What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas of the body. The areas include the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. During the past decade, liposuction, which is also known as “lipoplasty” or “suction lipectomy,” has benefited from several new refinements. Today, a number of new techniques, including the tumescent technique and the super-wet technique, are helping many plastic surgeons provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Treated areas look slimmer and more contoured, and in better overall proportion to the rest of the body.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?
The ideal candidate for liposuction are patients that are within 30% of their ideal weight. They should be healthy and do not have any medical conditions that would prolong the healing process. They should be a non-smoker and have realistic expectations of the results. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. The purpose is to remove stubborn packets of fat that will not respond to a proper diet and exercise.
Areas Treated With Liposuction
Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods. These areas include:
- Hips and buttocks
- Abdomen and waist
- Upper arms
- Inner knee
- Chest area
- Cheeks, chin and neck
- Calves and ankles
The liposuction procedure is minimally invasive, using a hollow tube called a cannula to remove localized areas of body fat. The surgeon inserts the cannula through extremely small incisions, and then moves it back and forth to loosen excess fat. They then suction the fat out using a vacuum or a cannula-attached syringe. One of the most common liposuction techniques is tumescent liposuction, which may get an assist from ultrasound or laser,
During tumescent liposuction, the surgeon injects a saline solution, an anesthetic, and epinephrine (a blood-vessel contractor) into the treatment area. The saline solution causes the targeted tissue to swell and become firm, making it easier to remove. The advantages to this technique are that it includes anesthetic, so there is no need for general or IV sedation. There is also minimal blood loss is because the epinephrine constricts blood vessels.
In laser-assisted tumescent liposuction, the surgeon uses a laser to liquefy the fat, which makes removing it easier. The laser can also help tighten treatment-area skin after we remove the fat. Similarly, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasound energy to liquefy fat.
Liposuction Before & After
*Individual results may vary
Can Liposuction Be Combined with Other Procedures?
Recovery After Liposuction
After the procedure, we wrap the patient in a compression garment to cover treatment areas. This will help control swelling and will compress their body to its new shape and contours. The surgeon will place small temporary drains to help remove any problematic post-operative fluids. Patients may experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area.
Patients can return to work and regular activities once they are comfortable, which is usually only a few days after the procedure. We recommend that patients avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for a few weeks.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Following our post-operative instructions closely is key to seeing optimal results.
Results from liposuction are long lasting. In order to maintain your bodies new contour, we recommend general fitness and a healthy lifestyle. First improvements will be seen in 1 to 2 weeks and optimal results are generally seen within 6 to 9 months after the procedure. Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside.
As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent. Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary. It is also not possible to improve lax skin tone with liposuction.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re considering liposuction, detailed information can be found at www.PlasticSurgery.org. Call (616) 459-1907 to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons at Elite Plastic Surgery. Our practice serves Grand Rapids, Byron Center, and surrounding areas in Michigan!