A Liposuction Snap Shot – Then & Now

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Traditional liposuction was once considered a major surgical procedure for patients who need or want to remove fat deposits from specific area/s of their body. However, modern advances in traditional liposuction techniques have categorized most liposuction procedures into the group of minor surgeries. In this article, we will discuss each specific advancement in the important aspects of traditional liposuction techniques – anesthesia, pain, physical injuries, blood loss, and risks.

lipo changes

Anesthesia

THEN: Most, if not all, traditional liposuction techniques performed in the past were done using general anesthesia because they are considered major surgeries as mentioned. Due to the use of general anesthesia, patients usually took hours or days to recover from it. During traditional liposuction techniques under general anesthesia, some patients even faced complications, from mild to serious levels. Several patients experienced respiratory disturbance to the point of respiratory depression, and had to be treated with appropriate medication.

NOW: Important advances in traditional liposuction techniques have been developed. Today, local anesthesia is the preferred type of anesthesia used by surgeons to perform this procedure. As the potential risks and complications are reduced to a near zero percentage, local numbing of the area makes patient and doctor able to communicate easier. This is because the patient is awake and alert during the liposuction procedure. And due to local anesthesia, the liposuction procedure is considered an outpatient, minor surgery in most cases. The patient can leave a few hours after the surgical procedure. What’s more is that most patients are reportedly able to return to their regular activities after just 1 to 2 days after the liposuction procedure.

Pain

THEN: After the procedure, post-traditional liposuction patients experienced moderate to severe prolonged pain. This led patients to spend more money on prescription pain medication and use them. The longer they used these strong pain medications, the longer they were exposed to the side effects and risks of these drugs.

NOW: Since local anesthesia, smaller incisions and smaller instruments are all used in advanced traditional liposuction techniques, mild to moderate pain is expected. And, patients reported that this pain lasts for a short while, compared to the pain experienced after the non-advanced liposuction techniques. The pain medications used are milder and usually over-the-counter drugs are enough. They tend to be milder and much safer compared to most prescription pain medications.

Physical Injuries

THEN: Traditional liposuction techniques often involved the use of larger instruments. And when these instruments were utilized, the surgeon/s needed to use them with aggressive strokes for them to be functional. While this situation was effective during liposuction procedures, aggressive strokes frequently caused physical trauma to patients. This trauma needed to be fixed before the procedure ends, which meant added work for surgeons and longer procedure time for patients.

NOW: Smaller instruments are now used in many liposuction techniques. As such, the strokes are relatively milder and less aggressive than when using larger instruments. Because of this, the present liposuction techniques are considered less invasive procedures. In fact, the surgeon only needs to make only 1 to 2 very, very small incisions. These minuscule incisions are expected to heal within a few days, and often do not require stitching. The surgeon uses a smaller cannula unlike in previous traditional liposuction techniques. This makes sure that scarring and bruising are both minimized. Ultimately, the patient experiences a recovery period of 2 days or less, and thus, less discomfort.

Blood Loss

THEN: The traditional liposuction techniques opened the possibility of significant blood loss. The chances were even higher for underlying fat deposits that were targeted during the procedure. When significant blood loss occurred, the need for blood transfusion in some cases became evident.

NOW: One of the advances in traditional liposuction techniques is minimal blood loss due to its less invasive nature. Since minimal blood loss is expected, there is a smaller chance for blood transfusion to occur. This means fewer expenses and less worries on the side of the patient, and less stress to the surgeon as well.

Risks

THEN: Any major surgical procedure involves higher risks than minor ones. The same is true with traditional liposuction techniques. Some patients experienced anesthesia reactions, hematomas (bleeding and bruising), and blood clots during their liposuction procedures before advancements in liposuction techniques were applied.

NOW: After the procedure, advanced liposuction techniques may result to mild soreness on or around the area involved. The risks associated with major surgical procedures are eradicated. Patients also experience faster healing as well as less discomfort.

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