The concept of liposuction is surprisingly simple. Liposuction is a surgical technique with the goal of improving the body’s contour by removing excess fat deposits located between the skin and muscle. Traditionally liposuction was solely a fat reduction procedure. However, over the past 10 years, newer techniques utilizing energy at the same time as traditional liposuction have developed to enhance the improvements of liposuction alone by providing better skin tightening and body shaping. Overall, liposuction provides fat removal with usually minimal skin tightening. The BodyTite by InMode is probably the best of these newer technologies that can tighten the skin and provide a more aesthetically pleasing body contouring. In some individuals with pre-existing laxity of the skin, liposuction alone may actually make the skin laxity and body contour worse much like a grape to a raisin.
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Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
- Patients who are in reasonably good health
- Patients that have reasonable and realistic expectations
- Patients that have localized areas of excess fat not eliminated with diet and exercise alone
- Patients desiring fat removal in problem areas such as the face, neck, abdomen, flanks, breast, arms or legs.
- Patients looking for a more youthful or contoured body shape
- Patients who understand that this is not a weight loss procedures
Who is not a good candidate for liposuction?
- Patients who are not in reasonably good health with serious or poorly controlled health problems
- Patients who do not have reasonable and realistic expectations
- Patients who are excessively obese
- Patients who understand that this is not a weight loss procedures
- Patients who want absolute perfection
Liposuction permanently removes and destroys fat cells. After liposuction, the body’s new shape is more or less permanent. If a person gains weight after liposuction, the area treated by liposuction will not accumulate as much fat as other areas of the body not treated. Fat accumulates in every area of the body in proportion to the number of fat cells in each area. A person may look disproportionate if they gain excessive amounts of weight. Final results may not be evident for six months for most.
How much fat can be removed? How many pounds?
Generally, the maximum amount of fat that can be removed safely is probably about 6 to 8 pounds (3 to 4 liters). The goal of liposuction is not to remove the most amount of fat but to yield a more pleasing body contour consistent with the patient’s realistic goals and expectations. The greater the volume of fat removed on a single day the greater the risk of serious complications. If a patient requires removal of more than 6 to 8 pounds of fat, it is safest to divide the liposuction into separate surgical procedures each separated by 3 to 4 weeks.
Does liposuction cause dimpling or indentations in the skin?
Dimpling and indentations in the skin is a known risk of liposuction. However significant skin irregularities are uncommon in the hands of a skilled surgeon. The use of large diameter cannulas tends to increase the risk of irregularities, while the use of microcannulas (less than 3 mm in outside diameter) reduces this risk along with a crisscross liposuction pattern.
What Alternatives Are There to Liposuction?
- Weight Loss – For more information Click here
- Nonsurgical Body Contouring – For more information Click here
- Tummy tuck – For more information Click here
- Liposuction is never absolutely necessary
- The Caudle Center provides services for weight loss, nonsurgical body contouring, and tummy tucks.
How long will it be before I see results?
Most patients will see 80-90% of their ultimate liposuction results within one to three months after surgery. For the first few weeks after surgery there is postoperative swelling. The rate at which this swelling subsides depends on the surgeon’s surgical technique and method for postoperative care. Final results will take six months or longer.
Will I be in pain?
Liposuction can be performed with either general anesthesia in a certified outpatient surgical facility or in the surgeon’s specialized procedure room in his office depending upon various patient’s factors and financial considerations. Your post-operative pain will be the same with either anesthesia technique. With general anesthesia, you will experience no operative pain or discomfort. With awake tumescent anesthesia, patients will receive pre-operative medication to help them relax so that they can more easily tolerate the initial discomfort with administering the tumescent anesthesia into the treatment area. The tumescent technique produces profound and long-lasting local anesthesia of the skin and subcutaneous fat. Since the patient is awake and relaxed, they can notify the surgeon immediately of any discomfort. They can also reposition themselves to allow for better liposuction results.
The tumescent anesthesia technique in many cases eliminates the need for general anesthesia along with the additional risks and costs.
How long does liposuction take?
From the time that you arrive at the facility until the time that you are discharged home will require several hours. Usually, it takes 1 to 3 hours to complete the liposuction procedure depending upon the extent of the procedure and if tumescent anesthesia is administered.
How much does liposuction cost?
The fee for liposuction usually depends on how many areas and the location are treated by liposuction. When only one area is treated by liposuction the fee is less than when multiple areas are treated and usually begins around $1500. For an accurate estimate, it is necessary to have a consultation with the surgeon.
What is the recovery like?
- HOME CARE: You will be discharged home to the care of a responsible adult.
- ACTIVITIES: Plan to rest in bed immediately after treatment. Later in the day, short walks are good. Resume light daily activities the following day after your procedure. Depending upon extending the procedure and your tolerance for discomfort. You may be required to miss work from a few days to 2 weeks. Resume exercise gradually as tolerated by “listening” to your body’s messages.
- ELASTIC COMPRESSION GARMENT: Wear your compression garment for the first few weeks.
- WOUND CARE AND DRAINAGE: Some blood-tinged drainage is expected for usually the first several days.
- BATHING: It is preferable to shower rather than bathe for 7 days after surgery.
- DIET: Generous fluids are recommended for the first 24 hours and resume light foods as tolerated.
- FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT: Usually 3-7 days after your procedure.
Over the last decade, a condition termed “lipedema” has become better understood and studied. This condition results in patients have large amounts of disproportionate accumulated fat in areas such as the arms, legs, and buttocks that may be associated symptoms such as pain and swelling or joint pain and functional impairment that can affect the person’s quality of life. Lipedema also causes significant body dysmorphic appearance that the individual can suffer considerable quality of life issues such as embarrassment, low self-esteem, relationship issues, or work issues. In these cases, liposuction or lipocontouring may be essential to prevent further worsening of the condition and to rid the patient of the symptoms that cause a significant degree of lifestyle issues.
More information can be found at http://www.curelipedema.org.
As with all surgical procedures, there are inherent risks. The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be fully determined at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of complications. Most are minor and rarely affect the overall cosmetic results, occur occasionally such as swelling, bruising, minor lumps and bumps, and skin numbness. Major complications are uncommon but include significant cosmetic irregularities such as lumps and bumps, poor contouring or body shape, indentations, scarring, skin necrosis, discoloration of the skin, infections, bleeding or hematomas, or seromas. Some major complications can take months to resolve or improve, or maybe permanent and should be discussed with your surgeon prior to the proposed procedure.