Liposculpture (or suction-assisted lipectomy) has become one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed by plastic surgeons today. It’s a way to shape and contour the body, producing dramatic changes in a small amount of time by removing stubborn fatty deposits under the skin. Proven safety, minimal scarring and outstanding results have made this liposuction procedure the preferred method for removing fat from the hips, thighs, buttocks and midriff as well as areas of the face, neck, arms and back.
What to Expect During Your Liposuction Procedure
A liposuction procedure is not an alternative to weight reduction but can be very effective in removing fat from areas that do not respond to diet and exercise programs. Suction-assisted lipectomy can be performed in our office out-patient surgical suite under local or general anesthesia; this means that the patient will go home after the surgery.
The patient is under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation (twilight anesthesia) for the procedure. Small incisions are made near the areas of treatment and a very thin tube called a cannula is inserted under the skin to reach fat deposits.
A narrow tube (cannula) is inserted into a small incision made in an inconspicuous place. Dr. Hardaway then manipulates the cannula, which is connected to a strong vacuum, breaking up fatty areas and suctioning out the fat.
Many refinements in liposuction such as the tumescent technique and ultrasonic liposuction have helped to enhance the final result. The fat can also be inserted into other areas of the body, to help contour and shape other areas.
Vaser liposuction (ultrasonic) and Smartlipo (laser) are types of liposuction that use heat to liquefy the fat prior to removal. The heat promotes collagen production and skin tightening.
How long is recovery from a liposuction procedure?
Liposuction is an outpatient treatment, so no hospital stay is required unless the patient has a medical history that requires hospitalization. Swelling and bruising are normal after the procedure. A compression garment is required after surgery. Patients can normally return to work several days after their liposuction procedure, depending on the physical intensity of the job. Normal physical activity can be resumed when cleared by the doctor, normally two to three weeks after surgery. Do not resume normal physical activity or return to work until cleared by the doctor.
How long to results from liposuction last?
Results from a liposuction procedure lasts for many years, as the fat is removed from the body. However, natural processes such as weight gain, aging, factors from pregnancy, and other lifestyle factors, including genetics, can cause variations. It is important to maintain a stable weight and to exercise after surgery to ensure the longevity of the results. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help the results last longer.
If you are in the process of losing weight, it is best to be near or at your weight loss goal before having the procedure done. Following the doctor’s specific instructions after surgery will help the results from your liposuction procedure last as long as possible. This will ensure the best and longest lasting results from the procedure.
What are the risks of liposuction?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with any liposuction procedure. The most common risks include bruising and swelling after the procedure. As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection if not taken care of properly. Blood clots and nerve damage are other risks from the procedure, but are uncommon. Strictly following the doctor’s instructions for aftercare can help decrease the chance of these risks.