An Introduction to Liposuction in Singapore
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is the surgical procedure of removing fat cells from the body. Liposuction cannot remove cellulite from under the skin and is not a solution for weight loss or obesity. It is a cosmetic surgery used to sculpt or contour the body to appear slimmer or curvier – and it is an available procedure at aesthetic clinics in Singapore.
Who is it suitable for?
With or without liposuction, a healthy diet and exercise remain the most important factor for losing fat or keeping a good body shape. It is recommended that people exercise and take on a healthy diet to lose weight and fat before using liposuction to remove the stubborn fat in their body.
If you are looking to remove the stubborn fats in your body after you have done consistent exercise and healthy dieting for a considerable period, liposuction is a procedure that you may consider.
Liposuction is also only available to adults over 18 years old and who have good health and no medical problems like diabetes or coronary heart disease. Always consult your doctor with a full record of your medical history in order for your doctor to give you an accurate recommendation as to whether or not you should do liposuction surgery.
Which body parts can you do liposuction on?
The surgeon can perform liposuction on various parts of the body, like your outer and inner thighs, neck, stomach, back, buttocks, check, ‘love handles’, and arms.
With good skin elasticity, your skin will contour nicely to your new body shape after the procedure!
How much weight can I lose with liposuction?
If you’re looking at liposuction to lose weight, you’re looking in the wrong direction. With liposuction, you generally only lose up to 2 kg of weight at maximum. People who undergo the procedure usually lie within the 30 percentile of the healthy weight range and use the procedure to remove fat in specific areas. The results that you should expect is a reduced amount of localised fat for a contoured or slimmer-looking body shape!
Even after liposuction, you should not expect your fats to remain permanently reduced if you do not put in the effort to maintain the results. Maintaining reduced amounts of fats in your body requires you to keep a healthy diet and exercising regularly – you will be able to comfortably enjoy the results of liposuction for a long, long time.
What can I expect when I go for liposuction?
Having sufficient mental preparation and knowing what to expect when you choose to go for liposuction can help to ease your anxieties and make the process a more pleasant and smooth-going experience.
The first appointment at the clinic will be to determine whether or not you are suitable for the procedure, whether you may potentially require any secondary procedures and evaluating which areas of your body can liposuction be performed on safely.
This information will be discussed between you and the surgeon, and after that, the surgeon will perform a simple physical examination on you. The surgeon will do a pinch test – pinching the specific area(s) of your body with the forefinger and thumb – to assess how much fat cells can be safely removed.
Before the surgery, the surgeon will draw lines and make circular markings on the areas of your body that are to be treated to be used as guidelines during the procedure. You will either be given local anaesthesia to numb the area that is undergoing procedure, or general anaesthesia if bigger or multiple areas have undergoing procedure. General anaesthesia means that you will be asleep during the surgery.
The procedure itself differs based on the different techniques used for liposuction – but they all involve making a cut into your skin and inserting a cannula to remove fat cells.
As with any surgery, liposuction procedures come with risks and potential complications. Some possible side-effects and complications involved in liposuction surgery are:
- Anaesthesia risks – if your body has an allergic reaction to anaesthesia
- Irregular skin contours or pigmentation – if fat is removed unevenly, the skin has poor elasticity, or the cannula causes damage to the area beneath your skin, your skin may permanently appear bumpy or irregular.
- Fluid accumulation – fluids may accumulate under the skin and have to be removed with a needle
- Numbing sensation – temporary or permanent changes to skin sensation
- Damage to internal structures – the cannula may puncture the internal organs if inserted too deeply into the skin or may cause damage to the blood vessels, nerves or muscles.
- Infection – skin infection may be caused by surgery
- Poor recovery – persistent swelling or poor wound healing may occur
Liposuction surgeries have a total of approximately 5% complication rate, with most complications being minor. After reading up on these risks, speak to your surgeon to find out which ones apply to specifically to you.
