Cellulite and Liposuction

Many women have a preconceived notion that liposuction gets rid of cellulite, but what they don't know is that liposuction in itself is a risky surgical procedure which can actually aggravate the symptoms of cellulite. If you are looking for solutions to your cellulite problem, do not make the mistake of turning to liposuction without doing your research first. Determine the risks and potential side effects that can result from undergoing liposuction before you turn down that path.

 

Liposuction Defined

Liposuction, also known as liposculpture suction, lipectomy or lipoplasty, is a type of cosmetic surgery that uses a suction pump to remove body fat. This cosmetic procedure draws out fat deposits which reside under deep skin layers. Many patients undergo liposuction in an attempt to remove the fatty deposits found under their buttocks, abdomen, and thighs. The total volume of fat that can be removed during one session differs from patient to patient.

There are numerous risk factors involved in sucking large deposits of fat directly out of your body. For example, dimples or lumps can develop in the skin that resemble cellulite if the surgeon removes too much fatty tissue.

Cellulite and Liposuction

What exactly is cellulite? Put simply, cellulite is a deposit of fatty tissue that's located just under the skin. This type of fat isn't affected by exercise or diet, so you cannot get rid of it easily. In fact, cellulite was long considered to be a normal symptom of aging in women and, as a result, the condition wasn't historically subject to clinical research. It's only a recent phenomenon that we are now seeing more clinical studies that address the development and treatment of cellulite.

Many people assume that liposuction can successfully remove cellulite. Sadly, doctors have found evidence that liposuction can actually be harmful for their patients. They also discovered that liposuction actually increases the visible presence of cellulite. Liposuction isn't effective in eliminating cellulite because it treats layers of fat that are deep within the skin, a region of the body where cellulite is not present. When these fat deposits are removed from deeper regions of the body, the outer layers of the patient's skin violently stretch to accommodate the body's new shape. During this process, the appearance of cellulite is magnified.

Mesotherapy is a less-destructive treatment for cellulite because it only targets and removes deposits of superficial fat. In addition to worsening the appearance of cellulite, there are many other dangers associated with liposuction surgery. Here, we have listed the top ten risks that can are associated with liposuction.

Risks regarding liposuction surgery depend on the quantity of fat that will be removed, how many surgical sessions the patient will need to undergo, and the patient's medical history. Liposuction risks can vary from mild to severe, and can even become life-threatening. Here are the minor dangers associated with liposuction

1. Excess Skin

As previously mentioned, there are limits on how much fat can safely be removed from the body. Even when safety measures are followed, removing fat in large volumes can result in loose skin. This excess skin will then have to be eliminated post-surgery with another expensive surgery. Even if additional surgery isn't needed, this loose skin will create more visible cellulite.

2. Contour Irregularities

During the liposuction process, a cannula (hollow tube) and an aspirator (suction device) are used to remove fat from the body. The process of removing fat can cause the skin to have irregular-looking contours, which will result in unusual bumps and lumps on your skin for some time following liposuction. It has also been reported that up to 20% of patients that undergo liposuction surgery will go through another surgery in order to repair the irregularities of the first surgery! This disfigurement can prove to be very demoralizing for patients who expect a more appealing physique following the surgery.

3. Liposuction Scars

Scarring is another risk of liposuction, though only minor. Scarring is permanent, but it is usually hidden by the creases of the skin, inside pubic hair, or in the belly button. The length of these scars can range from four to ten millimeters, which are the size of liposuction incisions. Products which are designed to deal with scar tissue can help to mask these scars and minimize their visibility.

4. Swelling Following Liposuction

Swelling following liposuction may last for several weeks or even several months. As a result, patients may experience tingling and numbness because of the pressure this puts on nerves. Some patients may even experience an accumulation of fluids within the body, which will need to be drained with a needle. To prevent fluid buildup and minimize swelling, we advise patients to wear outfits that compress the body.

5. Infection Following Liposuction

Infections that develop following liposuction can be anywhere from mild to severe. A dose of antibiotics may be prescribed by physicians following surgery to prevent infection. An oral antibiotic given early is normally successful in treating infections. Fevers above 101° F, vomiting, increasing tenderness, redness, and visible red streaks on the skin all signify infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention from a local physician .

These are the five minor risks that can result from liposuction. Now, let's see the five major dangers that can result from liposuction.

6. Burns

Liposuction procedures come in several types. Each procedure involves a particular risk factor. When UAL, or Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction, takes place, the ultrasound probe often becomes very hot; this can burn the patient's skin. Doctors attempt to avoid the possibility of burns by avoid operating at close proximity to the surface of the skin or leaving the probe inside the skin for long periods of time.

7. Organ Damage

During liposuction, punctures to the internal organs, like the intestines, may occur. These punctures are normally accidental and, as a result, go unnoticed by surgeon and patient alike until well after the surgery, when internal bleeding begins. As a result of direct damage to the organ, infection can set in, which will require further surgery to repair the problem. In patients that have hernias, there is more risk involved for damage to the intestines.

8. Pulmonary Embolism

Another major risk following liposuction is what's known as a pulmonary embolism. This condition occurs when tiny fat particles dislodge during surgery and work their way through the body, eventually ending up in the lungs. This can result in patients experiencing trouble breathing and acute shortness of breath. Should you develop these symptoms, immediately call 911 to obtain emergency treatment. The danger from pulmonary embolisms is the highest in the three days following surgery.

9. Fluid Imbalance

Tumescent liposuction, a very specific type of liposuction, requires the injection of large quantities of fluid into the patient's body during surgery. As a result, fluid imbalance may occur and should be treated by a physician. If this does occur and is left untreated, fluid can build up in the lungs, and the patient's heart and kidneys may malfunction.

10. Lidocaine Overdose

The doctor may inject high doses of lidocaine, a local anesthetic, during liposuction. However, lidocaine toxicity can occur if the volume administered is more than your body can tolerate. Patients who overdose on lidocaine have reported experiencing ringing in their ears, lightheadedness, slurred speech, drowsiness, metallic tastes in their mouths, incessant shivering, muscle spasms, numbness in the lips and tongue, sudden convulsions, and, finally, cardiac arrest.

It's reassuring to know that not all liposuction surgeries run the risk of a lidocaine overdose. Speak to your doctor regarding the risks of lidocaine toxicity involved in any surgeries you may undergo.

Liposuction Deaths

The rate at which patients die from liposuction is 3 in every 100,000 procedures performed, according to the medical literature. The risk of death increases when multiple surgeries are performed in conjunction.

To lessen the risks that can occur during liposuction, patients should be reasonably healthy and only use professionals that are highly trained in performing liposuction. Risk of complication increases when large amounts of fatty tissue are extracted, general anesthesia is used, and when the multiple procedures are performed at the same time.

Liposuction Isn't For Cellulite

Generally speaking, liposuction isn't the answer for banishing cellulite from your body. As previously discussed, liposuction works in removing deeper fat layers in the skin; liposuction does not remove the superficial fat that cellulite is composed of. The effects following liposuction, such as loose skin, further increase cellulite's appearance. This is why many women who are dealing with cellulite problems simply decide to use a combined regimen of an anti-cellulite cream along with an anti-cellulite exercise program for best results. However, if you are not concerned with the appearance of cellulite and just want to deal with the fat that won't go away with diet or exercise, consult with your doctor to see if liposuction may be right for you. 

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