What Does a Liposuction Surgery Look Like? We're Bringing You a Closer Look Directly From the Operation Room.
Everything you must know about liposuction. Is the result permanent? How much does it hurt? Is it worth it at all?
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Warning: This article contains pictures from the surgery itself, which some people could find upsetting or disturbing.
Kristina underwent liposuction in February. She tried all kinds of things already, like adjusting her diet, exercise, but shaping the figure of her dreams on her own has not been successful. So she's entrusted herself to a doctor, like hundreds of other women and men.
Liposuction is becoming more and more popular, so we wanted to see if it really works. Read about how the procedure takes place, how much it costs and the permanence of the results.
We have also managed to get directly into the operating room at the private Chirkoz Medical Clinic in Bratislava. We've talked to the nurses, the anesthesiologist and the doctor himself. During the procedure, they were real time explaining to us what exactly is happening, how liposuction works, and we finally know what circumstances can cause a person to gain weight afterwards.
- How liposuction works.
- Whether the procedure is painful and what effects you can expect.
- How does a woman who underwent lipo a few months ago evaluate the procedure.
- How much does liposuction cost and who is allowed to go through with it.
- Whether obesity can be solved by liposuction.
- Whether you can gain weight again (yo-yo effect).
The body fat disappeared before our very eyes
Alena is lying on the operating table. She agreed in advance that we could be present in the room, but due to anesthesia and sedation, she didn't even notice our presence. The doctor makes marks on her body indicating how he's going to shape it.
They are all in a good mood this morning. The nurse turns the radio on, the doctor jokes around and prepares for the procedure and the anesthesiologist manages to keep up with the conversation. Liposuction is a surgical procedure, though it is certainly not necessary to picture it as a scene from Dr. House: even according to doctor Marek Štefánik, it is basically a routine procedure.
When using a "suction pump" (later we find out that it is a special cannula) he's using his hands to suck the fat out with precise movements. It flows through the hose from the body into the collection container and the fat roll on the client's back flattens out over time. In about two hours you can see a real difference in the body shape, but it's not the final result yet.
After the operation, the treated areas will swell up and heal for a few days. She'll have to wear tight-fitting clothes, rest at home and avoid straining herself. The final result will be visible in a few months, but once you see the fat removed, it is clear that there simply has to be less of it. Cool. So, at a first glance, liposuction seems to "work". How exactly, though?
"The advantage of the Body-jet device over other types of liposuction is that the lavage solution, which is used to release the adipose tissue, does not stay in the body for extended period of time and is not toxic to the body for too long. In addition, with the help of a water jet, we can safely remove a larger amount of adipose tissue, so it's possible to shape the target area in a better way, " said Dr. Štefánik, whom we have shadowed before and during the procedure.
A two-way cannula is used during the procedure: a solution is injected into the body, which releases the adipose tissue. The fat and remaining fluid are sucked out through the cannula at the same time. "Since I don't need to use a lot of flushing fluid, I can work with the cannula for longer and collect the adipose tissue more efficiently, without compromising the safety of the patient."
Štefánik is a perfectionist and spends more than an hour working on the back and the butt alone. He repeatedly goes over these areas. If we didn't see the body, we could easily think that he was a craftsman, perhaps a blacksmith or a sculptor. Similarly, the fat yields to his hands: he gently inserts the cannula through the incisions he has made at strategic points, breaking and sucking out the fat at the same time by performing these sliding movements under the skin.
The body of your dreams
According to Štefánik, liposuction or other aesthetic procedures are not affected by stigma. "In my opinion, people taking more care of their bodies today than ever before, comes to the forefront. It's not just the domain of rich people, it's an affordable procedure, financially comparable to the amounts a person would spend on cigarettes, alcohol, fitness or other things in the long run."
As the biggest advantage, he considers the possibility to shape such parts of the body, which you'll find very difficult to form during training, or only over a very long period of time, depending on genetics, diet and exercise.
Not only the abdomen, but also fat on the back, hips, inner thighs, even on the knees, hands or "love handles" on the waist, which we can now hide in high-waisted clothing thanks to the current fashion trends. Štefánik is a fan of the female body and says that women are beautiful.
He does not perceive liposuction as something fake, but as a means to achieve a particular idea of each client (not only women, also men). "We don't necessarily need to shape the body into a perfect slenderness, it's more about the proportionality. You can keep a nice big booty, beautiful breasts or fullness in your face without having to carry around a big belly," he explained to us. In particular, women tend to lose weight from these areas first, and they do not have as much control over body shaping.
Was it worth it?
"I am very satisfied with the result," another client of the Chirkoz Medical clinic, Kristina, told us. Although young and active, she was not entirely happy with what she looked like. When she told her boyfriend that she was getting liposuction, he just laughed at her new idea. But now, after seeing the results, he had to admit that it was worth it.