Taking proper care of yourself after liposuction surgery is important to ensure a smooth recovery and effective results. Patients often experience bruising at the treated areas and will experience pain and discomfort for about two to three weeks after surgery.
You will have to limit your physical activity at the start of your recovery, but once you have taken about 1 week of downtime, you will likely be able to resume light physical activity, like going back to work. The overall recovery period takes about 6 weeks, after which you will be able to see the results of the surgery.
For 2 to 3 days after surgery, you will likely feel moderate pain, soreness and discomfort. You will be given a compression garment to wear to reduce swelling and help your body recover into its new contours. You might have drains attached to your treated areas to drain excess fluid that accumulates around the incisions, which your surgeon will tell you how to take care of. During this time, you should rest and limit physical activities.
In 1 to 2 weeks, you should find the pain and discomfort reduced, but some pain will persist. You will continue to wear compression garments and will likely be able to return to work, depending on the nature of your job. If your job is physically demanding, take more time off to recover.
By weeks 3 to 5, the pain usually has fully subsided and you can begin to see the results of the surgery. The incision wounds should have healed, although in some cases, bruising and swelling may persist. You can resume with moderate exercise after weeks 3 or 4 but should avoid strenuous physical exercises until advised by your surgeon.
Finally, in about the 6th week after surgery, bruising should have subsided completely, though you may still experience slight swelling. You should be able to see the results of the procedure effectively achieved and be able to engage in all physical activity under the advice of your surgeon. You will be able to take off compression garments at this final stage!
How much does it cost to do liposuction in Singapore?
In Singapore, liposuction on a single area costs about $3,000 to $4,000, and total costs can range from $12,000 to $25,000. Here at David Loh Surgery, an aesthetic clinic in Singapore, we charge $3,000 – $12,000, on the lower range of liposuction costs in the country.
Apart from reasonable prices, we also ensure the best quality treatment catered to you and your specific needs. We keep you in the loop, give you professional advice and make sure that you achieve the best possible results.
Finding the Best Liposuction Procedure for You
What is VASER Liposuction
Liposuction can be carried out through various techniques, one of which is VASER (Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance) Liposuction – more effective, less invasive and gentler than other techniques.
VASER Liposuction works by breaking up fat cells using ultrasonic energy so that they can be easier removed or extracted out using the cannula. The area undergoing treatment is first filled with a saline solution to expand the fat layer inside. A probe that emits ultrasonic energy is inserted into the body, breaking fat cells apart and loosening the fat cells from other tissues and muscles. Only fat cells are selectively targeted, protecting the blood vessels, connective tissues and other healthy tissues under the skin. A cannula is inserted into the body to vacuum up the dissolved fat cells, leaving the remaining tissues intact.
Our aesthetic clinic terms this procedure as VASER Liposelection® because it selectively targets and breaks up dense fatty deposits. This process is gentler on the patient’s body because the dissolved fat is far more easily removed.
Vaser HD is also a type of VASER Liposuction that works to shape fats into muscular curves. These ‘muscles’ look good but feel just the same as body fats. It takes about the same amount of recovery time and costs more compared to normal VASER liposuction. The cost of undergoing Vaser HD ranges from about S$8,000 – 12,000 at our clinic in Singapore.
What is Smartlipo
Smartlipo is another type of liposuction technique which is moderately invasive and used to remove fat on smaller areas of the body, like the chin or cheeks.
A fibre optic laser is inserted into the skin to reach fat layers, expand fatty tissue and disrupt the membranes of the fat cells. Fat cells are dissolved so that they react with macrophages (or large white blood cells) to form a ‘debris’ that is processed in the liver and excreted through your stools. The technique is minimally invasive because it does not require inserting a cannula to vacuum up fat cells – rather the fat cells are cleared naturally through biological processes initiated inside your body.
