Liposuction, pros and cons

Liposuction or liposculpture is not a method for losing weight. It is a way to improve the contours of the body and to reduce local accumulation of fat that disfigures the body. With liposuction, tens of kilos of fat are not sucked away. It is a rather rigorous method to locally remove fat cells. These will not return. However, the treatment is not without risks.

Liposuction, who is it suitable for?

With liposuction, excess fat from under the skin is sucked away by a surgeon, and the fat cells are removed through a suction tube. The purpose of liposuction is to enhance the contours of body shapes and reduce accumulated fat in areas where fat disfigures the contours of the body. Liposuction is not a tactic to lose body weight. Liposuction has the best results for people who do not fluctuate too much in weight. Liposuction is not suitable for people who are overweight.

Liposuction, how does it work?

The skin over the area to be treated must be in good condition. The surgeon first carefully marks the areas where the fat will be suctioned out. By administering local anesthesia, the area is temporarily made insensitive to pain. An anesthetic fluid is then injected under the skin, which will numb a larger area and this form of anesthesia (tumescent anesthesia) also reduces the risk of bleeding. The fluid also breaks down fat cells more easily, making the fat looser and therefore easier to suck away. This anesthetic must take effect for some time before the treatment can begin. The surgeon will then make incisions in the skin and use a device that can suck out fat cells, go under the skin, and use a metal tube often called a tube to suck out the fat cells. The surgeon will move the tube in different directions to achieve the most even effect. It can seem rough and that can sometimes give a violent impression. However, fat is not easy to remove and so some force is indeed required. The patient may need to turn to treat multiple areas or to allow the doctor to access everything. For larger areas, full anesthesia is given. Treatments without the introduction of liquids involve dry liposuction, but nowadays this is used less and less.

After the operation

After the treatment, the skin is closed with plasters or sutures. The patient is given special clothing that applies pressure to the body to reduce the risk of bruising and other problems. Sometimes multiple treatments are needed to achieve the desired result. The doctor can inform you about this before the procedure. After surgery, the fluid used to numb the areas may still leak from the incisions into your body. Liposuction is not painless after treatment. You cannot drive yourself home after the treatment. The anesthesia will continue to work for a while, but after a few hours, when the anesthesia has worn off, your body may be very painful and feel sore. The pain can be significant, depending on the extent of the treatment. The body may feel stiff due to the bruising. These complaints usually disappear within a week and can be treated with paracetamol in consultation with the practitioner. Bruises and edema take a little longer to disappear. You must take one month into account for this.

What are the risks of liposuction

The risks that may occur are (after)bleeding, thrombosis, (fat) embolism, hypersensitivity to anesthesia, infection, difficult healing of wounds, edema formation, change in color of the skin, numbness of the skin, skin surface with irregularities. Occasionally we read that someone died after liposuction. This usually results in a serious infection or an embolism.

Reimbursement by insurers

Liposuction is not reimbursed by health insurers because it falls under cosmetic treatments.

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