Did you know that Singapore's Ministry of Health has very strict regulations and stringent criteria when it comes to issuing licenses to doctors to perform liposuction?
While that's reassuring to know, liposuction isn't just about finding an accredited medical professional who can help you get rid of your unwanted fats. If you've watched episodes of the American reality TV series, Botched, where two plastic doctors help fix plastic surgery gone wrong, you'll realise the importance of choosing not only a qualified doctor but one with an eye for detail and overall aesthetics too.
A huge part of achieving desired results is about having a doctor who is able to accurately assess your needs and then marry technology with a keen artistic sense, all while upholding the high safety standards.
Dr Ivan Puah, Medical Director of Amaris B. Clinic, says there are a few things that can go wrong with liposuction and body sculpting treatments. "Insufficient fat reduction during the procedure can lead to pockets of fat left behind that may result in unsightly bulges, while excessive removal may cause dents, skin dimples and uneven skin surface on the affected areas."
Dr Puah has over 15 years of body-sculpting experience and is accredited by the Ministry of Health to perform surgical body sculpting procedures such as liposuction. He is also the current Chairman of the Lipo Peer Review Group in Singapore. He obtained his fundamental and advanced VASER® Body Sculpting training in Colorado and Argentina. He also received training and guidance in syringe liposculpture, fat grafting and thread lift by renowned French plastic surgeon, Dr. Pierre François Fournier.
What it means for patients: This wealth of knowledge means that he is "able to differentiate what patients need versus what they want", which in turn allows him to be more effective in advising them on the proper course of treatment.
In fact, Dr Puah believes that liposuction is 70 percent art and 30 percent science. "Body sculpting is not only just fat removal in volume. It is also about achieving proper body proportions and improving the body shape," he explains.
"The experience, skills and artistic sense of the doctor are especially essential to help patients achieve satisfactory and aesthetically pleasing results.
Finding a doctor with good aesthetic sense is imperative to helping you achieve the silhouette you desire. "Being trained to perform liposuction is just the beginning for a doctor. Learning the scientific theories of fat reduction, mastering the technicalities of the procedures and understanding the potential complications, allows the doctor to carry out the procedure," says Dr Puah.
But it is much more than this. He adds: "To be good, the doctor not only needs to be experienced but also more skilful, meticulous and 'artistic'. Performing surgical body sculpting on a patient can be likened to painting on a blank piece of canvas. The difference between creating a masterpiece and an average artwork is down to the skills and flair of the artist. The skills, experience, the understanding and appreciation of aesthetics are factors that will allow doctors to produce more consistent aesthetic results."
Still unsure as to where to start? Dr Puah offers three tips:
But overall, you should always look for a credible doctor to get the most out of your body sculpting
procedure. To help you find the right doctor, Dr Puah shares these pointers:
It is important that you discuss with the doctor in regards to your goals to have a more realistic expectation of what is achievable. Equally important, are options that may be available, the risks involved, benefits and costs. Do not be shy about asking anything, as your assurance, comfort and safety should always be top priorities.
You should also provide essential information that should be shared with your doctor. These include any allergies that you may have and medications (supplements included) that you are taking, or any pre-existing health concerns that the doctor needs to be aware of.
Dr Ivan Puah and team will give you a list of pre-op instructions to follow. You must follow the do's and don'ts to minimise the risks of possible surgical complications, including stopping or refraining from taking certain drugs/medications. Vitamin E and Vitamin C should be stopped for 1-week pre-surgery due to the potentials of increased bleeding and impairment of clotting. Abstain from alcohol at least 3 to 5 days before the surgery and to stop smoking for several weeks ahead of time.
After your liposuction, do remember to take it easy for a while. Liposuction performed by Dr Ivan Puah causes minimal disruption to your daily activities. However, it is advisable to avoid water-based activities and strenuous exercises for 2 weeks as these may hinder the recovery process.
A compression garment is essential in the healing process as it helps with the swelling, skin contraction and comfort. Do wear your compression garment at all times for 6 to 8 weeks.
Liposuction, like most surgeries, does come with certain risks. These will be discussed with you during consultation.
Aside from gynecomastia, there is also pseudogynecomastia. The added term "pseudo" however, should not be taken lightly as it is a real problem for men.
