Liposuction.

Liposuction, or liposculpture, is surgery performed to eliminate localized fat deposits (lipodystrophy) in different parts of the body (hips, buttocks, abdomen, arms, calves, etc).

The distribution of fat in our body is influenced by a variety of factors: genetics, race, sex, diet, hormones, the aging process, exercise and the environment. It should be noted that liposuction is a body-contouring technique, not a method for weight loss.

Candidate

Women and men 18 years of age and over who maintain a normal weight but have localized fat deposits in certain areas of the body. Their skin must still have a firm, elastic structure and a high capacity to contract.

Preoperative Period

The surgeon will conduct a personal interview with the patient to determine what his or her expectations and concerns are. He or she will then proceed to analyze the clinical condition of the patient’s skin and fat tissue in different parts of his or her body (face, neck, arms, back, abdomen, waist, hips, saddlebags, inner knee, thighs and legs).

The surgeon will likewise assess the characteristics of each area and the capacity of the patient’s skin to contract (elasticity, turgor, thickness of the fat tissue, possible irregularities in contours, presence of cellulite, stretch marks or scars and any changes in skin pigmentation).

Based on the results of this study, the surgeon will explain to the patient any limitations and answer any questions he or she may have, recommending the best technique for the amount of fat to be removed.

Surgical Technique

The surgery is performed in an operating room under local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the type of liposuction to be performed and the areas to be treated. Liposuction surgery tends to last between 1 and 2 hours; however, the time can vary (from 30 minutes to several hours), depending on the area and amount of fat to be treated.

Traditional Liposuction
After preliminary marking, a small incision is made in the chosen areas and liposuction cannulas (tubes) are inserted. The opposite end of each cannula is attached to a suction device or special syringe. The surgeon moves the cannula back and forth through the fat deposits located under the skin, breaking up and vacuuming them out. The cannulas vary depending on their diameter. Those with larger diameters enable faster suction of thicker layers of fat; those with small diameters are for slower suction of thinner layers of fat. Usually, both are used in the fat tissue to ensure more uniform results and greater contraction of the skin, thereby preventing the formation of pockets and irregularities. 

Power-Assisted Liposuction
This is one of the most revolutionary liposuction techniques available today.

This method allows for much greater precision in all procedures and offers added benefits to patients.

It works by means of a pneumatic (compressed air) motor that enables 3 different types of motion: back and forth, rotation and vibration. This, in turn, results in a spiraling movement that emulsifies the fat, which is simultaneously sucked out through the cannula’s shaft.

This technique makes it possible to reach difficult and delicate areas (back, knees, calves, buttocks, etc.) with extreme precision, thereby causing less trauma to the patient (bruising, inflammation, pain, etc.), enabling swifter post-operative recovery (approximately 1 week) and enhancing the appearance of the skin.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction is a technique that transforms electrical energy into ultrasonic waves and generates heat, causing alterations to fat cells (cavitation, explosion, liquefaction) without damaging other tissues, such as blood vessels or nerves.

This technique is recommended for areas of the body that, due to their characteristics, are difficult to treat with traditional liposuction, as well as for removing large amounts of fat (in the morbidly obese). It is also quite useful with certain types of flaccidity, as it increases the skin’s capacity to contract.

It is often used in combination with traditional liposuction.

Postoperative Period

The patient will remain hospitalized for the first 24 hours following the procedure with a compression garment or semi-compressive sponge pad on the treated area, receiving antibiotics and painkillers intravenously.

The compression garment will be left in place until the next follow-up examination; however, on the second day, the patient will be discharged following assessment by the plastic surgery team. The compression garment will be removed on the fourth day to check the clinical condition and evolution of the operated areas, as well as the surgical incisions. The stitches will be removed after the first week.

From Week 2 to the end of the first month:

The compression garment must be worn night and day throughout the first month until the follow-up examination by the specialist. Once the bruising has disappeared, the patient may expose him or herself to sunlight using sun block and an appropriate skin moisturizer.

Lymphatic drainage procedures performed by qualified personnel are also recommended to improve swelling and ecchymosis (contusions) and speed up recovery and the patient’s return to his or her everyday activities.

The patient may begin to exercise (swimming or bicycling) to help sculpt the operated areas, as the muscle movements involved in these activities trigger natural circulation and lymphatic drainage.

In order to maintain the results obtained, it is important to exercise regularly and follow an appropriate diet.

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