What is liposuction?

“Liposuction” is the combination of the words “lipo” and “suction”. It is the procedure performed to remove regional fat deposits from the body. Liposuction is the second most common aesthetic surgery in men and women in the world (ISAPS Global Survey 2020).

Who are suitable candidates for liposuction?

The most suitable candidates for liposuction are people who have not been able to get rid of excess fat accumulated in some body parts despite diet/exercise/sports for a long time. In other words, people who have persistent regional fat deposits despite long-term efforts and who are at or close to their ideal weight are the most suitable candidates.


In which areas can liposuction be applied?

Places where liposuction can be performed are waist, abdomen (See Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Section), outer parts of the thigh, inner knees, pubis region (See Genital Aesthetics Section), male breast area (See Gynecomastia (Male Breast Enlargement) Section), hips, back, anterior thigh parts, the upper part of the arms and the part of the breast that extends to the armpit in women. Especially the waist area, lower abdomen, hips, male breast area (gynecomastia), outer thighs and inner knees are areas that are resistant to regular exercise and diet, and they benefit greatly from liposuction.


How is liposuction done?

In the liposuction procedure, small incisions in millimeter sizes are made in the places that can usually be hidden in accordance with the planned area. Cannulas of millimeter thickness (1.5-6 mm) are advanced through these incisions and these cannulas are delivered to the area where liposuction will be performed. First of all, appropriate solutions are given to these areas. The purpose of these solutions is to facilitate the absorption of fats and increase patient comfort. With the help of cannulas and appropriate maneuvers, the fat tissues are broken down and the destroyed fat tissues are removed from the body by suction with a special vacuum system. With this process, the area where the thickness of the fat tissue is reduced becomes thinner and more aesthetic.


Is general anesthesia or local anesthesia preferred for liposuction? How long does this process take?

The size of the area to be treated is taken into account for the anesthesia. General anesthesia is generally preferred in order to reduce the amount of local anesthetic to be used and increase patient comfort. However, if the area is small (for example inside the knee), local anesthesia may also be preferred. It takes between 1-2 hours on average, depending on the regions to be done.


What is the post-operative period after liposuction surgery?

At the end of the operation, the patient is dressed with silicone-supported compression foams and a special medical corset over them. The purpose of the use of this dressing is to reduce pain and edema and to re-adapt the skin of the patient whose subcutaneous fat tissue is reduced. The patient is encouraged to walk after eating on the day of the operation. Depending on the situation, they are discharged on the same day or the next day. Pain is expected, responds to painkillers, and decreases day by day. Edema is maximum on the 3rd day, starts to decrease after the 3rd day, almost completely disappears at the end of the 6th week. In the first 2 days after the surgery, solution or liquids mixed with blood may come from the holes where liposuction is performed. You can take a shower 3 days after the operation. While taking a shower, the foams and the corset are removed. During shower time you are allowed to wash and dry the corset. In order not to lose its form, it is recommended not to touch water to the foams. After the shower, the foams should be placed in the same way, the washed and dried corset should be placed on the foams with the same tension. For patients who think that they cannot do this, I recommend taking a shower after the 1st week control when the foams will be removed. Patients can usually return to their daily activities at the end of the 1st week, to their daily routine at the end of the 3rd week and can exercise at the end of 4-6 weeks. The use of corsets for 4-6 weeks increases the comfort of this process and accelerates the healing. There may be bruising, color changes (purple-green-yellow), stiffness, tingling or numbness in the operation areas. These conditions usually disappear within 3 weeks. Sutures do not need to be removed since the liposuction holes will be closed with absorbable ones. I do not use drains in liposuction surgeries. While the result can be seen to a great extent after approximately 6 weeks, it should be noted that 3-6 months should be waited for the final result.


Who are the unsuitable candidates for liposuction?

