Liposuction is a minimally-invasive body contouring procedure that eliminates excess fat deposits that cannot be corrected with diet and exercise. Fat reduction surgery can be performed on any area of your body or face to eliminate embarrassing bulges and uncover your natural contours.
Subcutaneous fat is a layer of your skin, and it is often the last type of fat that your body uses for energy. This is also the type of fat that causes bumps and bulges on your body. It is difficult to reduce this fat because your body holds it in reserve. Because we no longer depend on fat reserves for survival, it is safe to remove the excess fat cells with lipoplasty procedures. Fat reduction surgery can be performed on any area of your body or face to eliminate embarrassing bulges and uncover your natural contours.
Does Liposuction Help Me Lose Weight?
Only a small amount of fat needs to be removed to contour your body, so liposuction is not an overall weight loss method. You need to be at or near your ideal weight for at least 12 months to be considered for liposuction procedures. If you gain weight after the surgery, your body may develop new fat in the same area. Before considering fat removal surgery, follow a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise to get close to a healthy weight.
Types Of Liposuction
Four aesthetic surgery techniques are used to remove fat cells, and all of the techniques involve using a thin tube to dislodge and suction out the fat cells. Over the years, liposuction techniques have evolved to reduce downtime and undesirable results that may require secondary procedures or reconstructive surgery.
When liposuction was first developed, the cannula was used to essentially scrape fat cells from the subcutaneous layer. This resulted in significant tissue trauma, prolonged healing, and inconsistent results. Modern liposuction techniques use special agents to simplify fat removal.
Tumescent liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgery to remove excess fat. A special solution is injected into the treatment area to loosen the fat before the surgeon uses the cannula to remove it. Laser and ultrasound energy technologies have also been adapted to be used in liposuction surgical procedures. The laser energy melts the fat, and ultrasound energy helps to dislodge the fat. The last type of liposuction is power-assisted in which the cannula vibrates to loosen fat cells.
Liposuction Treatment Areas
In addition to improvements in liposuction techniques, the systems have been enhanced to support fat removal in even the smallest parts of the face and body. For the face, liposuction is used to balance out the features. Lipoplasty is also used to remove fatty bulges from the upper arms, abdomen, hips, thighs, calves, buttocks, chest, and back.
Fat removal surgery may be combined with other surgical procedures, such as liposuction on your stomach as part of a tummy tuck. Liposuction for men may help contour the chest area and reduce the effects of gynecomastia.
Is Liposuction Right For Me?
Plastic surgery for fat removal is ideal for most people, but some factors affect how well it will work for you. You should have a good skin tone. If you have poor skin elasticity, you will be left with sagging skin after the procedure. You also need to be near your ideal weight and have an acceptable level of body fat. If you are overweight or have a high body mass index, we recommend that you rely on diet and exercise to remove as much fat as possible.
How Does Liposuction Work?
Depending on the extent of your liposuction procedure, local or general anesthesia is used for the surgery. The incisions for lipoplasty are approximately one-eighth to one-half inch long, and more than one incision may be required. Because the incisions are so small, the wound heals without sutures. Dr. Bunkis may use a chemical solution, laser energy, ultrasound, or vibration to loosen the fat. A thin tube with a suction device is inserted through each incision for the fat removal.
Does Liposuction Help With Cellulite?
Liposuction does not work for cellulite. Cellulite is caused by weak connective tissues that hold the fat in place. The surgeon can discuss your options for cellulite removal during your consultation.
Liposuction can be combined with other body contouring procedures. It is typically used to refine the results and sculpt the remaining fat. The two most common body contouring procedures that are combined with liposuction are tummy tucks and breast enhancement. Liposuction is also used for fat transfer body contouring, such as a Brazilian butt lift.
Advances in liposuction techniques and technologies reduce the risks and complications. Modern lipoplasty is considered to be very safe.
Two of the most common liposuction risks are loose skin and fat embolism. Sagging skin occurs when a person does not have good skin elasticity. A fat embolism occurs when fat cells enter the bloodstream and block blood flow to vital organs. As a qualified, and experienced double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bunkis has the skills and expertise to reduce unwanted liposuction side effects and risks.
When performed as a standalone procedure, initial liposuction recovery takes approximately seven days. You may have some residual swelling and bruising for several months. Wearing a compression garment as directed helps to minimize these symptoms and expedite the healing of the tissues.
Your liposuction scars start to heal right away. At first, the scar line is light pink to red. It takes about one year for the scar to change to a slightly darker color than the surrounding skin. Even then, your scars are barely noticeable.
Liposuction results are considered permanent, but changes to your weight can affect the results. Live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a normal weight to enjoy the benefits for many years.
If you are not a good candidate for liposuction due to poor skin elasticity or other factors, we will recommend some other body contouring treatments. Popular liposuction alternatives include non-invasive treatments, such as Kybella®, to destroy fat cells and boost collagen production. We can discuss these options in detail during your consultation.
Post Operational Instructions
After undergoing plastic surgery, following the postoperative instructions provided by your surgeon is crucial for optimal healing and recovery. These instructions may include caring for the surgical site, managing pain, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is important to keep the surgical area clean, take prescribed medications as directed, rest and avoid strenuous activities, and adhere to a balanced diet while staying hydrated.
Attending follow-up appointments will allow your surgeon to monitor your progress and provide further guidance, ensuring a successful outcome from your plastic surgery procedure.