What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure which uses suction to remove excess fat from the body including: the lower cheek area, the double chin area, the upper abdomen, the lower abdomen, the flanks, the lower back, the upper back, the arms, the hips, the buttock, the thighs and more. It is not considered a weight loss procedure but there will be a slight reduction in weight. It improves the shape of the body but it has also been found to improve quality of life and self-esteem. In a study involving 360 patients, 86% responded that their self-esteem and quality of life improved after liposuction. In the case of abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck, along with liposuction, more than 99% of the patients said they’d recommended the surgery to other people and felt satisfied.
Procedure In Steps
This surgery is usually done under local anesthesia, sedation and also general anesthesia depending on the severity of the case. At Seoul Guide Medical we have seen everything from local anesthesia injections in the arms to full out general anesthesia for a case that had 15,000 ccs of fat removed across her whole body. Once you are under the needed form of anesthesia, diluted local anesthesia is placed. This will reduce pain and also bleeding. A cannula will be inserted through a very minor incision. This cannula is a hollow tube that is moved back and forth to loosen fat and then the fat is sucked out through a syringe or vacuum attached to it. In delicate areas such as the face, a form of heat laser may be used to melt the fat before extraction. This causes less trauma to the area and thus improves recovery time. Once the limit of fat is removed, the doctor will stitch up the incision. The stitches are normally removed on the 10th day after surgery. In some cases, dissolving stitches can be used. Surgery time can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 8 hours or even longer depending on the case. For example, double chin liposuction may take less than half an hour while 360 body liposuction may take several houses to complete.
In More Detail
Before the surgery, the doctor comes in and marks the area where he will extract the fat cells. The surgeon then:
- disinfects the area
- makes a small incision and inject a saline solution to loosen up the fat cells from the other cells and surrounding tissue. In some cases a heat laser is used
- waits for solution or heat laser to take effect
- removes fat via a cannula (a hollow needle) by moving it back and forth dislocated the fat from the surrounding tissue
- sutures the incision point
It is normal to experience a bit of saggy skin after any liposuction. It normally takes 2-3 months for the skin to tighten up again after liposuction. If the skin doesn’t have enough elasticity, the skin might not retract fully. If this is likely to happen to you, you should consider a tightening procedure along with liposuction. In order from least invasive to most invasive the lifting procedures would be: HIFU tightening, thread lifting, surgical tightening such as double chin corset platysma or tummy tuck and surgical lifting. In this article, we will also briefly talk about a tummy tuck known as abdominoplasty.
Different areas liposuction can be done on:
Skin Lifting Procedure
To lift the skin, there are different ways to do so. In this article, we’ll talk about tummy tuck as an example. A tummy tuck can be done in two ways. Differences in body type, your wants and needs, and differences in each patient need to be considered.
A Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck targets the whole stomach area. The surgeon will make an incision along the bikini line so the scar is hidden as best as possible.
The doctor then lifts the skin to gain access to the abdominal muscles. The surgeon will pull them towards the middle, making the muscles tight again. After this, excess fat and skin is removed (via blepharoplasty which is cutting). The skin is then pulled down and sutured.
The abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia and will take about 3-4 hours.
The recovery time for this surgery is about one week so you are moving around more comfortably and stitches are removed around the 10th day post surgery.
Mini Tummy Tuck
This surgery is less invasive, as the name suggests, but still effective. In this procedure, the plastic surgeon’s incision is much smaller and only targets the pelvis area. The rest of the steps are the same with the full tummy tuck:
- The skin is lifted to gain access to the abdominal muscles
- The muscles are then tightened
- The surgeon will pull the skin back, after which excess skin is removed
- The doctor then closes the incision with stitches
Recovery for this procedure is similar to a full tummy tuck but it is easier on the body.
Before and After Surgery
Before the surgery takes place, there are a lot of steps to take to ensure your complete safety and well-being.
The Seoul Guide Medical staff will provide you with a detailed online consultation and create your customized treatment plan. You should diet and exercise as best as possible before any liposuction or lifting procedures so your body is in the best shape it can be in. The surgeon will then consult you in the clinic along with the SGM staff. If you are undergoing general anesthesia, you will be required to take a series of tests 1-2 days before surgery to make sure you are healthy enough for this kind of strong anesthesia. On the surgery day, you will have another consultation and sign the needed paperwork. The doctor will design on your body the areas where fat will be removed from. Your measurements will be taken for the customized compression garment you’ll need to wear afterward. This compression garment helps your body recover faster and improves your comfort during the healing process. It helps to reduce the swelling after the surgery. You’ll need to wear this garment for about three weeks; this can be shorter or longer depending on your case. You’ll need to wear this constantly and can only take it off when going to shower. You should not get the stitch area wet so waterproof bands are recommended. You will go into surgery and when it is over be moved into a recovery room. Unless it is a full body procedure or possibly a tummy tuck, you can leave the clinic the same day. If not, you will need to sleep overnight at the clinic and be monitored by nursing staff. If this happens, you will normally check out the next day around 10am after the doctor has examined you.
