Water-jet assisted liposuction

Liposuction is an effective method of body reshaping. In the USA it is currently the most common cosmetic surgery procedure. It is best suited for the removal of local fat deposits from, for example, the male chest or abdomen and for the treatment of cellulite in the female abdomen, thighs and buttocks. Liposuction is not a way to lose weight. The best results are achieved if the skin elasticity is good. The recovery process and final outcome can be enhanced by good aftercare, compression garments and lymphatic massage as well as by taking plenty of physical exercise. Sometimes surgical removal of excess skin is required.

Liposuction involves removal of subcutaneous fat by vacuum suction through small incisions. While this procedure can be carried out only by means of mechanical suction, the most effective way today is water-jet assisted liposuction, a technique using a high-pressure jet of water. Formerly the so-called microwave or ultrasound method was used to break up fat cells, which were then emulsified in the liquid injected into the tissue and sucked out.

The water jet dislodges fat cells and simultaneously applies a local anaesthetic to the area to be treated. In water-jet assisted liposuction there is no need for general anaesthesia, with an exception of cases where a large amount of fat is removed. This is a more gentle method and it is also suitable for fat grafting. The harvested fat tissue can be immediately transferred to, for example, the breasts. No more than 5 litres of fat can be removed at a time. The duration of the procedure depends on the amount of tissue to be removed; on average the procedure takes 1–3 hours.

As in any surgery, it is essential to minimize the risks. The patient must be in good health and stop smoking and taking aspirin-type drugs a couple of weeks before the procedure as these increase the risk of bleeding and skin complications. The risk of thrombosis can be prevented with blood-thinning medication and compression stockings.

Water-jet assisted liposuction is an outpatient procedure. As no general anaesthesia is used, the patient will not feel nauseous due to anaesthesia. Recovery is generally fast. Bruises and soreness disappear within a week from the body shaping procedure.

Postoperative care

Postoperative monitoring is continued in the medical clinic until the patient is fit enough to be discharged. Straight after the water-jet assisted liposuction a custom-fitted compression garment “is tied” around the treated area. It is recommended that it is worn continuously for at least two weeks but preferably for six weeks.

You can take a shower on the second day after the procedure and the small wounds can also be showered. The wounds are usually covered with a surgical tape and the stitches are removed after a week.

At first the treated area is sore, swollen and bruised. It is recommended that you should move about normally, even out of doors. You should avoid profuse sweating, strenuous physical activity and sauna bathing for about a week. The restoration of skin elasticity and the reduction of “excess skin” can be promoted by LPG-massage and lymphatic massage. If you have a light job, no sick leave is necessary. If your job involves strenuous physical work, it is advisable to take a couple of weeks off after the procedure.

Abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”)

Liposuction is the primary method of reshaping the stomach. However, if the elasticity of the abdominal skin cannot be restored, or if a so-called “sagging stomach” was formed after a pregnancy or considerable loss of weight, the best way to correct this is by abdominoplasty.

The surgery is carried out under general anaesthesia. Excessive tissue from the lower abdomen is removed and a new abdomen is formed from the skin of the upper part. If there is separation of the abdominal rectus muscles, this is corrected during the operation. Thus the abdominal cavity becomes smaller, and during the period of immediate recovery it is important to pay special attention to proper breathing in order to promote the healing process.

The patient stays in the postoperative ward for the night and is discharged on the following morning.

It is recommended to wear a custom-made girdle (a support garment) for about six weeks after the surgery. This speeds up tissue healing. Lymphatic massage also promotes better fluid circulation and reduces oedemas.

You should reserve at least three weeks for recovery.