Just Published! Key Liposuction Principles for Safe, Effective Treatment

Liposuction in 2014 looks a lot different than it did back in the early 1980s when it was first introduced to us here in the US. From the operating room table to tumescent “awake” anesthesia and onto power- and suction-assisted techniques, we’ve come a long way in both procedural safety and results! That’s according to the recent article “Advances in Liposuction: Five Key Principles with Emphasis on Patient Safety and Outcomes,” in which the study authors put pen to paper to show exactly what we—both patients and doctors—have learned about everything from who is a good candidate for liposuction to how to minimize procedure-related discomfort and heal quickly and effectively to ensure consistent and safe results.


The article, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open, outlines five principles that play a role in safe and effective liposuction results:


  1. 1. Preoperative evaluation and planning. (Patient translation: Am I a Candidate?)
  2. 2. Intraoperative monitoring—safety (Patient translation: Keep Me Safe During the Procedure!)
  3. 3. Measures, the role of wetting solutions and fluid resuscitation (Patient translation: No Pain, Please)
  4. 4. Circumferential contouring and complication prevention (Patient translation: Only the Best Results)
  5. 5. Outcomes measurement (Patient translation: Healing Well)


Here’s what study authors Geo Tabbal et al. describe within each of these principles that will keep you safe while delivering the best results:


Am I a Candidate?

The first step to great results is patient selection. The ideal liposuction patient is healthy and active, doesn’t see liposuction as a weight loss solution, and has realistic expectations when it comes to results. What’s the best way to have realistic expectations? Tabbal et al. believe these are best had from clear communication between doctor and patient, including the doctor understanding the patient’s goals as well as the doctor effectively explaining procedural limitations. If you are obese, have a history of  venous thromboembolism, or other preexisting medical condition, these pose as risk factors and you may not be a good candidate for treatment with liposuction.


Keep Me Safe During the Procedure!

When should you have general versus local anesthesia? According to the study authors, general anesthesia is best reserved for those patients having a combination of procedures and/or what’s considered “large-volume” liposuction (>1000 mL). Anything less is considered small-volume liposuction and can be effectively achieved using local anesthesia, which comes with less risk and makes for an easier recovery.


No Pain, Please

Liposuction originally was a long, complicated procedure with an equally long and painful recovery. However, the tumescent technique, which uses a wetting solution that is injected into the treatment site, completely turned this around. As Tabbal et al. point out, the use of a wetting solution decreases blood loss, the need for heavy anesthetic, and post-treatment pain.


Only the Best Results

From surgical approach to instrument selection, doctors today have several options at their fingertips that allow them to effectively prevent lumps, bumps and other contour irregularities. Liposuction requires constant evaluation during the treatment process, point out Tabbal et al., and any apparent contour irregularities should be immediately corrected with fat grafting treatment.


Healing Well

To give the healing process time, expect to wear compression garments every day and night for the first couple of weeks after treatment, then every night for an additional 2 weeks. Most small-volume liposuction patients can go back to work within a week and large-volume within 2 weeks. All patients can expect to go back to their regular activities within 3 to 4 weeks after treatment.


Brought to you by the experts at Liposuction.com. Are you ready to find a doctor?