Smartlipo uses local rather than general anaesthesia, which means that you will experience minimal downtime, having to rest for about 2 days and being able to return to work under the advice of your surgeon in about 2 to 4 days. Smartlipo also stimulates natural collagen reproduction which makes your skin heal with a tighter and smoother appearance.
Difference between VASER, Smartlipo and “Traditional” Liposuction
VASER and Smartlipo are two highly effective and evolved methods of liposuction compared to the traditional method, also known as the Suction Assisted Lipolysis (or Lipoplasty).
Traditional Liposuction, or Suction Assisted Lipolysis
Suction Assisted Lipolysis (SAL) removes fat manually through the cannula without first dissolving or dispersing fat cells. This procedure relies on breaking up fat cells using manual force and using high-pressure and power to suck out fats through the cannula. The cannula is either moved back and forth and rotated under the skin by the surgeon to break up the fatty layer or, in addition, a power device causes the cannula to rotate and vibrate to assist the breaking up of fats. Either way, traditional liposuction is invasive and forceful – and many prefer turning to the newer and gentler methods of VASER and Smartlipo.
Traditionally, liposuction is also only able to extract middle layers of fat, unlike VASER and Smartlipo procedures that are able to remove fats near the skin and muscles to achieve more defined contours for the body.
VASER Liposuction versus Smartlipo
VASER liposuction and Smartlipo may both be effective procedures, but they are used differently.
Smartlipo works for smaller areas of the body, like the chin and cheeks, and does not require using a cannula for fat suctioning. VASER liposuction works for large areas of the body and requires extracting fat cells from the body using an inserted cannula.
Smartlipo can also be converted into a hybrid-type procedure where a laser is used to dissolve the fat cells before the fat is removed using the cannula.
At our aesthetic clinic in Singapore, we offer both VASER and Smartlipo procedures and our professional surgeons will advise you on which treatment is better for you and your specific needs. Smartlipo costs about S$3000 – 5000, which is lower compared to VASER which costs about S$8,000 – 12,000 because it targets smaller areas of the body.
What is fat grafting
Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or lipomodelling, involves transferring fat from one part of your body to another part for enhancement or volume replacement. Usually, excess fat is taken from the thighs, abdomen or buttocks and can be transferred to your cheeks, breasts, butt, or hands!
The benefit of fat grafting over other fillers or implants is that it uses tissue from your own body, significantly lowering the risk of rejection.
What is the procedure like?
The first step of fat grafting is to undergo the liposuction procedure to remove and collect fat from the selected areas of the body. This involves making small incisions in your skin and using a cannula to vacuum the fat cells out of your body. Our aesthetic clinic in Singapore uses the VASER Liposuction technique – making use of ultrasounds at low-level intensity to disperse clumps of fats that are to be extracted, making them survive better when transplanted into the new area in the body.
The tissue taken from the body is then extracted through several steps like decanting – separating the liquid component of the extracted tissue from the solid, centrifuging – separating the fat from the other components of the liquid tissue, and rinsing.
Finally, the fat is injected into the receiving area of the body. The surgeon may massage the area or use other placement techniques so that the body contours nicely with the newly injected fat.
After the fat grafting procedure, the body will still reabsorb some of the fat, leaving the area smaller than it was when the fat was first injected. Breasts, for example, will become slightly smaller than when they first appeared after the procedure.
The fat is usually absorbed most in the first 6 weeks after surgery, and then continues to be reabsorbed 6 months after that. It is common for the surgeon to insert more fat into the receiving area so that it settles into the desired size and shape in the long-run.
Who is suitable for fat grafting?
Fat grafting is for people who wish to enhance their breasts or buttocks, lift their cheeks or perform enhancements to other parts of their body. It can also be used to tighten areas that are sunken, wrinkled or scarred from previous surgery or injury.
Girls with petite breasts can increase their breast size by about one cup, and if they want to increase their breast size further, they will have to undergo more than one procedure. Breast cancer survivors in Singapore who have undergone partial or full mastectomy sometimes choose to undergo the fat grafting procedure to replace volume in their breast.
