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What is liposuction?

Liposuction is an invasive procedure aimed at improving body contour by removing fat cells between the skin and the underlying muscles. The procedure is less invasive than a tummy tuck. Liposuction is carried out as an outpatient procedure in most cases.

How does liposuction work?

Small incisions are made in the body and cannulas (which are small stainless tubes) are passed through them.  The tube dislodges fat deposits, which are suctioned out using a surgical vacuum and syringe.

Are there several types of liposuction?

There are several types of liposuction. These include, tumescent liposuction, ultrasound assisted liposuction, vaser liposuction and laser assisted liposuction.   The plastic surgeon will determine the best option for you.  Some of these types of liposuction are less painful and bruising than traditional methods. However, you need to be aware of the risks of abnormal scarring or thermal injuries. This is why careful analysis is vital before a decision is made.

Is liposuction right for you?

The ideal candidates for liposuction are people that are close to their normal body weight but have areas with localised fat deposits that cannot be dissolved through diet and exercise. The procedure is not recommended for people that are overweight. The ideal body mass index range is 27 and below.  Bariatric surgery may be recommended for overweight individuals.

Liposuction can be done on both sexes and there are no age limits. However, reduced skin elasticity could hamper the success of the procedure for some people.  Smokers will be required to abstain from smoking for weeks before and after the procedure.

Is liposuction painful?

In the first two days after surgery you will experience some degree of pain that can be treated with prescription medication. You may continue to feel small amounts of pain intermittently for a few weeks following the procedure. However, extreme pain requires swift medical attention, as it could mean infection or some other complication.

How large are incisions?

Liposuction incisions are small. They are typically 3-5 millimetres long and are only made in areas that can be covered by underwear.

Will liposuction help with weight loss?

It is important to note that the procedure is not a weight loss regime. Its focus is to reshape and contour the body. However, it helps in weight loss because it speeds up the metabolism allowing individuals to burn calories faster.  After the surgery, you may look the same for a couple of weeks. In the long run however, the weight loss effects become evident.

Is it important to repeat liposuction to maintain results?

No. One of the after effects of liposuction is the increased metabolic rate.  Proper diet and exercise can allow you to maintain your results, meaning no need for repeat surgery.

Is it possible to have liposuction before pregnancy?

Yes. Many patients have successfully used liposuction as a protection against pregnancy related weight gain.  Liposuction before pregnancy reduces the possibility of weight gain and stretch marks.

When do results start showing?

There are two factors that determine when results become evident. The first is the post-surgery swelling, which could remain for up to a month.  The second is the metabolic rate increase, which may kick in two months after surgery. Patients can therefore expect to see results between 3 and 6 months following surgery.