Though rare, breast enlargements that only involve fat deposits without glandular tissue proliferation are classified as pseudogynecomastia, which is also clinically known as lipomastia. Individuals who suffer from pseudogynecomastia can embark on a weight loss and exercise program as a first-line treatment. Liposuction is recommended when the fat tissues do not respond to exercise or dieting.
There is a difference between gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia, and it is best to arrange for a doctor's appointment to ascertain what you might be suffering from.
Outer and inner thighs are one of the popular body regions that benefit from liposuction as fat accumulated on these areas are hard to eradicate by exercise or diet. While common, it affects women of a certain genetic predisposition where their body shape is akin to a pear-shape and makes one’s body shape disproportionate to the rest of the body.
Aside from genetics, other possible causes include a sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary habits and estrogen dominance.
Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive fat reduction treatment that crystallises and disintegrates fat cells, which are then removed by the body as wastes.
Its non-invasive nature is arguably the reason behind its popularity as a fat reduction method for those in need. Common and mild side effects to be expected include post-treatment redness and swelling – all of which will subside after a few days.
A serious side effect, rare but not uncommon is "Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia" (PAH). It is also known as the "stick of butter" effect due to its appearance. This happens when the treated area increases in size as opposed to shrinking and becomes firmer than the surrounding tissues. Affected patients will usually have to bear with the bulge for SIX to NINE months, where thereafter the fat is expected to soften to facilitate easy removal via liposuction, which is the only remedial option.
Ageing tends to cause body fat to accumulate in the abdominal region for both male and females. Many dread the Muffin top appearance because it is hard to conceal and eliminate. For females, childbirth can also result in stubborn and unsightly belly fat. Genetics also play a part in how the body tends to store fat easily in one region than others. Liposuction can remove pockets of stubborn subcutaneous fat and improve your body shape. What it cannot get rid of is visceral fat that's stored within the abdominal cavity.
This type of fat is also known as “active fat”, and it contributes to high risks of health problems. The good news is visceral fat can be managed by a sensible diet, adequate amounts of exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Another physical appearance commonly dreaded is the 'bingo wings'. This unflattering loose flesh can be found on the upper arms and tend to wobble as we move our arms. Causes of the bingo wings vary, and one is genetics, which is to mean that some people are predisposed to them as they tend to store more fat in the affected area.
Loss of skin elasticity, as a result of ageing, is also a cause. Skin will appear saggy when it loses elasticity, and this is true for all parts of the body. The thing with bingo wings is that even a person of a healthy weight can get them as a result of stubborn fat that just won't go away.
Liposuction is not only sought for vanity reasons. Medical journals confirmed that the liposuction technique is the best solution to effectively treat chronic medical conditions such as:
It is important to note that there are different types of liposuction techniques. Some of these include:
VASER Lipo is an improved liposuction technique. It is less invasive and gentler but much more effective that is able to produce smooth and even contours. VASER Lipo has proven clinical effectiveness and safety.
VASER Lipo can be done on many parts of the body where there is excess fat, including the face. The areas that it can treat include the abdomen,waist, shoulder, back, inner and outer thighs and arms, knees. It is efficient in addressing issues such as bra fat, the double chin, pseudogynecomastia and mixed gynecomastia.
VASER Lipo is also an excellent technology to facilitate fat harvesting and fat grafting during the body contouring procedure.
Do not be hasty in your pursuit of seeking help. Do proper research to have a better gauge of the experience you can expect. Ultimately, your comfort and safety are of prime concerns. A qualified and experienced doctor should be able to address and alleviate your worries and concerns adequately.
Here are some things to consider:
In addition to the above, an experienced doctor is able to listen and advise you on what is realistically achievable to keep expectations in check.
Costs for liposuction in Singapore will vary between different practices. The experience of the doctor who performs the procedure plays a significant role in the costing. A highly experienced doctor will receive more complex cases and have performed many cases, including that of correction cases that were performed by others. Therefore, the costs that you are paying for is for the experience and skills of the doctor.
At Amaris B. Clinic, we provide custom body contouring impeccably tailored to your body type and desired outcome. The costs will vary depending on the individual's clinical condition, the complexity of the surgery and the body regions to be treated.