High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a relatively new cosmetic treatment for skin tightening that some consider a noninvasive and painless replacement for face lifts. It uses ultrasound energy to encourage the production of collagen, which results in firmer skin.
HIFU was then approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 for brow lifts. The device was also cleared by the FDA in 2014 to improve lines and wrinkles of the upper chest and neckline (décolletage).
Several small clinical trials have found HIFU to be safe and effective for facial lifting and refining wrinkles. People were able to see results in a few months after treatment, without the risks associated with surgery.
While the procedure is also used for overall facial rejuvenation, lifting, tightening, and body contouring, these are considered “off-label” uses for HIFU, meaning the FDA has yet to approve HIFU for these purposes.
The Liposuction Procedure
The areas of the body that most patients request liposuction for include the abdomen, the thighs, calves and ankles, buttocks, love handles, the neck and the back, as well as the arms. However, various other affected areas and just about anywhere on the body can be treated. Please note, however, that excess body fat is usually stored as deposits within fat cells, between the skin and outer muscle layers. Fat deposits stored inside the abdomen and around the internal organs cannot be removed with Liposuction.
Through new innovative designs and minimally to non-invasive techniques, we are now able to practice safer, yet effective Liposuction*. The liposuction procedure done at CapeMAC is performed under local anaesthesia and conscious (mild to moderate) sedation. You are given a sedative to calm you down (depending on your level of anxiety) and then anaesthetic fluid containing adrenaline (epinephrine) and lidocaine is slowly infused into the fat layer to be treated. The anaesthetic fluid numbs the areas to be treated and also helps to ‘emulsify’ the fat, thereby ensuring easier removal of the tissue. It also helps to minimise post-operative bruising and bleeding.
The liposuction procedure is done in a theatre setting. The procedure commonly takes between 1 and 3 hours to complete – depending on the area being treated and the volume of fat that can be removed. Since there is no general anaesthetic used and the liposuction procedure is minimally invasive, no hospital stay is required and you can be discharged soon after the procedure. Patients are usually up and about within a few hours and can even be back at work on the following day (depending on the nature of your work and extent of the liposuction procedure) and be fully recovered within two weeks*. You will be given adequate pain medication and a prophylactic course of antibiotics after the procedure. You will also be given a follow-up consultation with the Doctor for a day later and then routinely followed-up.
After the procedure, a suitable compression garment will have to be used continuously (day and night) for the first 14 to 21 days, and then only at night for up to 6 weeks afterwards*. Pressure garments are used to compress the treated area in order to prevent swelling and bruising and to smooth out the treated area. This is a very important part of the treatment and is crucial towards achieving a good final result. Final results are seen between 3 to 6 months after the liposuction procedure, once all the healing has settled.*
Frequently asked questions
Which areas of the body can be treated by liposuction?
The areas of the body that most patients request liposuction for include the abdomen, the thighs, calves and ankles, buttocks, love-handles, the neck and the back, as well as the arms. However, various other affected areas and just about anywhere on the body can be treated. Please note that fat deposits stored inside the abdomen and around the internal organs cannot be removed with Liposuction.
Is abdominal liposuction better done before or after pregnancy?
Dr Bagwandeen does not recommend liposuction treatment if the patient is considering pregnancy in the near future – like within the next year. In fact, for any type of cosmetic surgery, especially for areas involving the abdomen or breasts, it is advisable to wait until after the pregnancy, or even after you are completed with having children (females, of course!). The reason for this is that the pregnancy state will change the female body. Your abdomen grows and stretches during pregnancy. Most women experience weight gain or weight fluctuations during pregnancy. Some women are able to get back into their pre-pregnancy shape. Some women do not. How the pregnancy affects the body and whether changes are permanent differs from patient to patient. A pregnancy might also alter the result of any liposuction that was done on the abdomen before the pregnancy. However, if you want to feel better and have a body shape that you find more pleasing now, then liposuction before pregnancy is still fine, as long as it is not done too soon before pregnancy. Should you be unhappy with your figure after pregnancy, liposuction can also be done to help regain your more pleasant, pre-pregnancy body and after you have acquired a stable weight.
