Liposuction (or Liposculpture) is a procedure in which small suction tubes are inserted under the skin to gently remove excess fat deposits. Liposuction may be suitable for anyone concerned with fat deposits on the upper arms, stomach, 'love handles', buttocks, inner or outer thighs, knees or ankles. Liposculpture may not be suitable for someone with Excessive obesity, fluctuating weight, concerns with cellulite, unrealistic expectations.
Dr Oates performs Tumescent Liposculpture technique in our government licensed Academy Day Hospital (on site at Academy Facial Plastics) under a combination of twilight sedation and local anaesthesia. The modern tumescent technique involves the infiltration of a diluted local anaesthetic solution into the area treated prior to removal the fat. The advantage of this technique over older techniques is a reduction of bruising, bleeding, dehydration and pain.
After the Procedure
You will remain in the recovery room for approximately 1 hour after the procedure and you will need a family member or friend to drive you home. After the procedure a special garment will be fitted to the treated area(s). The garment is worn continually for one to two weeks, however it can be removed for showering and laundering. There-after you can reduce the amount of time you wear the garment depending on the amount of residual swelling.
In the first 24 – 36 hour there may be considerable leakage of excess tumescent fluid, which may be blood stained. Remember to plan for this on the drive home and in bed the first night.
Most patients take between two to seven days off work, this depends a lot on the amount of physical activity involved. Post-procedure, most patients compare the soreness to a heavy workout at the gym. This discomfort is easily controlled with over the counter pain relief.
Normal healing after tumescent liposuction involves a limited but definite degree of soreness, swelling, bruising, and lumpy firmness. A temporary mild numbness (paraesthesia) of the skin may persist for up to 4 months. Most patients can actually see some improvement of their silhouette within one week after surgery. However, because of the slow resolution of post-surgical swelling, the ultimate results following liposuction usually require 3 to 4 months to be achieved.
Although the results of liposuction are often quite spectacular, it is not realistic to expect perfection. It is impossible to guarantee the precise amount of improvement that will result from liposuction. Patients should not have unrealistic expectations. Although patients can usually expect to achieve at least 50% improvement, it is unreasonable to expect 95% improvement or near perfection. For the perfectionist or for liposuction of a very large area, maximum improvement may require a second procedure, for which there would be an additional fee.
Patients who are satisfied with a 50% improvement would be reasonably good candidates for liposuction. The 50% improvement is intentionally a vague measurement. It indicates a definite perceptible improvement, but something short of perfection. If a 50% improvement makes a patient happy, it is likely that these expectations will be met. Our patients generally achieve more than a 50% improvement.
The fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. If the patient later gains or loses weight, the change tends to be distributed proportionately over the entire body. Although one can expect some changes with ageing, provided that the patient does not gain large amounts of weight, the patient's new, more pleasing silhouette is relatively permanent. If there is a large weight gain after liposuction surgery, new fat cells may be created.
Academy Facial Plastics wants to provide you with the very best surgical care. You can help to minimise the risk of complications by carefully reading and following your pre-operative and post-operative instructions. Please ask us to clarify any questions you may have.
Do not take blood thinning, or any other non-steriodal anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) for 1 week before surgery as these will promote bleeding and bruising.
Do not drink alcohol for 4 days before surgery, this might decrease resistance to infections. Similarly red wine, garlic powder supplements and vitamin E impairs normal clotting and can predispose people to excessive bleeding and bruising.
Do not take decongestants 1 week before surgery. Do not take appetite suppressants for at least 2 weeks before surgery. Do not take thyroid medication on the day of surgery. These drugs can cause the heart to beat to rapidly.
Do not take antidepressants and herbal remedies unless specifically approved by your surgeon for 2 weeks before surgery.
Do not drive home. Before the day of surgery, make arrangements to have someone drive you home from the surgical facility.
Do not wear unnecessary jewellery, do not apply perfume (deodorant permissible) and minimize use of cosmetics.
Diet before surgery. If your surgery is scheduled to begin before 9.30 am, do not eat solid food after midnight prior to surgery. If scheduled to begin after 11.30 am, you may have a light breakfast before 8 am, but only clear liquid for lunch. Please minimize caffeine the day of surgery. You will be given a snack as soon as surgery is completed.
Loose clothing: There is usually considerable drainage of slightly blood-tinged anaesthetic solution after surgery. Since this drainage might stain clothing, we suggest that you choose your clothing with this in mind. Because we will apply elastic support garments on top of some bulky absorbent gauze padding, your clothing should be very loose and comfortable.
Women: Wear a comfortable bra, one that you do not mind getting stained from the ink that is used to mark the surgical areas. Do not wear a exercise sports bra if you are having liposuction on you abdomen or torso.
Men: For liposuction of the abdomen or flanks, speedo-type swimming trunks are the easiest type of garment to wear into the operating room for surgery. Jockey-type underpants are acceptable.
Moisturisers: Do not use moisturiser or soap that contains moisturisers for at least a week before surgery. The ink markers used to outline the areas on your body to be treated by liposuction will rub off too easily if you have recently applied a moisturiser to your skin.
Towels and plastic sheets: Plan ahead and avoid staining the car seat with blood-tinged anaesthetic solution. Bring a towel and a plastic sheet (such as a bin liner) to cover the car seat during the ride home.
Weight and diet: Do not fast or undergo dramatic weight loss just before surgery. All patients should have a stable, well-balanced diet at least two weeks before surgery. Liquid diets, extreme low-calorie diets and rapid weight loss diets may predispose patients to cardiac irregularities, surgical complications and poor wound healing.
Music: Patients usually enjoy listening to soothing quiet music during surgery. We have a selection of compact discs. If you would like to bring your favourite CD's with you on the day of the surgery you are welcome, however please write your name on the cover of your CD.
How to Proceed?
Book an appointment with our medical personnel and find out more about Liposuction in a friendly and supportive medical environment. You do not need a referral from your GP, but we would recommend that you do discuss it with them. Call the office to discuss your concerns with either Dr Oates or his nurse educator. Once you feel comfortable with proceeding with Liposuction the usual waiting period is 4 – 8 weeks.