Lipedema (also referred to as lipoedema) is a frequently misunderstood chronic medical condition that affects a staggering 370 million women worldwide.
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"Consultation is the most important part of the patient journey – for many reasons – and I always give my patients the time to get to know what I can do for them and ask as many questions as they need." — Dr Ivan Puah, an MOH-accredited liposuction doctor with over 17 years of facial and body sculpting surgical experience.
The initial consultation before any surgery is the most crucial step, as it sets the platform for what is expected during and after the procedure.
It is during the consultation phase that goals are set, and expectations are managed. It presents the opportunity for the doctor to better understand a patient's concerns and needs. A consultation is always about the patient, therefore, the patient is highly encouraged to raise any concerns and also, of equal importance, to inform the doctor of any potential impeding factors (to the success of the treatment or surgery), such as drug allergies, medical history and others.
A consultation is the start of a patient's journey, and getting off on the right foot is critical in ensuring not only success but the wellbeing of the patient throughout their experience and journey to looking and feeling better.
Dr Ivan Puah shares some of the most frequently asked questions during his patient liposuction consultations throughout the years.
FAQ About Liposuction in Singapore
What are the areas of the body where liposuction can be performed?
Popular areas of the body where liposuction can remove fat. Some of the most common areas where liposuction is performed include:
Love handles is the moniker given to the waist or flanks. These areas are notoriously known to be resistant to diet and exercise. Under skilled hands, liposuction is an effective solution that removes excess stubborn fat and carve out the sought-after “S” waist - which is more appealing and well-contoured.
Upper arms & Upper Back
Flabby arms, or bingo wings, are often seen as a lack of firmness regardless of the number of targeted arm exercises you do. Even when you manage to strengthen your biceps and triceps, a stubborn layer of fat can persist, obscuring your hard-earned muscle definition. Unfortunately, arms are one of those areas where genetic predisposition plays a significant role in storing fat deposits. Aside from genetics, other factors contributing to fat accumulation in the upper arms include the natural ageing process and weight gain.
Liposuction tackles tough fat and slows the arms safely and permanently.
The back is an area where not many would equate with liposuction. Contrary to such assumption, liposuction effectively eliminates a common issue known as the “bra rolls”. This results in a firmer and smoother appearance.
Frequently, patients choose to combine arm liposuction with upper back liposuction to achieve a more proportionate and slim upper body.
Abdomen or tummy
The abdominal area often challenges men and women working toward their desired body shape. Opting for abdomen or tummy liposuction effectively eliminates stubborn belly fat, flattens the tummy, creates a shapely contour and enhances the overall shape of your physique.
For women, the natural hip shape can occasionally lead to an unwanted overhang when excess fat accumulates in the area. Liposuction is a clinically proven body contouring method to address this concern by removing unwanted fat and improving the balance and proportions of the lower body. Doing so creates a seamless, graceful curve that extends from the waist to the outer thigh.
Chin and Neck
Excess fat in the chin and neck can profoundly impact one’s self-confidence. Chin and neck liposuction effectively addresses localised fat deposits and saggy skin, creating a more sculpted facial profile with subtle and natural skin lifting.
Achieving firm, toned thighs can be a challenge for many people. Often, this area is prone to accumulating fat deposits, and conventional diet and exercise routines may fall short of addressing it. Whether you are bothered by thigh chafing or chunky and round thighs, liposuction can help! This procedure shapes the outer thighs, giving the buttocks a firmer and more defined look. It can also achieve the coveted “thigh gap” appearance by removing fat and contouring the inner thighs.
Pseudogynecomastia, also known as fake gynecomastia, presents a similar physical appearance as that of gynecomastia but, in reality, is a different condition. Men with pseudogynecomastia are characterised by fatty tissue beneath the chest, without firmness. Liposuction is a viable solution for effectively eliminating excess chest fat for a more contoured appearance.
While the calves may not seem an issue for many, some people opted for liposuction in these areas to help achieve a more defined appearance.
Who are the ideal candidates for liposuction?
Liposuction seems like a feasible option to eliminate excess fat and achieve one’s desired physique, but not everyone is suitable for the procedure. An individual will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure their suitability.
Ideally, a suitable candidate should:
- Have excess fat that does not respond to dieting and exercising.
- Have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone.
- Be healthy and do not have any underlying medical condition.
- Possess a healthy lifestyle habit in general, e.g. not a smoker
- Have realistic expectations of what liposuction can or cannot achieve.
The most important thing the individual must know and know is that liposuction is NOT a weight loss tool.
Is Liposuction A Weight Loss Solution?
Many people wonder if liposuction can help them shed extra pounds, but it is crucial to understand that liposuction IS NOT a weight loss strategy. It is a clinically proven surgical procedure that removes localised stubborn fat and reshapes the body. To maintain your liposuction results, do your part by eating healthily and moderately and exercising regularly.
