Liposuction is a body sculpting procedure used to remove stubborn fat that is otherwise resistant to diet and exercise. It is not intended for weight loss. Patients seek this option for areas such as the abdomen, love handles, buttocks, saddlebags, lower back, upper arms, double chins, inner thighs and knees, and the male chest area.
Having liposuction surgery can considerably increase your self-image and confidence.
Dr Slabbert will take time to explore your prior and current state of health and your previous surgery history. The area of the desired procedure will be assessed. Dr Slabbert will then explain the concept of liposuction to you in an unhurried, caring way. Ideally, you will be at a consistent weight, in good physical health and a non-smoker. Pregnancy, liver conditions or the presence of a pacemaker are some examples of incidences where liposuction is contra-indicated.
Your reasons for wanting liposuction, and your expectations will be discussed. This will enable you to make an informed decision. More than one consultation may be necessary to determine your suitability.
Reasons for choosing liposuction include you having lost a significant amount of weight, causing loose, empty pockets of skin.
If you are intending to lose weight, or planning another pregnancy, liposuction should be delayed until after these events.
As with any plastic surgery procedure, Dr Slabbert will examine and assess you in depth, re-exploring your current state of health, such as whether you are a smoker or have any health concerns such as lupus, diabetes, heart problems or infection. It is vital that there is complete disclosure.
Measurements and photographs will be taken.
Dr Slabbert will discuss pre-op and recovery issues with you, such as which medications to avoid in the time leading up to your surgery, as well as post-op wound management.
Further photos may be taken and then Dr Slabbert will usually begin by marking the areas of treatment with a felt tip pen.
There are a number of liposuction techniques that Dr Slabbert uses, but they are all performed with a thin tube (cannula) that is connected to a vacuum in order to suction out the fat from the site of treatment.
Dr Slabbert’s most common technique is called tumescent liposuction, whereby he will inject a sterile solution into the site, which will make it easier to suck out the fat, bringing about less pain and blood loss.
Another method used by Dr Slabbert is ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL). This method uses soundwave energy to liquefy the fat to make it easier to suck out.
Finally, laser-assisted liposuction makes use of a laser to liquefy the fat before suctioning.
A temporary drainage tube will be inserted at the site to drain excess fluid which would otherwise worsen swelling and delay healing.
Dr Slabbert will finish off by closing up the incisions and covering the wounds with gauze and bandages.
The length of liposuction surgery relies on the type of procedure. Dr Slabbert will discuss this with you during your pre-op consultations.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be able to leave the hospital on the same day as your procedure. More extensive procedures typically require a general anaesthetic. In such cases, you should be prepared to stay in hospital for at least one night.
Dr Slabbert will wrap the treated area with elastic bandage, or a compression garment to support the area and conceal swelling during the first 4 weeks of recovery. His nursing team will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible and will give you advice on how best to shower and look after your wounds and dressings. The team will also inform you on which types of stitches were used and whether and when they would need to be removed. Pain medication, and possibly sleeping tablets, will be given. Drainage pipes are generally removed after 2 or 3 days.
You may be sore for several weeks, during which time you should limit physical activity. Do not over exert yourself as bleeding may occur which will exacerbate swelling. In some cases, sexual activity should be avoided during a certain period after your procedure. Dr Slabbert will advise you on how soon you will be able to start driving, or return to work.
Depending on the type of procedure, you will experience different degrees of scarring which will diminish in time, but will not disappear completely. Dr Slabbert and his team will advise you on the best possible scar management routine.
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