Process After Surgery
It’s important to know that this surgery is considered a major surgery unless it is for the arms, face or the neck. To ensure you have a safe surgery, here are the things that the doctor will advise to do or not do:
- Stop taking medications. This could be anything from vitamins to birth control pills, aspirin, or hormonal drugs, preferably two weeks before the scheduled surgery.
- Let us know if you have diabetes, thyroid issues, heart disease, or hypertension. This is extremely important to know before surgery.
- Make sure your body is well hydrated and you eat nutritional food.
Am I a Candidate?
The best candidates for any surgery are patients who have realistic expectations. Liposuction is a surgery designed to contour your body, not lose weight. The best candidates for liposuction surgery are also the ones who:
- Have excess body fat on a specific area (abdomen, thigh, face, arm, etc.)
- Have bumpy skin due to fat and want to change this.
- Want to have a well-defined body in a short amount of time.
- Want to regain their self-esteem and quality of life.
- Want to have a good body contour without a long recovery time.
Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty?
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are:
- the ones with severe obesity and lost a lot of weight resulting in a lot of excess skin.
- The ones who have saggy skin around the abdomen because of loss of skin elasticity or relaxation of the abdomen muscles.
- the ones who have stretch marks after giving birth
- the ones who have lost a lot of weight in a short period and therefore losing a lot of skin elasticity
- the ones who want to refine their skin after liposuction surgery
Giving a set price is very difficult to do in plastic surgery and especially in the case of liposuction. It depends on what body part you want to do liposuction on and how much fat needs to be extracted. You should also keep in mind that this is very labor intensive for the surgeon performing it and thus different doctors will charge different rates according to their time to value ratios. At SGM, we have seen liposuction cost anywhere from 1000 USD all the way up to 40,000 USD. Something that takes just a few minutes to do will cost a lot less than something that takes 12 hours to do.
Does the Fat Come Back?
Once fat cells are removed via liposuction they are gone forever. Please watch the video here which goes into more detail. About 80% of removable fat cells can be taken out with liposuction but still leaves around 20% which can expand if a proper diet and exercise are not followed. Liposuction also can’t remove fat between the organs. This can only be removed if you diet and exercise. Liposuction is not a cure all for fat. You should think about it as a new starting point. You will hit the reset button and from that point on, what happens is up to you.
Having read all this and knowing whether you are the right candidate for liposuction or not, it’s now time to get in contact with us! This could either be because you want to know more or make an appointment.
You can get in contact with us in many ways:
Liposuction surgery is not a weight loss surgery since fat weighs very little. At 5:35 minutes of this video you can see just how large 1kg of fat is. 1 kg of fat is much bigger than you think in terms of volume. Although you will not lose massive amounts of weight, the volume of fat removed is very large. If you are looking for weight loss surgery, you might want to look into gastric bypass surgery or go with diet and exercise.
Liposuction surgery is not painful. You will either be under general or local anesthesia so that you won’t feel any pain. In the recovery period, you can feel some discomfort and some soreness. This will be a lot better in one week.
Liposuction is a very safe procedure when done through SGM. All surgeons who perform the surgery are government certified, and in the surgery room is CCTV. Liposuction surgeries are performed by doctors who do the procedure almost daily, and they know what they are doing.
As mentioned before, liposuction is not considered a weight loss procedure. You should think in terms of how many ccs of fat you can lose. In smaller areas there can be just a few hundred ccs. As stated in this article, the most we have ever seen removed was 15,000 ccs of fat which was a massive amount during a full body lipo case.
Liposuction will not eliminate saggy skin since it targets the fat cells. Instead, liposuction can, in some cases, cause sagging skin because you take away cells from the inside. This, however, will go back to normal in a considerable amount of time. If it doesn’t, you might want to go for a tummy tuck, arm lift, or thigh lift, depending on the area liposuction was performed.
In most cases, liposuction doesn’t cause significant scarring. If you have a good surgeon, the surgeon knows exactly how to perform the surgery and not cause considerable scarring. If there are minor scars, they also know how it’s easily hidden, for example, behind underwear lining.
With Seoul Guide Medical, you’ll not need to worry about scarring and finding a good plastic surgeon since we only work with the best doctors. They know what they are doing and can take care of you in the best way possible.