What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure to reduce areas of fat deposits which do not respond to diet and exercise.

How is liposuction done?

Basically long hollow thin tubes (cannulae) connected to vacuum pump are introduced through key hole incisions into the area of fat deposit. To and fro movement of this tube dislodges and liquefies the fat which is then sucked out by the vacuum pump. This is the conventional method of liposuction also known as Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL). Dr. Sandip Jain also uses body-jet liposuction (German technology) where the cannulae have an additional channel to spray water which gently dislodges and rinses out the fat. It is a more gentle and precise technique with faster recovery and also allows for aspirated fat to be transferred, if requested by the patient, to other areas of the body such as for breast or buttock enhancement. Generally, body-jet liposuction is used for large liposuction cases or when liposuction has to be combined with fat grafting. For more details please refer to the FAQ on body-jet liposuction.

Can I undergo Liposuction

If you have areas of stubborn fat deposits which do respond to diet/exercise then you can consider undergoing liposuction. In women stubborn fat deposits are mostly in the lower body like, stomach, thigh, love handles (waist area) buttocks. Other areas which can be treated by liposuction are back, arms, breast and neck area.
You should be in good general health to undergo this procedure. It is primarily a body contouring procedure to improve the figure. Weight loss is a bonus and is not the primary aim of liposuction.

What anaesthesia is used for liposuction?

Small areas liposuction can be done under local anaesthesia. However when liposuction is done for large areas then you are required to be put to sleep (general anaesthesia).

What is mega-liposuction?

When the amount of liposuction is more than 5 liters of fat it is called mega-liposuction.

What is the recovery period after liposuction:

depending on the amount of liposuction, hospital stay could be 1 or 2 days. Sometimes for small liposuction same day discharge from hospital is possible. As liposuction is done through key hole incisions so no stitches are required. You will be required to wear a compression garment (corset) for 1 or 2 months. Light work can be resumed within a week. Heavy exercise is after 4-6 weeks.

What result to expect:

  1. Inch Loss: usually 2 to 4 inch loss (on circumferential measurement) is there afer liposuction, which translates to 1 or 2 dress size difference. However it can be less or more depending on the amount of fat deposit in each individual. The result will continue to improve and final result may take few 3 to 6 months. This is because swelling takes about a month to resolve and then the skin has to shrink and adapt to the new shape. The result is permanent and will continue to improve with maintenance of healthy lifestyle.
  2. Weight loss: As mentioned earlier liposuction is a body contouring procedure and weight loss is a bonus, not the primary goal of liposuction.weight loss approximately equals the amount of fat which is sucked out. For instance approximately 5 kg of weight loss is to be expected with liposuction of 5 litres. However amount of liposuction estimated by the surgeon before the surgery is just that- an estimate. The final amount after the surgery can vary. Weight loss generally starts a month or so after surgery as it takes that much time for swelling to reduce.

Are there alternatives to liposuction?

  1. Diet and exercise: it is possible to lose areas of fat deposit by diet and exercise. Ideally, liposuction is reserved for patients who have areas of fat deposit which do not respond to diet or exercise.
  2. Nonsurgical body sculpting or lipolysis: Techniques such as External ultrasound, Coolsculpt,Radiofrequency, and external laser devices are used for minor touch up in normal weight patient. Moreover, they require multiple sittings at a monthly interval. There is no weight loss with this technique. As of now, they cannot be considered a replacement for liposuction.
  3. Injection Lipolysis: Some chemicals are injected into the area of fat deposit and it is supposed to melt the fat. however, this is unpredictable and no standard protocol is available. It is not FDA approved and so its safety is not known.
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Dr. Sandip Jain