Liposuction is now a well-accepted procedure with clearly defined indications, making it one of the most frequently performed aesthetic operations in both women and men. Most patients present for liposuction to slim the tummy, flanks, hips, thighs and inner knee area. While most are women, more and more men are asking for liposuction to help with unwanted collections of fat on their abdomen and flank areas. Liposuction is a safe reliable method of removing fat and sculpting the body. With minimal “down time”, liposuction can deliver the aesthetic results desired by most patients.
After carefully listening to the patient’s concerns and, following a detailed history and physical examination, the regions to be liposuctioned are discussed. On the day of surgery, these areas are marked with the patient standing to ensure all areas of concern to the patient are clearly understood and marked preoperatively. Liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis in the private office under local anesthesia with sedation or with a light general anesthesia.
Liposuction is performed through very small incisions (2 to 4 mm) hidden in folds or creases in most cases. Using a suction pump and various types of suction cannulas, the fat in each area is gently removed to the desired contour. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures buried under the skin and the patient wears a compression garment for 4 weeks postoperatively. Liposuction is usually well tolerated and patients are up walking the same day. Pain is usually minimal and well controlled with oral medication.
What are the common areas managed with liposuction?
Liposuction works best at removing unwanted collections of deeper fat that collect in definable areas in both women and men. These include the tummy (above and below the belly button), the flanks, hips and inner knees. Other areas also respond well to liposuctioning including the neck, arms, buttocks, and thighs.
Can liposuction help me lose weight?
No, liposuction plays no role in losing weight.
How is a liposuction performed?
The areas to be liposuctioned are tailored to suit the needs of each patient. Before the procedure is performed, Dr. Zelt will carefully identify and map out the areas that concern you. Once anesthetized, very small incisions – usually 2-4 mm in length, are used to remove the unwanted fat. Specialized rods or cannulas attached to a suction machine are introduced through these small incisions. Using careful technique, the fat from the areas marked before the surgery is systematically removed.
Where are the scars located?
The scars used for liposuction are very short and inconspicuous once healed. Although they may be placed just about anywhere to ensure proper removal of fat, most are “hidden” within creases or body folds.
Where is the procedure performed?
Most liposuction procedures are performed in one of two private accredited operating facilities.
How long does the procedure take?
In most cases, this procedure takes 1 to 3 hours depending on how many regions are treated.
What kind of anesthesia will be required?
A very light general anesthesia is the preferred method of anesthesia. Smaller procedures can be performed under local anesthesia with or without intravenous sedation.
What does my skin look like after liposuction?
Usually, it looks relatively normal. While some swelling and occasional bruising are seen, both are usually mild. Compression garments are worn to give a light pressure to the areas liposuctioned. This helps to ensure even healing. Liposuction does not improve the texture of skin postoperatively – areas of cellulite, for example, will generally look the same after liposuction.
When can I resume my normal activities?
Most patients can return to light activity and work within a 2-3 days surgery. Return to normal physical activity, including sports, is permitted after 3-4 weeks.
Can I have other procedures done at the same time?
Yes, patients frequently combine liposuction with a wide variety of other cosmetic procedures including breast surgery and abdominoplasty.
Are there any risks to having liposuction?
Generally, liposuction is a very safe and reliable procedure. During your office consultation, Dr. Zelt will discuss with you the associated risks and complications. Fortunately, most are very uncommon and the vast majority of patients enjoy an uneventful surgery and recovery period.
If you have any questions please contact our office and we will be happy to set up a consultation.