Liposuction is among the most common procedures in cosmetic surgery. In experienced hands and with careful planning, liposuction is an extremely effective procedure that can usually be performed under local anesthesia and on an outpatient basis. Complications occur especially when there is poor patient care (operations abroad), or if this seemingly “simple” intervention is done by unqualified doctors and under unsterile conditions. Hence it has occasionally lead to serious complications, so the media has wrongly classified liposuction as “dangerous”.
The first modern liposuction was performed in 1980. A blunt cavernous canula, which has small openings at the end, is inserted under the skin and vacuum is applied. By applying a strong back and forth jerking movement, fat is broken into fragments and removed from the environment. This basically rough method is generally referred to as the “classical” method. Meanwhile, there are a number of other methods which are less tissue-traumatizing, work faster and are more effectively.
I’ve been working with a vibrations assisted method (Lipomatic ®) since 2000. This is characterized by the needle tip rotating in three dimensions with a frequency of 10 hertz. With more than 2,500 fat deposits extracted, there was not a single significant complication in any patient, neither was there embolism, circulatory shock or injury to internal organs. Both the results and patient satisfaction have been excellent!
The Lipomatic ® can be used to literally suck body fat out of every region of the body so that even delicate areas such as the inner thighs, inside of the upper arm, neck, calf and knee region can be easily treated.
A good result is achieved when:
- the newly created contours harmonize with the adjacent regions of the body
- the extracted points are not recognized as such (no dents, etc.)
- if the outcome is symmetric
Wearing compression underwear after liposuction and the implementation of endermologie treatments (lipo-massage) optimize the operational performance and are well recommended.
Basically liposuction is used to decrease unfavorable accumulated fat deposits (body shaping – “body contouring”) and not weight. However, with good planning even larger amounts of fat can be removed. The patient needs to be informed and prepared accordingly.
1. At what age and until what age you can perform a liposuction?
Liposuction should not be carried out prior to 18 years of age. There is no age limitation provided there are no health objections.
2. What methods of liposuction are there?
Besides the “classical liposuction,” which was conducted for the first time in 1980, there are a number of other methods claiming to be less tissue-traumatizing. These include ultrasound-assisted, laser-assisted, jet-assisted, Vibrations-assisted or electric-assisted liposuction. In my opinion, the method I use, the Lipomatic ® (vibrations-assisted with three-dimensional rotating cannula) is currently the best method to suction fat because vessels, nerves and connective tissue are well protected and the technique ist very effective.
3. When is liposuction recommended?
Liposuction is ideal when there is, at normal body weight, unfavorable fat deposits (e.g. saddle bags, thighs, hips). Liposuction aims at harmonizing the body-contour and is not done primarily for weight loss.
4. What body regions can be treated?
The Lipomatic ® can in principle be used to extract fat in all regions of the body, even sensitive areas like calves, neck, etc. are no longer a handicap.
5. How much fat can be removed at a time?
If the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, the current recommended upper limit is 3 liters of pure fat. When performed under general anesthesia and with appropriate postoperative monitoring, even more fat can be removed.
6. If more procedures are planned, how much time should elapse between the interventions?
At least two months time should be between two medium-scale procedures.
7. Does health insurance cover the cost of the procedure?
A liposuction surgery is basically a cosmetic procedure and therefore not covered by health insurance.
8. What complications can occur?
Medical risks include primarily shock and embolism. If both are considered in planning, and careful implementation of the use of a tissue-sparing method, these risks can be avoided. Result related risks include asymmetry, dell formation and skin discoloration. These cosmetic complications can almost always be completely corrected.
9. Do scars remain after liposuction?
Small skin incisions are made to introduce the suction cannula into the fat. These are 2-6mm long and usually heal to being barely recognizable. In the first months after the procedure, the scars can be a bit red and therefore more noticeable. Over time, however, they will lighten in color and become pale and almost invisible.
10. How long after liposuction is one “socially acceptable” again?
This depends largely on the number of extracted regions, the amount suctioned and the individual’s pain sensitivity. In general, you are back to normal after 7-10 days.
11. How long should I wear compression underwear?
The wearing of compression underwear is recommended for 4-6 weeks. The compression underwear leads to less bruising, the tissue is supported and the skin adjusts better to the new, reduced volume.
12. Is it possible to increase the extracted regions of the body again?
Basically, yes. However, since the number of fat cells are reduced, it is clearly more difficult to put on weight where fat has been removed.
13. What are the long-term results after liposuction?
Long-term results are excellent in general if weight fluctuationsare kept less than 5 kg.