Myth 1 – “Can liposuction give me a flat tummy?”
The abdominal contour (shape) is determined not only by the amount of fat under the skin (body or somatic) but also by the amount of fat deep to the muscles (visceral) as well as the muscle tone and strength. Liposuction addresses the somatic fat alone i.e. the fat between the skin and muscles. Regular diet and exercise will help you reduce the visceral fat and improve your muscle tone.
Thus a combination of liposuction followed by proper diet and regular exercise will help you achieve your goal.
Myth 2 – “Liposuction is very risky” or “Is liposuction safe?”
Liposuction surgery can be a safe procedure if certain safety guidelines are followed:
- You must select the correct doctor. Only a plastic surgeon with M.Ch (Plastic Surgery) or DNB (Plastic Surgery) is qualified to perform liposuctions in India. Unqualified doctors or doctors who have only done brief stints of training are recipes for disaster! At the same time, your plastic surgeon should be routinely performing liposuctions and body contouring procedures
- The procedure should be performed in a properly equipped hospital. You must avoid the temptation of undergoing liposuction in a smaller clinic just for the sake of saving some money.
- Detailed pre-operative investigations are mandatory and surgery is recommended only after you are declared fit for surgery and anaesthesia.
- You must stop smoking 2 weeks before surgery. Smoking not only increases your risks with anaesthesia, it also causes more bruising and adversely affects your healing process.
- Too much liposuction is dangerous! As per international guidelines, a maximum of 8% body weight should be liposuctioned at one time i.e. for an 80 kg person, 6.5 litres of liposuction is the safe limit. Exceeding this limit is associated with greater number of complications and risks.
In my experience if I limit the liposuction to a single zone (eg. Abdomen + lower back or thighs or upper back + arms etc) then I rarely ever exceed this important threshold.
- You must inform your plastic surgeon about any existing medical ailment eg. Diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems, asthma etc. Most medical problems will not prevent you from undergoing liposuction as long as these conditions are under control. Similarly, your treating physician will be consulted to ensure that you are cleared to undergo liposuction.
- Do not insist on going home the same day after liposuction. It is recommended that you should be closely monitored after a large volume liposuction. However, if the extent of liposuction is small, then your doctor may give you the option to go home the same day (day care surgery).
Liposuction is a surgical procedure and therefore associated with potential problems as with any other surgical procedure and anaesthesia. Adhering to the above mentioned guidelines will ensure that unnecessary risks are avoided and makes the procedure as safe as any other surgery.
Myth 3 – “Is liposuction safe for me, as I suffer from diabetes / hypertension?”
Most medical ailments do not prevent you from considering liposuction. It is important that you realise that your plastic surgeon and anaesthetist are informed about your medical condition and the associated treatment. It is mandatory that your medical ailment is well controlled and your primary treating physician gives you the clearance for undergoing liposuction.