She had the lipo done in February, but it was preceded by months of study of various procedures and preparatory consultations. Bottom line is that you need a green light from the internist. You must be in such state of health that the doctor can safely perform the operation on you.
If you are really thinking about liposuction, Kristina advises you to do it before the arrival of the hot summer months. After the procedure, she had to wear tight clothes, which she could only take off for showering. "I've been wearing it for a few weeks, and I'm still not completely healed. The final result is visible after two to six months, it takes time.” As for the pain, she practically didn't feel anything during the procedure itself. She was under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. Patients usually do not remember anything, although they do perceive their surroundings a bit during the procedure.
The pain started at home. "I stayed home for about a week. I really recommend taking the time off, so I took advantage of this period and worked from home office. On the first day, it's handy to have someone help you.” The recovery pains vary from person to person, depending on the extent of liposuction. Some compare it to sore muscles, others can barely get out of bed. The initial "torture" will disappear within a few days, then you can return to normal life. However, full recovery, and thus the final results, can be expected over the course of few months.
According to Kristina, the result is mainly that she feels more comfortable. She can put on tight clothes and she doesn't have to worry about showing curves. She would not be afraid to do it again. It would allow for some details to be touched up some more.
She also supplemented the operation with other procedures: shock wave therapy and a manual lymphatic drainage massage. These treatments aren't mandatory, but they complement liposuction. They help to strengthen the skin even more, smooth out any unevenness and wash the accumulated water away.
Liposuction alone cost about 2,400 EUR, and in Chirkoz in particular, they have a price list arranged according to the number of areas. The first costs less than two thousand, and each additional area is 300 EUR on top of that. However, as the head of the clinic, Martin Chudý, pointed out, they often have discounts and the prices differ. Therefore, they do not have a price list on their website, as it all depends on an individual consultation.
Can I "eat my way" into obesity and fix it with lipo?
Very important thing to note here is: Liposuction does not address obesity, and in the case of extremely obese people, according to Dr. Štefánik, it is only possible to proceed in segments. In addition, each operation must be approved by an internal physician.
There is no official weight restriction. The elasticity of the skin tissue is important. For example, in the case of an overhanging abdomen, liposuction alone reduces the volume of adipose tissue, but the skin is no longer able to contract, so it must be surgically removed. Thus, the procedures can not only be repeated, but also combined.
"Obesity is a disease. I don't like it, when it's being pushed as something normal and beautiful. It ain't right and it never will be," said Štefánik. According to him, it is great when someone has the self-esteem to be able to declare that they feel beautiful despite the fat. But obese people are not healthy people and according to the doctor, the disease needs to be addressed, not wrapped in nice words.
"Obesity brings along a number of other problems with the cardiovascular system, the locomotor system, increases the risk of cerebrovascular accidents and so on. It's not okay to promote it as something healthy. "
It is seldom possible to solve a lifestyle problem that has resulted in illness with a single operation. However, people who, due to lack of time and possibly lack of perseverance want to help with body shaping often come to the clinic.
Many of them exercise and eat normally, but the location where the fat is stored is determined by genetics, not just exercise. You can't lose weight from just one part of the body, so liposuction is becoming more and more popular. The effect is long-lasting: the removed fat cells will not grow back. But that doesn't mean you can never gain weight again!
"Fat cells no longer form after the age of 28. They can increase or decrease their volume, but cell division no longer takes place after the twenty-eighth year. The number of fat cells stabilizes, “ Štefánik explained. Therefore, after mechanical removal of fat by liposuction, no new fat is going to form in the treated areas.
But all subcutaneous fat is never removed. This means that the cells that remain there can increase (if you gain weight) or shrink (if you lose weight). However, the gain will already be proportional: those parts of the body that have not been treated will increase evenly. This is the biggest difference from exercise, where the body basically determines which supplies to keep.
According to Štefánik, however, this does not mean that younger people cannot go for liposuction. He recommends dealing with body shaping when you are really thinking about it, and not waiting for your 28th birthday. The procedure is preceded by a personal consultation, during which you can discuss any concerns or preferences directly with your doctor.
Consultation is also important for possible complications: the surgery in itself has multiple risks, so you must be in good clinical condition. Bleeding after the operation, or unwanted asymmetries may occur. These then must be corrected. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to carefully select the clinic, choose experienced doctors and follow their instructions when it comes to the care at home.
However, the truth is - as with any attempt to beautify yourself - that the best results are achieved when you take good care of your body and health your whole life through. If you can afford it, both from a health and financial perspective, liposuction will help you achieve the kind of contours that you desire.
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