Can Liposuction Remove Cellulite?
It's no secret that cellulite is a common problem that affects up to 90% of women but less than 10% of men. Nonetheless, it is notoriously difficult to get rid of. Many treatments claim to work, but often they require multiple sessions and only provide temporary relief.
Cellulite can affect anyone, regardless of age, body shape or size - from the slimmest to the curviest. Dr Puah shares that liposuction can greatly improve the appearance of cellulite in suitable patients, and how much cellulite improvement you will see depends on the skills and techniques of the liposuction doctor.
Traditional liposuction can sometimes cause skin irregularities and unevenness, making the cellulite more noticeable. To avoid these undesirable side effects, Dr Puah carries out Vaser Liposuction. This ultrasonic-assisted liposuction technique uses ultrasound wave energy to gently break up and melt the fat tissues, which will then be thoroughly removed via suction.
Is Liposuction Only For Women?
Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not just for women! The truth is men and women are turning to this body contouring surgery to help eliminate stubborn fat deposits and improve their body contour. While the ultimate goal may be the same, the areas targeted differ between the genders.
For women, the focus is typically on the arms, armpit, back, waist, belly, thighs and hips. Men are more interested in trimming their double chin, chest fat, abdomen and waist. Some men also want to reduce fat on their thighs, although it is less common.
Is Liposuction A Permanent Fix?
During liposuction, the doctor will use a hollow tube known as a cannula to suck out the unwanted fat tissues, and once they are gone, they are gone for good. Dr Puah explains that if you can keep your weight relatively stable, the liposuction results can last long as it reduces the fat cell volume for a more contoured body shape.
However, that doesn't mean you can let yourself go and eat whatever you want without consequences. You shouldn't throw away your gym membership to keep those pesky fats from creeping back into your life. A healthy lifestyle is still crucial to maintain liposuction results in the long term. While liposuction is an effective and clinically proven way to get rid of unwanted fat, it's not a magic solution that lasts if you don't do your part.
Is The Procedure Painful?
If you are considering liposuction, it's natural to have concerns about the pain intensity you may experience. Dr Puah explains that during the procedure, his patient will be under twilight sedation (not general anaesthesia), and the targeted area will be anaesthetised with a specially prepared numbing solution. The patient will be closely monitored and attentively taken care of by the anesthesiologist.
The most discomfort and soreness are usually felt during the first few days after the procedure but don't worry, it's temporary. You must wear a compression garment to compress tissue swelling and help with skin retraction in the treated area.
It is crucial to remember that everyone's experience with liposuction is unique, so it's best to speak to Dr Puah about any concerns you may have.
Can Liposuction Treat Loose Skin?
While this procedure can effectively remove excess fat, it's essential to understand that it is not meant to fix loose skin. Depending on the skin's laxity, it can assist in skin firming to a certain degree, but it cannot be used solely to treat loose skin.
Dr Puah recommends combining liposuction with UltRA+ Lift treatment for optimal results. This innovative dual-treatment method uses Calcium Hydroxyapatite and micro-focused ultrasound to tighten and lift the skin after surgery for a more toned and contoured appearance.
He will work closely with you to develop a personalised treatment plan that addresses your unique body shape and goals.
I read that liposuction can somehow improve your health. Is it true?
Liposuction is often viewed as a cosmetic procedure, but did you know it can provide various health benefits? In numerous studies, liposuction has been found to potentially decrease the number of inflammatory cells in the body. In fact, on average, liposuction can reduce the total amount of these cells by 11%!
It's important to note that inflammatory cells are associated with cardiovascular disease. By reducing the number of these cells, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is also lowered. But that's not all - liposuction has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which could reduce the risk of developing Type II diabetes.
On top of that, the psychological benefits of liposuction shouldn't be overlooked. By improving body contour and reducing excess fat, liposuction can boost self-esteem and confidence.
While liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, it can also provide significant health benefits when combined with healthy habits.
Dr Ivan Puah, Amaris B. Clinic Singapore
Liposuction might be the solution if you are tired of struggling with stubborn fat deposits that refuse to budge no matter how hard you exercise or diet. However, before you undergo any procedure, it's essential to consult with an experienced and accredited liposuction doctor who understands your unique needs and concerns.
Dr Puah and his team believe that ethics, trust and transparency are vital to any cosmetic procedure and putting your wellbeing and body goals first. During your consultation, you'll have the opportunity to express your concerns, ask questions, and receive a comprehensive evaluation to ensure that liposuction suits you.
Dr Puah understands that every patient is unique, with different body goals and concerns, needs and desires. His personalised approach has eased many patients' fears and concerns, and each recommendation is centred on your goals while safeguarding your wellbeing.
Make an appointment for your consultation with Dr Ivan Puah today!