Age and weight gain can add pounds to the body and can deposit in areas you don’t expect. Genetics is a major factor in how fat is distributed on the body, and some areas may not respond to normal dieting efforts or exercise regimes. Liposuction can help to reduce fat in these areas and give your body a more proportional appearance. Whether the procedure is done on hips, waist, thighs, abdomen or arms, liposuction can create a more balanced, shapely appearance. Our plastic surgeon, Mark Pinsky, MD, can provide safe, effective surgery to give your body the contours you have always wanted.
The Liposuction Procedure
Liposuction uses special equipment that is used to loosen and vacuum out fat tissue from the body. Long thin tubes called cannulas are inserted to extract the fatty tissue from under the skin. A variety of techniques are used with this equipment:
- In some cases, tissues are filled with fluid to help separate the fatty tissue.
- Ultrasonic waves are can be used to liquefy the fat to make it easy to remove.
- Lasers can be used to helps to dissolve the fat for easier removal from the body.
- Power-assisted liposuction uses a small blade that cuts through fat for easy removal.
These techniques have different costs, times, recovery times, scarring and other considerations. Dr. Pinsky will determine the best technique for your individual needs that can achieve your body contouring goals.
Who Is A Good Candidate?
The best candidates for liposuction have realistic goals for their body. This procedure cannot eliminate 50 pounds if you are overweight (you may want to consider a tummy tuck if this is the results you are looking for). However, it can minimize small bulges and pads of fat that accumulate in common areas of the body. The candidate should be in good general health. People with serious health problems such as seizure disorder, cardiac arrhythmias, immunodeficiency diseases or blood clot disorders may not be a good candidate for the liposuction procedure. If the candidate’s skin has poor elasticity, it may not respond well to liposuction. Smoking can have an effect on healing. Quitting is recommended before getting liposuction.
Preparing For Your Liposuction Procedure
Dr. Pinsky will review your medical history to ensure that no problems develop during surgery. He will also advise you to eat a healthy diet before the day of surgery and refrain from taking some medications, such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, that can affect bleeding or healing. You will be advised to stop smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery to prevent constriction of blood vessels that is associated with smoking. Two weeks before the procedure you should stop taking all herbs and supplements. Alcohol and salt intake should also be restricted. You should also avoid sunbathing, steam baths and the use of skin products that can irritant the skin. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for the day of surgery, which you should follow carefully to ensure good results.
The entire procedure can take between 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the type of procedure and whether other surgeries are done at the same time. Liposuction is sometimes combined with other plastic surgery procedures, such as breast augmentation.
Recovering From Surgery
Recovery from liposuction can vary between patients. Some patients will feel little discomfort and are on their feet and back to work within a few days. Other patients may find liposuction more difficult. They may experience drainage from the incision area for a number of days and may feel significant discomfort. Most patients feel some degree of soreness in the incision area. Your physician will provide pain medication to keep discomfort to a minimum. Generally, you should start walking around as soon as possible to help reduce swelling that occurs after the procedure. A reddish discharge may continue for several days after the procedure. The area may show bruising, but this will fade quickly over a number of days. You may notice numbness in the area of the incision but this too will fade over a period of time. It can up to 6 months for the numbness to completely dissipate. You will have to wear a compression garment after the procedure to help your tissues settle into their new shape. Avoid strenuous activities for 3 weeks to allow complete healing. Most patients are back at work in 4 to 7 days. The full results of the procedure will be evident over several weeks.