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Laser Liposuction / SMART Lipo
One of the more popular plastic surgery procedures, Liposuction, also known as Liposculpture, Lipoplasty, or Suction-Assisted Lipectomy is a surgical technique that improves the body's contour by removing excess fat from deposits located between the skin and muscle. Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, improving your body contours and proportion, and ultimately, enhancing your self-image.
Despite good health and a reasonable level of fitness, some people may still have body profile with disproportionate contours that is due to localized fat deposits. These patients are not happy or pleased with their body contour and may have body disproportionality. Our body fat deposits are affected by multiple factors; this can be due to changes in hormone level that slows down the body metabolism, stress and psychological behavior that may increase our oral intake of nutrients beyond our need and genetic characteristics of an individual that may predispose them to overweight or obesity.
Suction Assisted Lipectomy or commonly known as Liposuction is a procedure that slims, reshapes, contours and restore body proportion thus, enhancing self-image of the patient. Liposuction is a surgical aspiration of fat under the skin leaving a more pleasing contour and smooth transition between regions of the body. Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures worldwide by certified cosmetic plastic surgeons.
There are several kinds or techniques to perform a liposuction procedure. The three most commonly performed techniques are the tumescent or superwet liposuction, Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty and Laser or SMART Liposuction. The tumescent or super-wet technique requires an infusion of saline solution mixed with adrenaline to facilitate the aspiration or removal of excess fat. Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty uses ultrasonic energy that liquefies the fat prior to surgical suctioning. While Laser or SMART liposuction is quite similar with ultrasound assisted technique in which fats is initially dissolve and then aspirated. There was a sudden increase in demand for SMART/Laser liposuction and Ultrasound lipoplasty when this was introduced in the market because it was believed to have more superior results than the traditional method. However, in our experience, the advantage that Laser Liposuction offers patients are improved pain control after surgery and body swelling is significantly less compared to the traditional tumescent technique. With regards to the result, all the 3 techniques are just the same. There is no superiority of one method over the other in attaining a pleasing body contour.
Liposuction is more of an art than just a surgical procedure. This procedure demands a good grasp of anatomy and body proportionality. This is why liposuction is better termed as liposculpturing. The body parts or areas of the body that can be treated by liposuction are the abdomen, flanks or love handle, hips and buttocks, upper and lower back, arms, axilla or armpit (for treatment of hyperhydrosis), thighs and knees, chin and chest area (specially for gynecomastia). The procedure is done by aspirating the subcutaneous fats with the use of a metal pen like liposuction cannulas through a small skin incision. This small incision is placed at the natural folds of the body so that the resulting scar will be concealed or inconspicuous.
This is performed as an outpatient procedure in a fully equipped ambulatory surgical facility. But patients with multiple procedure or prefer to relax immediately after the surgery, will be admitted for a day or two. Wether the procedure will be performed as an Out-Patient or as a hospital procedure, preoperative laboratory and medical clearance (For patient 40 y/o and above, Medical condition that required treatment) is required. This is done a day before the surgery. The procedure can be performed either under local anesthesia or deep sedation depending on the extent of the procedure. After the procedure, incision site will soak for 2 to 3 days and eventually dries on the 4th to 5th day. All patients are instructed to strictly apply or wear pressure garments for 2 to 3 weeks at all body parts addressed by liposuction. The pressure garment will help the skin redrape to underlying muscles thus obliterating the space left after aspirating the fat and also control the swelling. This will assist and enhance the healing process. Sutures are removed on the 7th or 9th day after surgery.
Patients are always advised that there will be swelling and some bruising after the surgery. This is temporary and may resolve after 1 to 2 weeks. The initial result may be noted after 2 to 4 weeks since much of the swelling had subsided. However, the final result will be appreciated by the 2nd to 6th month after surgery.
Individuals planning to undergo liposuction are prepared prior to scheduled surgery. Patients are advised to avoid the following for 2 to 3 weeks before surgery; smoking, alcoholic beverages, steroids, NSAIDs or pain medications like mefenamic acids and naproxen, herbal tea, herbal medications, Vitamin E, blood thinning medications like aspirin, heparin and coumadin, regulated drugs like valum, prohibited drugs like methamphetamines, diet pills and oral contraceptive pills. These medications and social activity may delay healing, prolong bleeding during surgery and may interact with the medications used during surgery. It is advised that patients discuss this further with their surgeon to minimize possible risks and complications.
Patients planning to have this procedure will be required to allot 8 to 14 days for the initial consultation, laboratory, medical clearance, surgery, follow up, suture removal and early recuperation. After this, the patient is safe to travel since all wounds are already dry and healed.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure. Another surgery may be necessary.++
The decision to have liposuction is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Possible risks and complications:
Rippling or loose skin
Skin or nerve damage
Excessive fluid loss or fluid accumulation
Thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound with the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty technique
Change in skin sensation
Skin discoloration or swelling
Pain, which may persist
Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs
Poor wound healing
Persistent swelling in the legs
Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
Possibility of revisional surgery
For more information on affordable cosmetic procedure, selecting qualified cosmetic plastic surgeon and to know all your options for the procedure you want to have you may visit www.philippinecosmetic.com/ or www.cosmeticplasticsurgeryphil.com .
Dr Rino Lorenzo is a Filipino Plastic Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Manila, Philippines. He is a Board Certified and fully trained Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, with 6 years of formal training in the field of Aesthetic, Reconstructive and Burn Plastic Surgery. Dr Rino Lorenzo is a Fellow of the Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.
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