Explained: What Is Liposuction That Led To Actress Chethana Raj's Death

The 21-year-old actress was being body-body shamed according to news reports and got this fat-free surgery without her parents' knowledge.

Complications from a liposuction surgery resulted in the tragic death of 21-year-old Kannada actress Chethana Raj in Bengaluru this week. Reports claimed that the actress was being body shamed and thus decided to go under the knife without her parents' knowledge.

Raj's death has led to public outrage and raised questions over dubious medical institutions carrying out dangerous cosmetic procedures on impressionable youth.

Raj chose Rajajinagar's Shetty Cosmetic Clinic where her friend signed her consent form. However, post the surgery, fluid started filling her lungs and the anaesthetist at the clinic rushed her to Kaade hospital where she was declared dead after they tried to revive her for 45 minutes.

Raj's parents have filed a police complaint against the hospital for conducting this surgery without their consent and not having proper equipment for the same. Deccan Herald reported that the state health department is going to set an inquiry against the clinic which has been shut since Tuesday. They also found that the clinic did not have the license to perform surgeries and only had an option of being a polyclinic for outpatient departments.

Calls to Shetty Cosmetic Clinic went unanswered till the time of publishing.

A cosmetic surgery, liposuction is carried out by plastic surgeons to change the appearance of the body through contouring and removing fat from specific areas of the body. It has its own risks which patients are warned about when they sign up for the treatment. This plastic surgery is independent of weight as the contouring is disturbed if the person loses or puts on weight.

BOOM spoke to Dr. Kalpesh Gajiwala, a plastic surgeon practicing in Mumbai to understand how the surgery is performed, its risks and how it is different from bariatric surgery.

What Is Liposuction?

Also known as body contouring, or lipoplasty, surgeons use a suction technique to remove the fat from areas.

"Liposuction is basically a procedure where we make a tiny hole in the body to suck the fat out of that area through a machine. It could be as simple as a vacuum connected through tubes or there are other sophisticated machines for the same, " the plastic surgeon explained.

Dr. Gajiwala also said that these high-end machines dissolve the fat to make the procedure bloodless and simpler.

However, liposuction is not typically considered an overall weight-loss method or a weight-loss alternative as it is independent of weight. Most candidates are those who want to shape their bodies. If after surgery, the person loses or gains weight, there are stretch marks even after the procedure.

According to the Mayo Clinic, liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The amount of fat removed depends on the appearance of the area and the volume of fat. The resulting contour changes are generally permanent provided your weight remains stable. Despite the risks involved, it continues to be one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery undertaken across the world. Even in the pandemic year of 2020, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that more than 210,000 liposuction procedures were performed in the US.

What Are The Risks Involved?

"The primary risk with the procedure is bleeding. There is also the risk of pulmonary embolism, where the detached fat becomes a part of the blood system, settles in the lungs and can affect oxygen levels," Dr. Gajiwala explained.

The recovery after liposuction is painful as the patients are sedated with anaesthesia. Even the kidney and the heart are at risk as liposuction involves fluids and changes in the level of the fluids in the body could affect the other organs

How Is It Different From Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is another surgery associated with weight loss. However, it is linked to reducing inches and weight in the body.

"It is gastrointestinal surgery which involves keeping the weight in check and suggesting changes in lifestyle for the same. Liposuction is purely a cosmetic affair," Dr. Gajiwala concluded.

Updated On: 2022-05-19T17:34:10+05:30
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