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, cheeks, chin, hips, knees, neck, thighs, and upper arms. The procedure is often performed along with other procedures, such as abdominoplasty or facelift surgery.
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. After surgery, you’re likely to discover you’re able to wear a wide variety of clothing than before. 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.
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 either local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or an epidural.
The procedure begins 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. The cannula is manipulated by the surgeon, disrupting the fat cells before they are suctioned out.
There are several fairly new liposuction techniques which are able to improve the procedure and enhance the outcome. For ultrasound-assisted liposuction, or UAL, an ultrasound probe is inserted beneath the skin to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out. For tumescent liposuction, large volumes of a fluid containing saline and lidocaine are injected into the fatty tissues, making them swollen and firm, before they are suctioned out. Both of these techniques offer 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, pain, stiffness, burning or temporary numbness. Fluid drainage from the incisions, swelling and bleeding is also common.
Dr. Creech will prescribe pain medication to help with any pain or discomfort that you feel, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. Patients should start walking around as soon as possible, or as recommended, to help prevent blood clots in the legs.
A compression garment similar to a girdle is typically worn for several weeks to support the skin and control swelling. Most of the swelling and bruising subsides within three weeks, though some slight swelling can persist for more than six months. You will notice an immediate change in the shape of your body after surgery, though the final results will be apparent when all of the swelling has completely diminished.
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 eight weeks.