It is useful to remind again that liposuction is ideal for the treatment of stubborn regional fat excesses. This surgery is not a weight loss surgery, or this surgery does not treat obesity. Liposuction does not treat cellulites, stretch marks (strias) and butt sagging. On the contrary, it can increase these deformities. For liposuction, the skin quality should be good and there should be no excess skin. Excess skin cannot be treated by liposuction alone. In cases with significant excess skin, it is necessary to remove the excess skin.


With which surgeries can liposuction surgery be combined?

One of the procedures that can be combined with liposuction surgery is fat injection (lipofilling) applications. If the fats are taken under sterile conditions and their vitality is preserved, they can be injected into other parts of the body. The most applied area of ​​fat injection is the face area. Replacing the volume lost with aging or increasing the volume of areas that have less volume than it should be genetically are the most important indications. The cheekbones, under the eyes, nasolabial grooves (deep grooves descending from both sides of the nose to the corners of the lips), lips, temple area, chin area, deepened wrinkles can be given as examples of areas on the face. With fat injection, it is aimed to increase the quality of the skin and provide skin rejuvenation, as well as to provide volume to the desired areas on the face.

Fat injection is also used in the treatment of deep wrinkles on the neck and rejuvenation of the neck skin, rejuvenation of the hands, correction of bad and depressed healed scars, burns, buttock augmentation, breast augmentation in combination with silicone implants, correction of breast asymmetries, breast reconstruction after breast cancer, post-radiotherapy dermatitis and shaping the legs.


Another procedure that can be combined with liposuction is stem cell (SVF) therapy. Tissues used in stem cell therapy are also obtained from your own fat tissue. Stem cells obtained from adipose tissue; produce important proteins such as collagen/elastin, thicken the dermis, reduce melanogenic activity, increase blood flow to the existing area and nutrition of that area. Thanks to the repair, regeneration, and rejuvenation capacities of these cells; they are used in skin rejuvenation, hair loss treatment, treatment of under-eye grooves, poor wound healing, bad scars, acne scars, hyperpigmentation treatment, lip & genital mucosa dryness (See Stem Cell (SVF) Therapy Section).


Liposuction can also be combined with tummy tuck surgery. Regional liposuction to the upper abdomen, waist and hip region increases the aesthetic results of tummy tuck surgery (See Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Section).


Will there be any scars in the liposuction procedure?

Liposuction is also done with an incision, so there will be a scar. However, unlike most other aesthetic surgeries, these incisions are millimeter in size and are usually hidden in body folds. In addition, due to the nature of wound healing, the prominence of these scars will decrease significantly within 6 months – 1 year.


What should be considered after liposuction?

The use of corsets as described after liposuction surgery is very important for the final result. Not smoking in the postoperative period will also increase the quality of the result. In case of weight gain, although the previously liposuctioned area will not save fat as before, this fact does not mean that no fat will be accumulated in that area. Therefore, in order to preserve the result, healthy nutrition and regular exercise are very important after the surgery.


What are the complications that can be seen after liposuction?

Like any surgery, liposuction has its own complications and risks. The most common problem encountered is contour deformities, which can also be called as surface irregularities. Some areas are more prone to surface irregularities after surgery. Another issue is the amount of fat to be removed. Complication rates increase in massive liposuction, that is, when high volumes of fat are removed. As a personal approach, I do not prefer performing high volume liposuction in the same session as it increases the risk of complications. Communication between the patient and the doctor is very important in this type of surgery. It is very important for the patient to talk to the doctor about possible complications and risks, and to decide together the procedure, the area, and the amount.


Liposuction is an ideal surgery for people who have not been able to get rid of their “stubborn” fat despite regular diet and exercise for a long time. Although it has its own complications, these risks are minimized with the right planning and the right patient-doctor communication. Millimetric incisions and the pain that will exist in the first days after the surgery will be very small and affordable costs for the loss of fat deposits which cannot be lost for years. It should not be forgotten that the results of liposuction, which is the 2nd most frequently performed aesthetic surgery in women and men in the world, will not be seen immediately after the surgery, and the final result should be waited for at least 3 months. Best regards.