#AskTheExpert: Everything You Need to Know About Liposuction

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Ever considered getting plastic surgery to correct those stubborn areas of fat that won’t seem to go away no matter what you do? Well, you are not alone because liposuction has become the most common surgical cosmetic procedure. However, there are some key points you need to be aware of before you taking the leap, which is why we interviewed plastic surgeon Dr. Mohamed Ashraf El Meleigy to give you all the expert information you need.

Who is liposuction suitable for?
Anyone looking for a slim, slender, sleeker contour is suitable for liposuction. It is a procedure that can be done on anyone provided they have a healthy general condition and average skin elasticity. Best results are usually seen in patients with some stubborn fatty pockets localized in certain areas of their body like flanks (love handles), abdomen, thighs or neck that are resistant to diet and exercise

What are some examples of candidates who are not suitable for liposuction?
Obese people looking for weight loss should know that liposuction isn’t the right procedure for them. People who are willing to lose significant amount of weight in the near future or even gain weight (as in pregnancy) should postpone their procedure until they stabilize their weight.

Some patients are also looking to treat cellulite and think liposuction is a good cosmetic choice to treat this; this is a common misconception.

How long does the liposuction procedure generally take? 
The length of the procedure will depend on the amount of fat to be removed and the type of equipment used, but usually it takes from 1-4 hours. In more advanced procedures, fat removed can also be used for filling other areas and this might extend the time, as fat transfer procedures need some processing which takes some extra time.

How much weight can one lose following a liposuction procedure?
Liposuction is not a weight reduction procedure. 1 liter of fat weighs about 0.9 kgs, but some people lose weight and others don’t. Patients shouldn’t expect a massive drop on the scale, what they will experience is a slimmer appearance and a better fit in clothes.

Is liposuction a weight loss surgery?
Liposuction is much more about distributing fat rather than losing weight, so this is the most common misconception of all. This is why fat transfer procedures are gaining popularity in the last couple of years; where we transfer the suctioned fat from one area and add it to another to have a better figure in the end.

How long does the recovery process take post surgery?
The majority of our patients return home the same day of the procedure, and they may get back to their routine daily life within 2-3 days maximum.

The recovery time post surgery also decreases with the use of new VASER technology (ultrasonic waves), which helps to dissolve the fat and tightens the skin, as well as with LASER assisted liposuction.

How long will it take for me to see results of a liposuction surgery?
4-6 weeks is what it usually takes for all the swelling to subside and for you to be able to see your new figure.

Does liposuction leave scars?
Very minimal scars; less than 0.5 cms and usually in hidden areas. These usually fade away by time.

Is it true that any fat cells removed by liposuction never grow back?
No, this is not true. If the patient does not follow some healthy diet plan and regular exercise, they can get some of the fat back.

Women who choose to wait for a liposuction surgery until they are done having babies- is it the right thing to do?
Results of the procedure may be affected with pregnancy due to the weight gain that occurs, so if she’s not willing to have multiple procedures it is better to wait for more permanent results.

Do you recommend getting liposuction on the same day you have a C-section?
We’ve seen some tummy tucks done on the same days with c-sections, but is in uncommon to see a liposuction procedure following a C-section. However, I don’t recommend doing a tummy tuck or a liposuction procedure on the same day of a C-section as it compromises the results of both the C-section and the tummy tuck.

Many women complain about saggy tummies after giving birth, if liposuction is not for them, what procedure do you recommend?
Some minimal sagging can be resolved with liposuction only, others may need a tummy tuck or combined procedures.

What is your recommendation for people seeking to get liposuction done?
People should make sure that the doctor performing the procedure is a certified plastic surgeon, as we’ve seen many complications in patients lately done by non-certified physicians.

How can potential clients connect with you?
Mohamed Ashraf EL Meleigy, MD
Lecturer of Plastic Surgery – Cairo University
Clinic: 20 el Batal Ahmed Abd El Aziz, El Mohandessin

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