Liposuction, which was developed in 1979, is a fairly recent technique of easy execution. It consists in sucking fat deposits that don’t go away with diets and exercises, causing physical and psychological problems. It is not a cure for obesity. It is preferably indicated for patients who have close to normal body weight, who have skin presenting good elasticity and subcutaneous cellular tissue presenting good consistency. In such cases liposuction has gratifying results. It can be used isolated or combined with other more complex techniques, such as face lifting and abdominoplasty. The body parts which are more indicated for liposuction are: hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, arms, knees, calves, back, neck, and below the chin.

Preoperative Preparation

The only recommendations for this period are suspension of medications based on acetylsalicylic acid (i.e.: aspirin), for the 10 days that precede the surgery, and use of antiseptic soap three days prior to the surgery.

Surgical Procedure

The anesthesia that is used in liposuction can be local, epidural, or general, depending on the extension of the area to be sucked. Through smaller than one cm. incisions the surgeons inserts a cannula that is linked to a special device, having a high vacuum pressure. Underneath the skin, the surgeon separates the quantity of fat to be removed, and then sucks it, being always careful to leave a small portion of fat, which the body needs. Next, small sutures close the incisions, leaving minute scars, in general well hidden. The surgery lasts an average of 45 minutes to two hours.

Postoperative Care

The patient is hospitalized for a maximum of 24 hours. For 30 days, the patient must wear a special girdle, so that compression is maintained and swelling and hematomas are reduced. For some days there can be pain and a feeling of numbness or discomfort, all this gradually disappear. An ordinary painkiller can eliminate pain. For 5 days, moderate rest is recommended, during which the patient should alternate periods of being in seating and lying positions. The hematomas normally disappear until the third week and the swelling, from the sixth to the eighth week. Exposure to the sun is allowed after the first month, always making it gradually and wearing protection, such as sunblock lotion. After 30 days the practice of moderate exercise is allowed too.

Superficial Liposuction

We started this technique, and it differs from ordinary liposuction. The cannulas are inserted in the superficial fat layer, underneath the skin, producing better results in the case of cellulite, for example. Superficial liposuction provides a better body contour, because the skin adapts in a better way.