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What is a liposuction?
Liposuction is a technique for the removal of subcutaneous fat excesses using vacuum suction by means of a small canula connected to a vacuum pump. The intervention is carried out by a plastic surgeon.
The buttocks, the hips, the thighs, the knees, the abdomen, the neck area, as well as abnormal breast formation in males, can be treated by means of liposuction. In the neck area, liposuction is mostly carried out in addition to face-lifting. The limiting factor for the application of liposuction is the degree of skin elasticity, since the skin has to shrink after removal of the fat excess in order to prevent the formation of skinfolds. Liposuction can improve local body contour abnormalities. However, it should not be regarded as an alternative way to treat obesity. Therefore, do no expect any weight reduction after liposuction. The best results of liposuction are obtained in normal weight persons who suffer from undesirably local fat accumulation in one or more of the areas mentioned.
Please inform your surgeon if you have to take medicines that alter blood coagulation, such as Marcoumar or Sintrom. The use of Aspirin (acethylsalicylacid) containing medicines needs to be terminated 14 days before the intervention. As the surgery is mostly carried out under general anesthesia you have to be sober before the intervention starting at 12 o'clock night the day before surgery.
Before the intervention you need to buy a compressive stocking complying with the treated area. Ask for the form to order the stockings when you consult the surgeon. These stockings need to be worn during 6 weeks postoperatively day and night.
The surgery is usually carried out under general anesthesia. In some exceptional cases local anesthesia can be applied, but only so if the area to be treated is limited. In either case, a solution is infiltrated into the areas to be treated in order to reduce bleeding during suction (tumescence technique). These zones are marked prior to the surgery. Through several 1 cm incisions, a suction canula connected to a vacuum pump, will be brought into the fatty deposits. Subsequently, removal of fat cells can be achieved by means of vacuum suction. At the end of the procedure the incisions are closed and a liposuction panty is applied. Normally, the procedure takes approximately 2 hours, dependent on the number of areas to be treated. Maximal 2.5 liters of fat can be removed during a single intervention.
After treatment, the areas of suction are swollen and show a bluish discoloration. These areas are painful and the underlying muscles will feel stiff. Pain medication such as paracetamol can be used, but aspirine containing medication is prohibited since it interferes with blooth clotting. The lipopanty needs to worn 24 hours a day during six weeks, even if that might feel tight or uncomfortable. Showering is allowed, but bathing should be postponed till 3 weeks after the operation. The panty may be taken of for reasons of personal hygiene. The skin above the treated areas is less sensitive to touch during 4-5 months. After that period sensitivity will be normal again. You may take up your normal daily activities as soon as possible. The final result will become visible after 3 months.
What else do you need to know?
Initially, the operated area will be insensitive. The sensitivity will be restored slowly after a few months.
Severe complications like bleeding or infection rarely occur. If they occur you have to contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. In case of a bleeding the area treated will progress to become extremely swollen. An infection is likely if your body temperature rises above 38.5˚ Celsius. Small surface irregularities may be seen after liposuction. Mostly, these disappear after consistent wearing of the lipopanty during 6 weeks. Permanent asymmetries or irregularities are rarely seen. In few cases a later small touch up liposuction may be needed.
The costs of the intervention are not covered by your health insurance plan. The costs of the intervention are primarily determined by the extensity and duration of the treatment.