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 a Good 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 used for weight loss. It is to remove stubborn packets of fat that will not respond to a proper diet and exercise.
What Areas Can Liposuction Treat?
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 cannula is inserted through extremely small incisions, and then moved back and forth to loosen excess fat, which is suctioned 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, a saline solution, an anesthetic, and epinephrine (a blood-vessel contractor) is injected into the area being treated. The saline solution causes the targeted tissue swell and become firm, making it easier to remove. The advantages to this technique are that the anesthetic is built in, so there is no need for general or IV sedation. Blood loss is also minimized because the epinephrine constricts blood vessels.
In laser-assisted tumescent liposuction, a laser is used to liquefy the fat, which makes removing it easier. The laser can also be used to tighten treatment-area skin after fat is removed. Similarly, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasound energy to liquefy fat.
Liposuction Before & After
*Individual results may vary
Can Liposuction be Combined with Any Other Services?
Liposuction can be combined with other plastic surgery procedures such as facelifts, breast reduction, or tummy tucks.
After your procedure, you will be wrapped in a compression garment to cover treatment areas. This will help control swelling and will compress your body to your new shape and contours. Small temporary drains will be placed to help remove any problematic post-operative fluids.
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.
After liposuction, patients may experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Compression garments are typically worn to help reduce these symptoms as the area heals. Patients can return to work and regular activities once they are comfortable, which is usually only a few days after the procedure. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks.
Results are long lasting. In order to maintain your bodies new contour, general fitness and a healthy lifestyle is recommended. 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!