Do you have fatty areas on your face or body that won’t go away no matter how hard you diet and exercise? Liposuction is now the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in America. That’s because liposuction can remove unwanted pockets of fat that simply don’t respond to dieting and exercise and can help shape your body to be the best it can be.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that contours the body by removing excess fat. It is most ideal for treating fatty bulges such as in the neck, saddlebags, and belly. Excellent results can also be achieved in other areas, such as the upper arms, buttocks and inner thighs. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses small incisions to sculpt the body by removing extra bulging fat. Commonly treated areas include:
- Neck and Chin
- Saddlebags (outer thigh)
- Belly (abdomen)
- Lower back and waist
- Inner Thighs
Candidates for Liposuction
Most people don’t realize that there are certain areas of fat that are generally the first to develop and the last to go with diet and exercise alone. The most common areas include the lower belly, the waist, and the outer thigh. Other areas include the chin and neck, the knees, and the inner thighs. Liposuction can remove those fatty bulges. Most patients requiring more than a liter of fat removal can benefit from traditional liposuction techniques.
How Liposuction is Performed
Recent advances in liposuction have led us to routinely perform what is referred to as the “Tumescent” technique often combined with the Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction Technique. The Ultrasonic Liposuction technique is a state-of-the-art technique which uses ultrasonic energy to “melt” and liquefy the fat prior to its removal. The technique allows a more controlled removal of fat from affected areas. It is also thought to provide a more effective tightening of the overlying skin.
The Tumescent Technique refers to the delivery of highly diluted anesthetic and epinephrine-containing solutions into the treated areas before the liposuction begins. The technique allows the procedure to be performed with dramatically lower blood loss (therefore safer); and because the solution contains an anesthetic, discomfort after surgery is significantly reduced.
What to Expect
Most patients are back to work in 7 to 10 days. Bruising and swelling take 4 to 8 weeks to abate. An abdominal binder is required for 6 weeks. The first postoperative visit is a day after your procedure. Pain is moderate to severe in the first 2 to 3 days. Pain medications and antibiotics are prescribed. Exercise except for walking is discouraged for 6 weeks. Incisions are generally closed with absorbable sutures under the skin — there are no sutures to be removed. Contour irregularities should are the norm and should be expected. Numbness can last up to a year. The scars normally take about a year to mature.
You need to have realistic expectations about what this procedure can do for your body’s contour. Remember, isolated pockets of unwanted fat can be removed, but you’re still going to have to maintain your results through a healthy lifestyle. Once fat cells are removed from the body, they don’t return. However, if you put on weight in the future, any new fat will most likely be deposited throughout your body equally, including the treated areas. If you want to retain your body’s new contour, it’s essential that you eat nutritiously, exercise regularly, and maintain good weight control.
Possible Side Effects
All surgery poses risks. Possible side effects include swelling, bruising, hematoma (blood pooling under the skin) and infection. In very rare cases, people experience excessive bleeding and burns. Always report side effects promptly.
Make sure your surgeon is qualified, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, and can provide excellent before and after photos of their own work. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Chang provides quality cosmetic surgery services to his patient