Is this procedure performed in hospital?
Yes. Although liposuction is generally very safe, deaths have been reported from liposuction. The risk factors associated with this are extremely large volume liposuction and surgery performed outside a hospital environment. Dr Magnusson does not perform extreme volume liposuction and liposuction is performed in-hospital except for those with very small and localised problems.
I have heard that skin irregularities can result from liposuction?
This is true. Skin that is pushed out due to fat beneath it may have a smooth contour due to stretch of the skin. When this fat is removed, the contour may be improved but the quality of the skin may be downgraded. This is frequently due to a loss of elasticity in the skin with age, weight gain and especially pregnancy. A similar effect can be seen in a normal balloon which may be smooth and round when it is fully inflated but becomes irregular as it deflates (the resulting in the balloon is far more dramatic than the result in a patient!). In both instances irregularity is due to a loss of elasticity.
There may also be focal irregularities as a result of post surgical blood collection or zones that have been less completely or more completely treated.
What is a realistic expectation?
Dr Magnusson will talk with you about what to reasonably expect. The final result will depend upon your body shape, age, skin elasticity and fat volume. Liposuction is a form of body contouring and as such it is designed to improve the outline of your body noticed especially in clothing. Liposuction is not a weight loss tool.
Can liposuction be applied to my lower abdominal bulge?
Patients will frequently wonder if their lower abdomen can be corrected with liposuction. Liposuction is associated with small scars that are usually very difficult to find once completely healed. It is understandable that this has a greater appeal than the long scar associated with an abdominoplasty. After pregnancy and childbirth, but also associated with weight changes from other causes, there can be excess stretched skin, a loss of skin elasticity and changes to the muscles of the abdomen. Liposuction will not be appropriate in many of these circumstances as is only addresses fat content. Abdominoplasty is often the appropriate method of dealing with this problem surgically. Liposuction however can be combined with abdominoplasty for some patients to reduce the length of the scar and also to obtain benefits in locations other than the central abdomen.
Is there any assistance from Medicare or my health fund?
For the vast majority of patients, choosing to have liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure and has no assistance from Medicare or health funds. Small group of patients will however gain assistance from Medicare and their health fund. This is for pathological conditions such as post-traumatic pseudolipoma and buffalo hump formation as a result of steroid excess (this can be from the treatment of conditions such as asthma or in patients with Cushing’s disease). For these patients, approval from the Health Insurance Commission needs to be obtained for this benefits to apply. For this approval to be granted, clinical photographs and the covering letter need to be sent to Canberra for assessment.
For further information about your own policy you should contact your health fund