Most patients ask about the age limit for liposuction. Some plastic surgeons will say only patients up to 50 years old is the maximum. What is important to know is that, generally speaking, if the skin is of a good quality and elastic, the age is of a lesser importance. What is essential after liposuction is for the skin to retract to the new contours of the body beautifully. Poor skin quality won’t allow retraction without leaving behind imperfections.
The issue of unaesthetic adipose deposits localized all over the body can be daunting for many people, both men and women. This happens because nowadays the trust in one’s self and the emotional comfort are in a high relationship with the physical aspect of the body.
The need for liposuction
People undergo liposuction because it is an efficient method to remodel the body that allows the removal of the unwanted fat deposits that are left behind or influenced by weight loss. These are adipose deposits that can’t be eliminated through other methods. Areas that are genetically programmed to be difficult to reduce in size, such as the hips, buttocks, thighs, and abdomen are common areas treated by liposuction.
At the same time, the intervention can be an option for patients with lipoma–formations on the subcutaneous tissue made of fat and more or less delimitated–as an alternative to surgical procedures to remove them, as surgical procedures would leave more scars that are more visible.
How is liposuction performed?
The intervention is performed in several stages. First, the adipose tissue targeted is infiltrated with a tumescent solution that reduces the bleeding. A small tube called a cannula, connected to a suctioning device, is then inserted to suction the fat. An experienced surgeon will perform certain movements with the cannula in multiple directions to form a network under the skin that will allow for a smooth effect after the procedure. Immediately after the intervention, the patient will be put into an elastic suit and ice packs will be applied on the treated area to limit the bleeding and liquid accumulation under the skin.
How long does a liposuction last?
The intervention itself can last for up to three hours, depending on the areas to be suctioned and the amount of fat to be removed. Regarding the hospitalization time, it can depend from a few hours to a day, depending on the complexity of the intervention.
What is the eligibility criteria?
There is no age limit for the intervention. However, it is important to know that usually, more mature patients don’t have enough elastic skin to allow for a satisfactory result. This is why this aspect needs to be checked and verified properly before advising the procedure. Otherwise, all healthy people without chronic or severe health conditions and who don’t have weight fluctuations bigger than five kilograms per month can undergo liposuction. In the case of patients undergoing bariatric treatments and who present excessive amounts of sagging skin, the liposuction can be recommended only after one year (a year and a half after bariatric surgery) when they have already lost the additional weight.
How to prepare for liposuction
Before liposuction, the person who desires to undergo this procedure will find out all the details about the operative plan from the plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the patient will be informed of the fact that aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medication are to be avoided two weeks before the procedure. A good health condition is a prerequisite and it would also be advisable that the procedure is not performed in close proximity to the menstrual cycle. Birth control pills needs to be stopped at least a month before the intervention.
There are multiple treatment options available when discussing liposuction, namely power-assisted liposuction, water-assisted liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction, tumescent liposuction and so on. The technical principals are similar to all types of liposuction, but some of them allow a great reduction in the operative time and an increase in the volume of the fat that can be suctioned during one sitting. For example, using the classic liposuction, we can’t extract more than 3 to 4 liters of fat in one session while others can go up to even 6 liters of fat without excessive bleeding or other major complications. Other differences are related to the pain and discomfort after the procedure as well as a shorter or longer recovery period. For tumescent liposuction we have the major benefit of reduced swelling and bruising and a better skin retraction degree after the procedure.
While there is no firm age limit for liposuction, most plastic surgeons will avoid performing the procedure on patients over 50 years old because the results might not be as satisfactory. Good skin quality is essential for a successful intervention and the plastic surgeon needs to make sure that the patient has a good skin tonus that will allow for a better skin retraction after the intervention.
There are surgeons who will accept patients that are even 60 years old but with good skin elasticity. In these conditions it is always a good idea to assess the health condition of the patient before scheduling the appointment. Chronic or severe diseases can interfere with the healing process.