liposuction

Many a times I encounter patients who ask for high volume liposuction in Kolkata so as to “reduce weight”. They get a lot of information over the internet and come to the belief that large volume liposuction is one way of reducing their body weight dramatically. However, I am an ethical practitioner and therefore I politely refuse all such patients because of the reasons that are highlighted below.

To begin with, let me highlight a recent death following high volume liposuction in Kolkata performed by a top plastic surgeon in the city which came in the newspapers a few days back (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Bangladeshi-realtor-dies-within-hours-of-liposuction-in-Kolkata/articleshow/33576916.cms). This procedure was performed by a top plastic surgeon in Kolkata and if you follow the story you would find that many aspects of the surgery were violated which resulted in this unfortunate incident.

 

First of all, what is a large volume liposuction? Although definitions vary, the most accepted one is a surgical procedure where more than 5 liters of aspirate comprising of fat, tumescent fluid, blood and anesthetic is taken out. Naturally, this procedure entails infusing a huge volume of fluid to one’s body followed by aspiration of a huge amount. Because the heart is overloaded during this procedure, patients with medical problems and especially cardiovascular problems are strictly not considered for this form of surgery. There is a rapid shift of body fluids and a considerable loss of blood during this procedure which mandates a hospital stay of at least 24 hours following the procedure to ensure patient safety. Large volume liposuction can have several complications including death as has been exemplified.

In the example mentioned, there were several flaws. I do not know whether a thorough cardiovascular assessment was made keeping in mind the patient was a tourist who usually come to the city for only a short period of time. He had possibly 22 liters of total fluid aspirated which is huge and also implies that he was quite obese! Lastly, he was discharged from the hospital immediately after surgery which should never be done.

Large volume liposuction should only be performed in patients who really deserve this procedure. It should not be done on any patient just to earn money as it can then lead to unfortunate incidents like these. The patient should be motivated, medically fit, be on a good diet regimen and also on an exercise schedule prior to this procedure. He should be admitted to a hospital setting and should be under intensive care in the postoperative period so as to identify and manage any complication that might occur.

Obese patients are NEVER good candidates for liposuction. People should understand that there is no shortcut to losing weight. Unfortunate incidents can happen if you try to get rid of body fat too quickly which you have accumulated over the years and to which the body has adjusted over years. People with hugely protruding tummies should understand that the majority of their body fat is stored within their abdomen, a site which can never be targeted by liposuction. In patients with a Body Mass Index of more than 35, bariatric surgery and not liposuction should be the preferred choice.

Therefore, to conclude, large volume liposuction is NEVER indicated for weight loss. It is really unfortunate that many plastic surgeons now a days are confusing patients and providing a choice of liposuction for weight loss to their patients and patients never really get benefit from this approach and might even land up with complications even death! Such unethical practice by plastic surgeons should be condemned.

This article is primarily meant for patients who are considering liposuction for weight loss. They should understand that liposuction is a form of body contouring surgery and not a form of weight loss surgery. Please be adequately informed before asking your plastic surgery about liposuction especially a high volume one because, in the end, you want to look great and not lose your life!

 

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