Liposuction, also known as Liposculpture and Lipoplasty is body-contouring procedure in which unwanted fat is surgically removed from the body. This is done by suctioning the fat out of the body by various types of tubes (known as Liposuction Cannula).
What exactly is Liposuction?
Although it is most widely known as a cosmetic procedure, Liposuction is also used to treat other medical conditions such as:
- Pseudogynecomastia/Gynecomastia (Abnormal enlargement of the male breasts)
- Axillary Hyperhidrosis (Excessive sweating in the armpit area)
- Lipomas (Benign fatty tumors)
- Lipodystrophy (Problems with metabolism of fat in the body)
Liposuction is a surgical procedure and therefore does carry some risks and complications due to the nature of the procedure and from anesthesia. This procedure has evolved over the past few decades to become safer and more effective. The risks are minimal and the surgeons at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic are more than capable of performing liposuction, safely and effectively.
A Brief History of Liposuction:
Liposuction was officially invented in 1974 by Doctors Giorgio and Arpad Fischer, two Italian-American surgeons who worked in Italy at the time. However, this new procedure was built upon the methods of body-contouring, involving fat-removal, which first came about in the 1920’s through the work of French surgeon, Charles Dujarier. In 1926, Dujarier originally attempted to help reconstruct and contour the leg of a model who was left disfigured after having suffered a terrible case of gangrene. This particular surgery started the ball rolling towards the advancements in surgery which would eventually lead to the invention of liposuction.
Over the decades, surgeons would continue to experiment with various types of body-contouring techniques, including some primitive curettage techniques, which unfortunately lead to some irregular results and to excessive bleeding and even morbidity. Then, in 1982 a French surgeon, Dr Yves-Gerard Illouz, presented his method, The "Illouz Method" which set the way for a lot of the liposuction techniques employed in clinics today. This technique included infusing fluid into the fat tissue using a cannula, followed by a suction-assisted lipolysis and high vacuum suction. This technique gained popularity quickly as it was effective and led to very few cases of morbidity. In 1985, "tumescent technique", still one of the most popular methods used today, was introduced by Klein and Lillis.
This is the first method which allows Liposuction to be performed without the need for general anaesthesia. Liposuction can be performed in an office setting using Intravenous sedation. Although generally effective and safe, there were still toxicity concerns with the high levels of medications needing to be injected. This gave rise to variations containing lower volumes of these medications to make this method a lot safer today.
It was in the 1990’s that ultrasound-assisted liposuction was introduced. Although effective, there were certain concerns about the safety and risk of complications involved.
The past two decades have seen numerous variations emerge such as laser tipped probes, power-assisted Liposuction, water-assisted liposuction as well as Vaser Liposuction and Ultrasound Liposuction. Now there are many different types of liposuction which cater to a wider range of patient needs and medical conditions to ensure the most effective and safest measures. At Toronto Cosmetic Clinic we house SmartLipo™, which is one of the least invasive forms of laser assisted liposuction.
Liposuction Procedure Video
Not everybody is the best candidate for liposuction. There are factors to take into consideration, such as your body type, as they will affect the possible results of the procedure as well as safety.
The best candidate:
- Should have firmer and more, elastic skin. As older patients tend to have less elasticity in their skin, they should be aware that their results may vary to that of a younger person
- Should not be extremely overweight, of average or only slightly above-average weight
- Is in overall good health as those with certain existing health conditions may experience exacerbated symptoms due to the strain of this surgery
- Has specific concentrated pockets of fat that have not responded well with diet and exercise
Although liposuction is a fat removal procedure, it is not intended to treat obesity and it is not intended to take the place of a healthy diet and exercise regime. It is important to keep this lifestyle in order to maintain liposuction results. Common treated areas by liposuction usually include the abdomen, arms, buttocks as well as the chest and back and sometimes can form part of facial reconstruction.
A General Overview of the Liposuction Procedure:
Consultation: Your surgeon will assess you as an individual, taking into account your needs and medical history and then extensively discuss your options and inform you on everything you need to know before your procedure.
Marking: While you are standing, your surgeon will make markings on your body to demonstrate the desired targeted areas. These markings will be used as guidelines throughout the procedure.
Anesthesia: You will either be asleep under general anesthesia or the targeted area only will be numbed with local anesthesia.
Incision: Several incisions are made to make way for the cannula. These are made to be as inconspicuous as possible.
Pre-suction Assistance: This depends on the method used. There are several methods to help break down the fat cells before removed. This can be done using ultrasound, laser, water beams and chemicals. In some methods, there isn’t any assistance and fat is simply suctioned out. At Toronto Cosmetic Clinic, a very fine Nd:YAG laser fiber (which is part of the SmartLipo workstation) is inserted into the area to help soften the fat.
Liposuction: At Toronto Cosmetic Clinic, a wet form (tumescent liposuction) method is used. A fluid comprised of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels) is used for fluid injection. Lidocaine anesthetizes the treated area for the duration of the procedure and for some time following, while the other components of the fluid facilitate the removal of fat, reduce the amount of blood loss, and minimize bruising.
Next, a cannula is inserted into the skin, to the layer of fat and gentle, back and forth movements are made to manipulate the fat out of the body, into the cannula and out of the body. At Toronto Cosmetic Clinic only small cannulas are used. This ensures a more even, esthetically pleasing result. The cannula is attached to a suction machine, which permanently removes unwanted subcutaneous fat from the area.
Post-Op Care: The incisions made during the procedure are either sewn closed or left open to drain. The patient will have to wear a compression garment every day for several weeks after the procedure. This will help to reduce the swelling and also help the body to re-adjust to the new contour created.
Pros and cons of liposuction
- Targeted weight loss: While diet and exercise may help you lose weight in general there are times when you lose weight in every area of the body except where you really want to. Liposuction helps to contour your body the way you prefer it to be. You can remove fat from one area and with some techniques (such as laser –assisted Lipo) the fat removed can even be cleaned and re-inserted into the body in the desired areas (fat transfer).
- Fat-cells permanently removed: Losing weight the traditional way simply shrinks existing fat cells. Since they are still there, they can easily be enlarged again. Liposuction removes the fat cells completely making it increasingly difficult for fat to be re-gained in the areas treated.
- Increased health: As excess weight can cause a multitude of health risks, liposuction reduces these risks.
- Initial Discomfort: Like the saying goes, it gets worse before it gets better. You will have to endure post-op discomforts before you can fully enjoy the results of liposuction. There will be bruising, pain, restriction and swelling after surgery.
- Results not always immediately available: Even though fat is removed in one treatment, the area of the body treated will need time to re-adjust and contour itself. Sometimes, it can take several weeks to months to see noticeable results….but boy, are they worth it!
- Risks: Although minimal, since it is a surgical procedure there is always a risk of a complication occurring. Your surgeon will be sure to assess your health before, to evaluate and discuss your specific risks.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when making the decision to undergo liposuction. If you still have more inquiries and would like to book a consultation, don’t hesitate to call us on 416-221-5554.