Lipoplasty – or liposuction surgery is a surgical technique that is aimed at giving a better contour to specific areas of the body that has unwanted fat deposits. These areas include; the neck, thighs, abdomen, hips, flank and arms. The incisions are placed in very discreet areas and are usually smaller than ¼ inch. The incisions normally cannot be seen when wearing a bathing suit. Typically the recovery time is one week and a compression garment is required to be worn post operatively for six weeks to ensure optimum results.
Who is a Candidate?
Candidates for liposuction can be both women and men, who have fat deposits in specific areas of the body that do not respond to exercise or diet regimes, and wish to improve contour in the affected areas. Common areas include, but are not limited to the chin, flanks, abdomen, hips, and thighs. For optimum results the patient should have adequate skin elasticity. This surgery is not aimed at removing cellulite. Although liposuction can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, you should be realistic about your expectations.
Preparation for Surgery
It is very important that Dr. Van Laeken is aware of the state of your general health prior to surgery. Please let her know of any allergies you have, medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins you are taking as well as the reasons for taking them. It is also important that you inform Dr. Van Laeken if you have a tendency for keloid scarring (thick, wide, or raised scars).
If you are a smoker we encourage you to quit prior to proceeding with liposuction. Smoking can interfere with the blood flow to the skin, and will inhibit the healing of the incisions.
Depending on your age as well as your general health pre-operative tests may be ordered, such as blood tests, or an ECG.
It is important that you avoid taking vitamin E, anti-inflammatories or aspirin products for 2 weeks prior to surgery. These products are anti coagulants, and could lead to hematoma formation and bleeding during the surgery.
Dr. Van Laeken operates at several different hospitals, but generally performs Liposuction surgeries at either the Cambie Surgery Centre or the False Creek Surgical Centre. These are both state of the art, fully accredited private surgical facilities.
The procedure is performed under a spinal or general anesthetic.
The incisions are usually smaller that ¼ inch. Dr. Van Laeken tries to make these incisions in very discreet areas. The incisions normally cannot be seen when wearing a bathing suit.
When you arrive home from the clinic, you will be in your surgical compression garment. For the remainder of the day it is a good idea to rest in bed and apply ice packs to the affected areas. Drink plenty of fluids to help prevent dehydration. You should get up and do short walks the day after surgery. Gentle massage in the areas of surgery is recommended to help avoid folds and rippling in the skin. Massage also helps to resolve the swelling. You may bath or shower as long as the water is only lukewarm as hot water can increase swelling.
Most patients who have sedentary jobs plan to take 1 week off work. If your job involves a great deal of physical activity Dr. Van Laeken can advise you as to how much time you should take off.
A surgical compression garment is the most important part of the recovery period, as it helps to prevent any fluid building up under the skin, as well as aids in supporting the skin. Dr. Van Laeken suggests that you wear the garment day and night for 6 weeks post surgery. Be sure to put on something that has elasticity and support while you wash your garment, the more you wear the garment the better your recovery will be.
There will be swelling for up to 6 months post operatively and bruising for approximately 6 weeks.
There are risks associated with any type of surgery. Although the incidence of complications is rare Dr. Van Laeken feels that all patients should be informed of the potential complications prior to proceeding with surgery.
This procedure is subject to the same complications as all other surgical procedures such as infection, bleeding, and failure to heal, which could require appropriate treatment including possible further surgery.
- Hypersensitivity / Numbness
Read definitions for potential complications.
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