What are the risks associated with liposuction?

Liposuction is a low-risk procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon with the appropriate equipment. During the initial interview, the surgeon will review with you whether you are an appropriate candidate for the surgery and if you are likely to achieve the results you desire from the procedure. The best results are achieved on people who are close to their ideal weight but have unusual fat deposits in isolated areas. Sometimes these fat deposits are hereditary. It is important to keep in mind that even though you may have a highly qualified surgeon performing the surgery using the best equipment available, the results may not be exactly what you had hoped for. Despite complications with liposuction being very rare, they do occur. If the procedure is to be done on many parts at the same time or if there is a large amount of fat to remove, the chances of complications increase. In these cases, the surgery will take longer. It is import to emphasise that liposuction in no way replaces dieting. Empirical evidence from the United States has shown that liposuction on significantly overweight people where a lot of fat tissue is removed can have a high risk of complications and negative side-effects.


What do I need to have in mind before deciding on liposuction?

If you are considering liposuction, it is important that you have realistic expectations regarding the outcome. Although liposuction can often improve appearance and self-esteem, keeping expectations within reason is essential. It is therefore recommended that you consider your reasons carefully before speaking to the surgeon. The ideal candidates for liposuction are those that are not generally overweight and merely want excess fat removed from isolated areas. Good health is also an advantage for successful surgery and although age does not preclude you from liposuction, there are several reasons why the surgery can be less effective in older people.


How do I prepare for liposuction?

During the initial interview, the surgeon will make a general assessment of your health and skin, as well as examine any areas of excess fat. The surgeon will review if liposuction is the procedure that is most effective in bringing the results you desire. For instance, a tummy tuck may be more appropriate if you were considering liposuction on the abdominal area. The surgeon may also recommend an assortment of surgeries to achieve the results you want. The surgeon will review risks and potential outcomes of any procedure that may be appropriate. Once the procedure has been decided on, you will receive instructions on how to prepare for surgery with regards to food, smoking, health supplements and prescription drugs. You should have someone pick you up after the procedure. Appointmen


Where is the surgery performed?

The surgery is performed at in an operating theatre at Domus Medica Medical Centre in Reykjavík. Dr. Stefánsson and Dr. Einarsson‘s offices are on the 4th floor and operating rooms on the 6th floor.


Will I require anaesthesia?

Liposuction is usually performed under general anaesthesia. If the procedure is being performed in localised areas, it may be possible to use only a local anaesthetic. If general anaesthesia is required, the anaesthetic is administered by an anaesthesiologist who is present during the surgery until a few hours after you have woken up. The use of anaesthesia has improved greatly in recent years, resulting in safer surgeries with shorter recovery times and lowered likelihood of nausea.


What happens during the surgery?

During liposuction, stubborn and localised fat deposits from one or more areas of the body are removed in order to improve the body’s contours. A thin tube, or cannula, is placed through a small incision in the skin. A high level of pressure is used to vacuum fat deposits lying deep under the skin out through the tube. The surgeon uses a back and forth motion under the skin to break up fat deposits so they can be suctioned out. The surgeon places the incisions in inconspicuous places so visible scarring will be minimal. If many areas of the body are to be treated, the surgeon will move between these areas, making a new incision for each area. A lot of fluids can be lost during liposuction, so the anaesthesiologist will administer fluids during the surgery to replenish lost fluids. The larger the fat deposits, the more fluids must be replenished. Small bandages are placed on the wounds as well as some sort of compression garment, such as a tube or stretch belt or pants, depending on what area of the body was treated. This will control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours.


How long does the surgery take?

The length of time required by the surgery can vary greatly by the size and scope of the areas being treated. The procedure commonly takes two hours but can take up to four hours.


How will I feel immediately following the surgery?

Immediately following the surgery you will probably be aware of fluids seeping from the incisions. Swelling and bruising develop after the surgery on the treated areas and reach their peak two to three days after surgery. You may feel pain, soreness or discomfort on the treated areas which can be managed with pain medication prescribed by the surgeon. You will very likely receive antibiotics to prevent infection. The discomfort which many people liken to sore muscles lessens after the first two to four days. Sometimes there is bleeding or seeping from the incisions in the first 24 hours after the surgery. The bandages may need to be changed if there are a lot of fluids coming from the wounds. Compression garments should be worn for a few weeks after surgery in order to prevent swelling and edema and to support the development of the new body contour.


How long will it take to fully recover?

Recovering from surgery is a slow process. Individuals undergoing liposuction are encouraged to get up on their feet as soon as they feel up to it so as to stimulate blood flow and prevent blood from collecting in the legs. It usually takes only few days to recover from liposuction and most people can return to work in four or five days. Within one to two weeks, you should feel well and most of the pain and discomfort will have subsided. Usually the incisions are stitched with sutures that disintegrate, so there is no need to come back for their removal. Compression garments must be worn for three to six weeks depending on location and scope of the surgery. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for a month after the surgery while the wounds heal. Although swelling and bruising may have subsided within three weeks, edema can be present for four to six months after the procedure. Your recovery will be closely monitored by the surgeon. If any unexpected events come up such as bleeding or a sudden increase in pain levels, you should contact the surgeon immediately.


What expectations can I have regarding the change to my appearance?

You will see a change in the contours of your body soon after the surgery. The improvements will continue to become more obvious for four to six weeks, while the swelling and edema subside. You should see the full results of the procedure within three months. If your expectations were realistic, you will probably be satisfied with the results. You will probably feel a difference in the way clothes fit. Your results can be maintained and even improved upon with diet and exercise.