.
- Baggy or rippling skin. The skin will usually tighten and retract after a few months. But in some people the skin may remain somewhat loose.
Less common side effects include:
- Permanent color changes in the skin.
- Uneven skin surface over the treated area.
- Damage to the nerves and skin. The heat generated during ultrasound-assisted liposuction may burn the skin or damage the tissue under the skin.
After liposuction, recovery may require only a few days or several months, depending on the size of the treated area and the type of liposuction they choose to have performed.
Recovery during the First Few Weeks – Doctors advise their patients to wear compression garments for at least the first several days after liposuction to speed recovery time. After a few weeks, most patients feel comfortable enough to remove their compression garment. Some patients report pain the day after their liposuction surgery. Usually, this discomfort is minor and can be relieved with pain medication and moderate walking. In less than a week after liposuction, most patients are able to move and walk normally, even returning to work with minimal discomfort.