Lipoconturing: Is liposuction safe? What to expect, risks and side effects | Health

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that can be safely and effectively carried out by an experienced surgeon where contour and proportion are improved when excess fat deposits are removed from specific areas of the body, which is the primary objective of liposuction. Your appearance is vital to who you are as they say only 5% of our communication is verbal hence, the way we present ourselves is often the first window to our personality for the external world.

Lipoconturing: Is liposuction safe? What to expect, risks and side effects of this cosmetic procedure (Shutterstock)

Today, more than ever before, we look at ourselves as well as others, all thanks to social media and the flooding of images blurring the distinction between private and public and in the pursuit of self-confidence and well-being, modern medicine has granted us remarkable tools to get perfectly sculpted bodies and redefine our contours. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Anand K, Chief Consultant- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at SPARSH Hospital in Bangalore, insisted that despite its wide application, patients should be mindful of the advantages and downsides hence, he highlighted –

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  • Expectations: Patients can typically expect a noticeable improvement in body shape and contour after liposuction. However, it’s essential to have realistic expectations, and an understanding that the procedure is not a substitute for weight loss or a solution for cellulite.
  • Risks: Like any surgical procedure, liposuction carries inherent risks. These may include infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. Additionally, uneven fat removal or changes in skin sensation are possible, though these issues are often temporary.
  • Side Effects: Common side effects post-liposuction may include swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which typically subside over time. Following post-operative care instructions is crucial to minimize these effects and promote a smooth recovery.

He added, “It’s imperative for individuals considering liposuction to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon, discussing their medical history and expectations. Open communication and a thorough understanding of the procedure contribute to a positive outcome. As with any surgery, individual responses can vary, so choosing a qualified professional and following pre- and post-operative guidelines are key to a successful liposuction experience.”

Delving into the world of liposuction, a transformative procedure that has empowered individuals to embrace their bodies with renewed vigor, Dr Sharmistha Bhattacharyya, MBBS, MS, MCh (AIIMS, New Delhi) and Consultant Plastic Surgeon in Delhi NCR, shared, “Liposuction, often termed as “lipo,” is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to remove excess fat deposits and sculpt specific areas of the body. Although sometimes marketed falsely or associated with concussion as a weight loss procedure, liposuction is a body contouring procedure, and not in any way of form a replacement for traditional weight loss procedures, e.g. bariatric procedures. It is a precision tool for refining contours.”

Dr Sharmistha Bhattacharyya explained, “Liposuction is best suited for individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle but struggle with localized fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. Patients can expect a personalized consultation with the doctor, where goals, expectations, and the overall process can be discussed thoroughly. In recent times, many misconceptions and mishappenings have led to the development of false notions and fear regarding this procedure. As with any surgical procedure, safety takes the centre stage. It is of paramount concern for both patients and surgeons.”

Emphasising that advancements in technology and rigorous safety protocols have made liposuction a safe and effective option for body contouring, she said, “While liposuction is generally safe, it’s essential to acknowledge potential risks. Potential risks include infection, bleeding, and contour irregularities, which can be minimised through meticulous surgical technique and post-operative care.”

Underscoring the importance of choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon and having a detailed discussion between the patient and the doctor regarding the procedure, the risk involved and the expectation matching between patient and doctor, Dr Sharmistha Bhattacharyya said, “An effective communication and deep understanding, along with a qualified doctor, is the key to a successful procedure. In general, liposuction is regarded as a safe surgery when carried out by a qualified and skilled surgeon. However, it has possible negative effects, just like any surgical procedure. It’s crucial to remember that each individual may experience these side effects differently in terms of their frequency and severity. Temporary side effects such as bruising, swelling, and numbness are common after liposuction. Majority of these typically subside over a few weeks.”

She revealed, “The recovery period for liposuction can vary depending on the extent of the procedure, the specific areas treated, and individual factors, such as overall health and adherence to post-operative care instructions. Swelling and bruising, which are natural responses to trauma, subsides within the first couple of weeks. The pain and discomfort as expected are usually manageable with prescribed pain medication. Patients are typically required to wear compression garments to help control swelling and support the healing process. Strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided during the initial days. While the majority of swelling resolves within the first few weeks, the final results of liposuction may take several months to become fully apparent. Beyond six months, the results of liposuction are generally stable, and patients can enjoy the full benefits of the procedure. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise is crucial for preserving the results of liposuction. Individual experiences may vary, and the above timeline serves as a general guideline for the recovery process after liposuction. It is important for patients to closely follow their surgeon’s post-operative care instructions, attend scheduled follow-up appointments, and communicate any unusual symptoms or concerns during the recovery period.”

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