Liposuction for men – the experience explained and everything else you need to know
Liposuction has always been a common surgical solution to reduce body fat but is becoming increasingly popular among men – they now make up a quarter of all patients undergoing the procedure.
And although the purpose (fat reduction) and procedure (suction) are mostly the same for men as they are for women, there are some differences that are wise to explore beforehand.
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What is liposuction?
Liposuction is the quickest and most effective procedure to remove body fat. It’s been around since the 1970s and has remained a popular cosmetic treatment ever since.
The surgery itself takes between one and three hours, depending on the size of the area. While liposuction does remove fat immediately, it can take a few weeks to recover and see the final results.
Usually, liposuction can take a little longer to perform on men than women. This is because the fat men carry is a bit denser, which makes the process slower and slightly more challenging for the surgeon – but no less effective.
The most popular areas for liposuction vary between male and female patients. While the latter often choose to treat the hips, thighs and buttocks, men tend to prioritise the stomach. Other common spots include the chest and neck.
What happens during liposuction for men?
If you feel nervous about undergoing liposuction, speak to your practitioner about whether you will need a general or local anaesthetic. Either way, you should not feel any pain during the procedure.
The surgeon will map out the treatment areas on your body before the surgery starts to ensure they target all the right spots. There are different techniques, with the most common one being tumescent liposuction.
Once you are asleep or sedated, the area being treated is injected with a saltwater solution to make the fat easier to remove. After the skin has been prepped, your surgeon will make a small incision and place a thin tube inside your body which will suck the fat and fluid out of the area. Any incisions are sewn up once they’re done.
If you had general anaesthetic, you may have to stay overnight but not always.
How long does the procedure last?
Liposuction is a relatively quick procedure. Small areas such as the neck can take as little as 20 minutes whereas larger areas, like the abdomen, can take at least an hour. The timings vary depending on the amount of fat stored in the area, but these are some rough guidelines to what you can expect:
Chin and neck: Minimum 20 minutes.
Buttocks: Minimum of 45 minutes.
Arms: Minimum of one hour (both sides).
Legs: Minimum of one hour (both sides).
Back: Minimum one hour.
What should you avoid before having liposuction?
While you prepare for your surgery, there are some things you shouldn’t do:
- Removing body hair – Shaving can increase the risk of infection and ingrown hairs. So, if you’re someone who likes to be clean-shaven, it’s recommended you put the razor down. If the area needs hair removing, the surgeon will do it.
- Smoking – You should try to stop smoking in the weeks leading up to your surgery. It can affect blood flow, which could cause bleeding during the procedure and slow down your healing process.
- Taking medication – Anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can increase the risk of bleeding. You should consult with your surgeon about any medication you take in the run-up to your procedure.
Liposuction for men aftercare
Aftercare for liposuction is the same for both sexes. It takes around six weeks for swelling to go down and show your final results. You may have small scars from where the incisions were made, but these should fade over time.
If you have a physical job, you may need to book time off work until your body starts to heal. You might need some help around the house if you have young children and getting plenty of rest is a must – especially in those first 48 hours.
You’ll have dressings where the incisions were made, and tight bandages and compression garments are usually used to reduce swelling to reduce the risk of blood clots. While they may not be the most fashionable of items, it’s important you wear them for however long your surgeon recommends, which is usually day and night.
For pain management, over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol should help keep you comfortable.
Liposuction can give you a boost of confidence, removing stubborn fat that you may be struggling to lose via diet and exercise. Don’t be afraid to contact your clinician to ask for advice, whether you’re at the start of your liposuction journey or are already in the healing process.
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