Lipectomy means removal of fat by surgery. In lipolysis, the surgeon loosens and removes the fat from an area by using long or short metal tubular instruments connected to a Suction machine. The suction tubes are usually made of stainless steel. The tips are blunt. The tubes have 1 to 5 holes near the tip on one side or on different sides. The suction machines used for this purpose create very powerful negative pressures (l torr to 35 torrs at sea level). Lipolysis was started in France in late 70’s and since 1981 is in practice in the United States and other parts of the world.

Fat collections of the Hips, Thighs, Buttocks, Abdomen, Arms, Under the Chin, Upper Torso, etc. can be reduced by this procedure.

Can one’s weight be reduced by this operation? Who is a good candidate for Lipolysis? Lipolysis is neither a substitute for dieting nor a cure for obesity. Persons with reasonably normal weight and healthy elastic skin with extra localised fat in certain areas, get the best results from this procedure. (Healthy elastic skin has the capacity to shrink after the surgery). Even though Lipolysis can be done on patients upto 45 to 50 years of age, it is not normally done if the skin is loose in the particular area, One could have loose skin after losing a lot of weight or after the pregnancy or due to aging. In these patients in addition to lipolysis, some of the skin should also be removed, to get a satisfactory contour.

After the surgery, snug or tight dressings will be applied for 5 to 8 days to promote the shrinkage of the skin and to minimise the swelling. In most instances one is required to wear a support or a girdle for several weeks or months during the healing time. One could feel localised areas of hardness or firmness in the suctioned areas for 1 to 4 months after the surgery.
One may require oral pain medication for one to two days after the surgery. During the heating period, numbness or discomfort could be present for a varied period of time. After the surgery, there will be swelling in the areas of the surgery. Even though most of the swelling is gone in the first 2-3 weeks, it takes 2- 4 months for all the swelling to be gone. Discolouration could last upto several weeks after the surgery.

Eventhough the patient is required to stay only one day in the hospital, one should stay within the close reach of my office for about 7 days, for follow up care. Even after multiple area of lipolysis one should be able to be up and around in 1 to 2 days and back to most of the normal activities in 10 to 14 days.

Results depend upon the expectations of the patients and the amount of the fat that is suctioned from the given area. Usually, patients with good elastic skin and who come for recontouring a particular area are very happy. Older patients and patients with over weight could be unhappy. Perfection and symmetry are not possible in every patient. Also in some patients, all unwanted fat cannot be removed in certain areas in the first sitting. On these patients, the lipolysis may have to be repeated. But, a second lipolysis cannot be done until all the swelling is gone from that particular area (i. e about 4 months). On rare occasions, rippled or uneven skin or areas of loose skin could result from this surgery, which might require further surgeries to correct them.

PROCEDURE: It takes approximately two to four hours for this surgery and it requires general anesthesia. The usual hospital stay is 2 to 5 days depending upon the individual’s response to the surgery. The patient is restricted to sponge bath for about 10 days, and requested to wear snug Panty hose or Girdle for a few weeks to apply pressure over the abdomen. Social activities are limited for about 4 weeks following the surgery and strenuous activities including sports and games are to be limited for about 8 weeks following the surgery.

Syringe extraction and injection of autologous fat which began as an extension of liposuction surgery, allows harvesting and implantation of fat to be performed essentially without resultant scars. Usually fat is extracted from the abdomen, buttock or thigh and injected into another area of the body that needs more fullness, using a special injector. However because fat is absorbed by the body, more fat than is actually required must be injected initially causing temporary excessive fullness in the affected area. In some patients the injection may have to be repeated to compensate for the loss: Lipo augmentation is usually used to improve facial configuration .