Which areas do women most commonly have treated by liposuction?
Which areas do men most commonly have treated by liposuction?
Can liposuction be used to reduce breast size in both men and women?
Postoperative recovery after breast reduction liposuction on female and male patients is very quick, with patients typically able to return to work in one to three days.*
Can liposuction remove belly fat?
CapeMAC will not do abdominal liposuction on a patient who has mostly belly fat as the liposuction surgery would result in very little improvement in the body contour. Our doctor will gladly discuss details on how to lose belly fat and get back into a healthy and comfortable weight zone as part of our Medical Weight Management programme.
In contrast however, the fat deposits in the outer abdomen (between the skin and the muscle layers) are easily removed with liposuction. This is one of the commonest treated areas with liposuction surgery and can produce great results with an improved, much more flattering body shape.*
Can liposuction help with major weight loss?
For desired major weight loss, please visit the section for medical weight management on this website. Liposuction can be combined with, or can be part of the medical weight management. This will be discussed with you during your initial consultation with the Doctor.
Can liposuction help to improve cellulite?
Can liposculpture help to improve loose skin?
How do I best choose the right practitioner and practice for my liposuction?
When do I have to make my decision?
How much liposuction is 'safe' during a single procedure?
What are the complications and risks of liposuction surgery?
Does liposuction require a general anaesthetic?
How long does the actual liposculpture procedure take?
Does the liposculpture procedure require hospital stay?
What is the cost of liposcution?
Can I see before and after pictures?
How much fat can be removed with liposuction?
How soon after the liposuction procedure will I see results?
How long will the results of liposuction last?
If a patient does not gain weight after a liposuction, the results are long-lasting. However, with increasing age, the fat deposits of the body might naturally change both in size and location. Yet, the benefits of a successful liposuction will always be apparent.
If a patient gains a moderate amount of weight after liposuction, the benefits of the liposuction will still be apparent. Remember, fat usually accumulates in all areas of the body and it does so in proportion to the amount of fat cells in each area. Remaining fat cells simply grow in size. In areas where fat cells have been removed by liposuction relatively less fat accumulates compared to areas not treated by liposuction. This is why some patients notice more fullness in a new area when they gain weight after the liposuction surgery.
In general, the more weight a patient gains after liposuction, the less dramatic the results of liposuction will be. So the key is to maintain your weight or to even continue to lose weight after a liposuction treatment.
Will the fat cells grow back after liposuction?
What happens if I gain weight after liposuction?
Does liposculpture leave visible scars?
Can I go home on the same day?
Even though you will be able to move about unassisted, is essential to have a friend or family member fetch and drive you back home after the treatment. We also strongly recommend that you do not drive yourself for the first 24 hours after liposuction surgery.
What is the downtime after liposuction surgery?
Overall, liposuction is one of the easiest operations to recover from. Some patients are back at work after only one day, some feel more comfortable with taking a week off. At CapeMAC, we usually recommend that our patients take between 3 to 5 days off after liposuction. During this time we ask patients to rather stay at home and relax. The less active you are, the less swelling or bruising you will experience and the sooner you will recover and see your final result. We do insist that you move about regularly though, so as to prevent any complications after surgery such as blood clots from remaining sedentary for prolonged periods of time. If you are pain-free and fully ambulant, then you can always return to work earlier.
Keep in mind: Patients who take the full week off end up ahead because they look and feel better sooner.
What is the recovery time?
When can I exercise?
However, on the day after the surgery, take a short easy walk. This promotes healing. You might also engage in very mild exercise if you feel up to it in the days after the procedure. Please consult your Doctor for further advice in this regards.
When can I fly?
We hope that this helps you understand a little more about Liposuction and assists you in making a better choice for your aesthetic treatments. To find out if Liposuction is the right treatment option for you, please contact us at Cape Medical Aesthetics Centre. Also, if you might still feel anxious about the use of Liposuction, Dr Manoj Bagwandeen will be glad to discuss any queries and questions you may have. You are welcome to visit with us at CapeMAC in Plattekloof, Cape Town for more information and to get further advice on looking and feeling even better.
* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.