Liposuction and Body contouring*
Liposuction is a very common, popular procedure. It is designed for the permanent removal of fatty tissue, commonly referred to as “cellulite.” It is an elective procedure that allows the cosmetic surgeon to remove undesirable, subcutaneous fat in isolated areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. These areas include the hips, thighs, abdomen, knees, ankles, face and neck. Liposuction is most successful in people with good skin tone who have fatty deposits. It is not a treatment for obesity. If weight gain occurs following liposuction, the fat will be deposited in areas that have not been treated. The procedure can be repeated, if necessary. To maintain the safety of the procedure, there is a limit on how much can be done at one time.
A variety of factors can affect the results: Physical condition, genetic makeup, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, and skin elasticity.
The results of liposuction are permanent. If you were to gain a large amount of weight you might note rippling in the treated areas, depending on your skin elasticity.
Despite good health and a reasonable level of fitness, some people may still have a body with disproportionate contours due to localized fat deposits. These areas may be due to family traits rather than a lack of weight control or fitness.
Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, improving your body contours and proportion, and ultimately, enhancing your self-image.
Liposuction techniques may be used to reduce localized fat deposits of the:
- Hips and buttocks
- Abdomen and waist
- Upper arms
- Inner knee
- Chest area
- Cheeks, chin and neck
- Calves and ankles
In some cases, liposuction is performed alone, in other cases it is used with plastic surgery procedures such as a facelift, breast reduction or a tummy tuck.
Liposuction is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis in a hospital or surgical center. The surgeon makes small (less that ½ inch), discreet incisions in the areas to be treated. A cannula (flexible tube) is inserted in a small incision and attached to a suction machine. The procedure may take an hour or more, depending on how many areas are involved.
What to expect afterwards
Recovery from liposuction is relatively easy. Expect a fair amount of swelling and bruising in the following two weeks. You will wear special garments provided to apply pressure, minimize swelling and provide support while healing. These garments also assist in retraction of the skin. Stitches will be removed in a week to ten days.
Results are recognizable almost immediately and will continue to improve as swelling subsides. You should be up and walking around the day after surgery. Increase your activity daily until full activity is resumed at 2-4 weeks. You will be ready to return to office work in 3-5 days and more active employment at 10-14 days. Avoid the sun until all bruising has subsided. A sunscreen should be used routinely; it is easy to get sunburned during recovery because of decreased sensation.
What it won’t do: Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise. It is also not an effective treatment for cellulite, the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips and buttocks, or loose saggy skin.
*Individual results may vary