Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty and suction lipectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the body shape by removing unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body. Liposuction is commonly used on the abdomen, buttocks, back, chin, hips, knees, neck, thighs, and upper arms.
Liposuction can be performed alone, or combined with other surgical procedures, such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or facelift surgery. There are several techniques in liposuction which offer many benefits over the traditional techniques. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction and tumescent liposuction are two of these techniques and they typically involve quicker recovery times and more precise results.
The best candidate for liposuction is a person who is physically healthy and of normal weight but with areas of excess fat that are resistant to regular diet and exercise. Patients should also be psychologically stable and have realistic expectations of what the procedure can offer. Patients with firm, elastic skin tend to achieve the best results, while older patients with diminished skin elasticity may not achieve the same results as a younger patient.
Liposuction can successfully improve the shape of the body and, like many cosmetic procedures; it may improve one’s self-confidence as well. However, liposuction is not a substitute for regular exercise and a healthy diet. By following a healthy diet and exercise regime, you can help to maintain your liposuction results.
In general, liposuction typically takes between one and two hours to complete. However, the amount of time needed for liposuction will vary due to several factors, including the amount of fat being removed, the technique used, and the size of the area being treated. The procedure is commonly performed on an outpatient basis and typically involves general anesthesia, or IV sedation. Dr. Hardaway usually begins the procedure with small incisions made on the areas of the body being treated. A narrow, blunt-tipped tube called a cannula is then inserted through these incisions. She then manipulates the cannula disrupting the fat cells before they are suctioned out. The incisions are then stitched closed. Dr. Hardaway determines the technique she will use based on her assessment of the patient. For ultrasound-assisted liposuction or Vaser Liposuction, an ultrasound probe is inserted beneath the skin to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out. The tumescent technique, where a fluid containing saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine is injected into the fatty tissues to make them swollen and firm before they are suctioned out, is combined with all types of liposuction. Vaser liposuction offers several benefits over traditional liposuction, including quicker recovery times and more precise results, though the surgical times can be significantly longer. After surgery, you may experience some discomfort, stiffness, burning or temporary numbness. Fluid drainage from the incisions, swelling, and bleeding is rare.
The amount of time it takes to recover after liposuction will vary for each patient. Generally, most patients are able to return to work within a few days after surgery, though more strenuous activity will need to be postponed for two to four weeks.
Dr. Hardaway will discuss all factors of the surgery and recovery with you during your consultation