The tissues which maintain the energy balance in our bodies are the fat cells. These cells are located both under the skin and in the abdomen as protective buffers. In addition to their function of protecting the organs, they also secrete certain hormones. Over-enlarged fat tissue leads to negative impacts regarding health and beauty. While enlarged abdominal fat tissue causes heart and lung disorders, the fat tissue under the skin contributes to a proportionate physical appearance.

While the fat cells increase in number until adolescence, they only get enlarged during adulthood. As a person puts on and loses weight, the fat cells enlarge and shrink. With the method of liposuction, the fat tissues under the skin are decreased in number by vacuuming and the fat cells that you cannot get rid of by diets or exercise are permanently removed.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure which permanently removes fat from the body by vacuuming. Although it cannot be considered as a substitute for dieting and exercising, liposuction can enable the removal of fat from the tough regions of the body which do not respond to classical methods of losing weight. Nowadays, liposuction is among those procedures most frequently performed by plastic surgeons.

I hear a number of words similar to liposuction such as lipolysis, lip shaping, and laser liposuction. How do these methods differ?

Lipolysis is performed by using certain mesotherapy medications. As it breaks a very limited number of fat cells, it can never be a substitute for liposuction. With the method of lip shaping, an amount of fat abstracted from excessive-fat areas by liposuction is transferred to low-fat areas by fat injection. In this way, fat is removed and the body is recontoured by filling. Lip shaping is among the methods which yield the best results.

In laser liposuction, fat cells are broken by laser power and they are vacuumed out by the classical method. The most important advantage of this method is that it ensures the tightening of loose skin in such patients.

Who are the best candidates for liposuction?

Those people of normal or 10% heavier than their normal weight and who have a firm and elastic skin structure but have too much fat accumulation in certain regions of their bodies are the best candidates for liposuction. Anybody in good physical health is eligible for this procedure. Your age is not a significant issue; nevertheless, the elasticity of the skin may decline with old age and old patients may not achieve the same results as the young patients who have tighter skin.

On which regions of the body is liposuction performed?

Liposuction can be performed on any region with fat accumulation. Liposuction helps to contour many regions of the body including abdomen, hips, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck.

What is the maximum amount of fat that can be removed with liposuction?

The amount of fat removed with liposuction should not exceed 10% of the patient’s weight. For example, a person weighing 60 kilos should have a maximum of 6 liters removed. However, it should be noted that liposuction is not a method of losing weight. For this reason, we prefer not to go beyond the safe range of 2 to 5 liters.

Should I maintain a diet or exercise before undergoing liposuction?

Before undergoing liposuction, it is important that you reach the most convenient weight that you can maintain. If you have lost weight by maintaining a heavy exercise schedule and a diet, and worry that you will put on weight again, there will a negative impact on the results of liposuction if you put on weight.

Should I be cautious about anything before the operation?

If you have been taking anticoagulants before the operation, you should inform us about it at the first meeting and discontinue those medications. In order to accelerate the recovery process, you should quit smoking before the operation.

Is liposuction an operation? Will I have it in the surgery room?

Like any other aesthetic surgery operation, liposuction is performed in the surgery room at a general hospital.

Will I need to be anesthetized for liposuction?

If fat will be removed from limited regions in the body, local anesthesia can be used to anesthetize the affected region; besides, intravenous sedation (injection of a tranquilizer into the vein) can be applied in combination with local anesthesia in order to make you more relaxed during the procedure.

If high amounts of fat will be removed from more than 2 regions, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Is liposuction a risky operation?

Although it is quite a simple procedure, liposuction bears certain risks like any other surgical operation. However, as long as the patient is eligible for the operation, the surgery room features the necessary equipment, and the physician has experience regarding the procedure, liposuction is a safe procedure.

How long does liposuction take?

The length of time necessary for liposuction varies significantly depending on the dimensions of the relevant region, the amount of fat abstracted, the type of anesthesia and the technique used. For instance, if fat is being removed from a small region, the procedure can be completed in half an hour. Otherwise, if liposuction is being performed from the whole abdomen, hips and back at the same time, it will take an average of 2 hours.

What kind of a procedure is performed during liposuction?

In liposuction, a small cannula (a hollow tube) is inserted in the body through a small incision of 1-2 mm made on the skin, and then the fat beneath the skin is abstracted through this cannula by vacuum power. The sucking power on the tip of the cannula may be supplied from a vacuum pump or a large injector. A medicated fluid is administered intravenously before the removal of fat. The mixture consisting of intravenous saline solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a medicine that causes the shrinking of blood vessels) enables the easier removal of the fat tissue, reduces bleeding and maintains the efficacy of anesthesia during and after the surgery. Fluid injection also contributes to less bruising after the surgery.