Just like liposuction, suitability for fat grafting is determined based on your medical history and current health condition. The first consultation with your aesthetic clinic will be when the surgeon reviews your medical history and condition and assesses whether or not you are suitable for this procedure.
Keeping well with Liposuction
How can I prepare myself for liposuction?
Take note of some things that you can do to prepare yourself for the liposuction surgery in the days leading up to it:
- Do not eat or drink anything in the morning of your procedure (after midnight the previous day) to prepare your body for anaesthesia
- Do not shave, especially the areas that will be undergoing treatment, to prevent irritations or ingrown hairs that may cause infections
- Do not apply moisturisers, makeup, sunscreen etc. to your body before you go for surgery because the areas undergoing treatment should be chemical-free.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing to and from the clinic to minimise irritation after the surgery
- Arrange for somebody to pick you up or be prepared to call a taxi home after the procedure as you should not drive after being under anaesthesia
- Prepare your home with enough food, toiletries and all your necessities because you will be needing at least a few days of rest with limited physical activity after the surgery
Doing these things will ensure a smoother procedure, and keep you safe and comfortable in the time after it!
How do I maintain results after liposuction surgery in the long-run?
Liposuction can do wonders for your body, making you feel good and confident about yourself. However, your body will continue to gain and lose fats based on your exercise, diet and lifestyle – just like it ordinarily would before liposuction. To maintain the results of your newly-shaped body, you have to keep with a healthy diet and lifestyle in the long-term. Feeling good about yourself does not just depend on how your body looks, but how you feel inside too – and staying healthy is one great way to do that!
1. Eat healthy
To first recover well from liposuction surgery, eat foods that are low in sodium and salt, and high in vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. Some best foods to take during post-surgery recovery are celery, grapefruits, watermelon and strawberries. Altering your diet, especially in the few months after surgery will boost your body’s immune system and help you to recover better and faster. You should also increase your protein intake to help with muscle and skin recovery.
Even after you have fully recovered from the liposuction procedure, continue to keep a healthy and balanced diet daily! In Singapore, a healthy diet should include half a plate of fruits and vegetables, a quarter of whole grains such as brown rice or wholemeal bread, and a quarter of meat, seafood, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. Eat more smaller portioned meals rather than a few big meals.
Munching healthy, delicious foods will make a huge difference to your body’s health and help you to maintain the results of liposuction.
2. Exercise Regularly
Adults in Singapore are recommended to engage in moderate-intensity physical activity at least 150 minutes every week. Some simple exercises that you can do in your home are marching in a stationary position, sitting down and standing up from a chair, doing leg raises to the side and back and doing arm stretches.
Of course, you can adjust the intensity and difficulty of your exercise according to how well you can cope with it. After the surgery, you should limit your physical activity until about week 3 to 5, and under the advice of your surgeon. Once you are given the go-ahead, incorporate exercise into your daily routine!
3. Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water is important to prevent dehydration after your liposuction surgery! Adults in Singapore should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but in the post-surgery recovery stage, you should increase this water intake to about 10 to 12 glasses of water a day. When you have fully recovered, continue to properly hydrate yourself. Water helps to boost metabolism, aid digestion and even maintain your energy level throughout the day.
With reasonable expectations about liposuction results in the long-run, you can be happier and healthier after a procedure!
Overall, liposuction can be a smooth and efficient process to boost your confidence and health in the long run if you get the best advice and undergo the best liposuction procedures suitable for your body. To mentally prepare for liposuction, read up, book a consultation at the aesthetic clinic, ask questions – and everything will flow after that. Embark on your liposuction journey with us!
David Loh Surgery is a trusted aesthetic clinic in Singapore since 2006, providing expert advice and procedures catering to each patient’s unique needs. Book a consultation with us . WhatsApp +65 9153 1503 or sending us an email here.