Local anaesthesia will be administered before the procedure begins.
The surgeon will make a small incision in the treatment area. A cannula (a thin tube) connected to a specialised vacuum machine will then be inserted through the incision to remove excess fat via suction. In VASER liposuction, ultrasound is used in this stage to emulsify and liquefy the fats before it is suctioned, minimising the damage to nearby tissue and making it a much gentler procedure. The incisions are then sutured after the fat has been removed. The above process can be repeated for multiple treatment areas.
After the surgery, the patient may be asked to remain at the clinic for a few hours for monitoring, and to allow the anaesthesia to wear off.
Liposuction is generally a safe procedure. However, there are still risks of complications. These may include:
- Dehydration may occur as large amounts of fluid are removed
- Contour irregularities. The skin may become bumpy, uneven or withered due to poor elasticity and healing. The cannula used may also damage the skin and produce a spotted appearance. These changes can be temporary or permanent.
- Temporary pockets of fluid can accumulate under the skin, which will need to be drained manually with a needle.
- Nerve and tissue damage, leading to temporary or even permanent numbness and/or soreness in the affected areas.
- Inflammation and infection are rare, but possible.
- Rarely, the cannula may puncture an internal organ. This requires immediate surgery repair.
- Pieces of loose fat can break away and become lodged in blood vessels, clogging them. These fat particles may also migrate to the lungs, brain and other vital organs, severely damaging them. This is a medical emergency known as fat embolism and requires immediate surgery.
- Shifts in fluid levels as fluids are being injected and suctioned out can cause potentially life-threatening kidney, heart and lung problems.
Although there are risks of complications, most of these can be avoided with good preparation, post-care and surgery techniques. Patients should take care to hydrate themselves both before and after the surgery and adhere closely to the doctor’s instructions.