What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that permanently removes unwanted fat in stubborn areas. The fat is removed through suction technology and is an excellent way to achieve a tailored silhouette that is impossible to obtain through diet and exercise alone. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. The fat removed contributes to improving the contour of the target area—you do not lose a substantial amount of weight from this procedure.
Am I a good candidate for a Liposuction?
- You are a good candidate for liposuction if you are at a stable weight and are unhappy with stubborn localized regions of fat, i.e. flanks (love handles), arms, thighs, etc.
The complex interplay of genetics and our behavioral tendencies produce many unique body types. Fat distribution and function changes throughout your life. These changes are exacerbated by pregnancy and aging. You may have unsuccessfully trialed many different diet and exercise regimens to decrease the size of stubborn pockets of fat. Or, you may have maintained a healthy lifestyle your entire life, but have never been satisfied with certain areas of your body.
If you are massively overweight, we encourage you to continue with your weight loss journey. Liposuction results last the longest when our patients have maintained their optimized weight for at least 6 consecutive months prior to surgery. Liposuction has been shown to encourage patients to stick with healthy lifestyle changes. The fat removal from liposuction is permanent, however, weight gain after liposuction may result in the reemergence of the previously removed fat deposits.
Liposuction will not improve the appearance of saggy skin, it also is not a treatment for cellulite. Patients with adequate elasticity in their skin end up with the best results. If you are a massive weight loss patient, or have carried at least one pregnancy to term, or have loose skin due to the natural aging process, you will likely require additional body contouring procedures, such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, etc., in conjunction with liposuction to achieve the best results.
Your plastic surgeon will infuse a calculated amount of a liquid anesthetic solution called Tumescent to prepare the area for liposuction. After waiting an adequate amount of time for the tumescent solution to take effect, your surgeon will insert a thin metal cannula into a small incision. The cannula is connected to a tubing and suction device that powers the liposuction procedure. If your surgeon is performing liposuction in conjunction with another fat grafting procedure, the manual technique with a simple syringe instead of the suction machine may be opted for. Once an adequate amount of fat is removed, the incision is closed.
Similar to the tumescent technique, the super-wet procedure uses a smaller amount of the injected tumescent solution.
In the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty, a special cannula that produces ultrasound energy is used. This ultrasound energy breaks down the walls of the fat cells turning them to liquid. The fat is then suctioned out.
- Moderate swelling and pain are expected.
- You will wear a compression garment after surgery. These should be worn consistently (24/7, with exception to breaks for showers) for a minimum of 3 weeks.
- You will experience bruising at the surgical site, this usually resolves within 2-3 weeks.
- Typically, this procedure does not require a clinic visit for suture removal.
- You may return to work (desk job) after 3-7 days. This is dependent on your comfort level and the extent of your procedure. Some patients may require a 2-3 week off work.
- You may gradually resume physical activity 2-4 weeks after surgery.
Possible Risks with Liposuction
- In the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty, there is the potential of damaging the skin or deeper tissues from the heat transmitted from the ultrasound device.
- Changes in the skin surface can occur after liposuction, giving it an asymmetric or baggy look. There can also be changes in the skin pigmentation and areas that may become numb.
- The risk for infection, the formation of blood clots or fat clots, excessive fluid loss, and damage to the skin, nerves, or vital organs is greater when large areas are treated.
- Excessive cumulative dose of lidocaine can cause lidocaine toxicity, such as numbness around the mouth, facial tingling, restlessness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, and seizures.