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Plastic Surgery – Liposuction
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty and often referred to as ‘lipo” for short, is a plastic surgery procedure that helps to slim, reshape and contour areas of the body through the removal of excess fat deposits and fatty tissue via suction through a cannula or hollow tube affixed to an aspirator.
It is a very popular plastic surgery procedure since it defines and enhances the body’s natural figure. Liposuction can be applied to various parts of the body such as the chin, upper arms, chest, back, abdomen, waist, buttocks, hips, thighs, inner knee, and calves.
Liposuction should not be used as a substitute for diet and/or exercise, or as a treatment for obesity, sagging skin, or cellulite.
Liposuction can be combined with other cosmetic procedures including a tummy tuck and breast reduction, among others. Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise more specifically on this, as every case is unique to the individual.
Liposuction is a versatile procedure in that it can be performed on large (thighs, buttocks, abdomen, etc.) and small (chin, outer breasts, ankles, etc.) areas of the body. A tiny incision is made in the trouble area and a thin cannula is inserted into the incision to break up the fat deposits underneath the skin using a technique of controlled back and forth motion. Then, the excess fat is suctioned out of the body via a surgical vacuum pump attached to the cannula. Patients tend to lose fluids along with the excess fat as a result of the suction. As such, patients are fed fluids intravenously and monitored by our qualified medical staff. Fluid retention and swelling are common experiences following liposuction. Improved body contour is apparent once that subsides.
It is encouraged for patients to keep healthy eating habits and exercise regularly in order to maintain the results of the liposuction lasting a very long time after surgery.
Types of Liposuction
There are several different methods of Liposuction that make it easier, safer, less invasive and less painful.
Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) extracts fat via smaller incisions with a mechanical cannula, requiring less manual effort especially in fibrous body parts. Risks and complications are less than with manual liposuction since this method is quicker to perform. This type of liposuction also tends to leave less bruising and has a shorter recovery time because it doesn’t employ much force to release the excess fat in patients. And, there are no accidental burns, as the procedure uses no heat. MicroAire’s PAL® LipoSculptor™ is a US patented instrument that surgeons use to perform Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL). Its trademark technique does not require as much physical effort as lipoplasty, using reciprocating motion rather than rotating motion once the cannula is inside the tissue. This allows for a better experience for doctors as well as patients. Since the PAL® LipoSculptor does not require heat, as with ultrasonic and laser devices, there are no accidental burns.
Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL), or traditional liposuction, employs a pressure vacuum attached to a small cannula, which is manually operated by the plastic surgeon to suction the excess fat as it is broken up.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) uses ultrasound to disrupt the fat cells, making the removal of fat easier, reducing the chances of bleeding complications, trauma and bruising. The liquefied fat can be drained as its being liquefied or afterwards. This technique is seen as less traumatic and more efficient than other methods, and gives the doctor more control when contouring the body, producing softer, smoother results and better definition. It also produces more skin tightening during the post-operative period. This plastic surgery can be performed on both men and women, in the male breast area, abdomen and back.
Laser Liposuction, such Smart Lipo or Slim Lipo, uses a laser beam to disrupt the fatty tissue to prevent fat cells from storing more fat. The procedure helps remove localized fat in the chest, male breasts, abdomen, back, hips, thighs and knees. It is a minimally invasive form of liposuction, which allows for a quick recovery and results in less bruising, inflammation and bleeding when compared to traditional liposuction.
What are the Benefits of Liposuction?
There are both mental and physical benefits from liposuction. It is considered a very effective and safe method of removal of excess body fat. Among other Liposuction benefits are the safe removal of body fat from trouble areas of the body that don’t seem to respond to non-evasive treatments or exercise, and the improved appearance of cellulite.
Like with any other medical procedure, there are benefits and risks associated with liposuction.
Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL) risks include numbness, swelling and color changes in the treated area as well as irritation at the cannula insertion point. Fluid imbalance is another complication that may arise after the liposuction procedure. In some cases, persistent swelling may last for weeks or months after liposuction. Another risk is an embolism, detached fat that travels to the brain or lungs, or is trapped in blood vessels.
Minimal risks are associated with Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) including uneven, wrinkled, and/or loose skin that can tighten over time. In addition, there may be moderate changes in the pigmentation of treated area.
While uncommon, the continuous ultrasound energy of Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) may cause the patient’s skin to burn.
As with UAL, Laser Liposuction can cause burning since it uses thermal energy. There are risks of blistering, infection and scarring as well. Skin irregularities, such as dimpling and wavy skin texture, and light or dark skin discoloration may also occur. The discoloration should fade with time, but may require additional treatment.
Who is a good candidate for Liposuction?
Doc attentive and had a great staff
Doc attentive and had a great staff…but the results are priceless! Even though I’m still swollen three days after surgery I have a nice 6 pack!
Ideal patients for liposuction are healthy, smoke-free individuals, who have no serious medical conditions or life-threatening illness that may prevent the healing process. They also have a positive outlook on life. In order to be good candidates for liposuction, patients must suffer from having excess fat deposits, and have a realistic vision for their body contouring.
The recovery period for liposuction ranges from a few days to several weeks. The initial stages of liposuction recovery can be especially uncomfortable due to possible swelling, numbness, burning and soreness, which makes taking care of the treated areas very important. To expedite recovery, reduce swelling and help shape the body, the doctor may recommend compression garments or wraps for several weeks or months after surgery. One to two days after surgery, the doctor will replace the bandages. Five to ten days after surgery, any sutures and drains will be removed. Eight to ten days after surgery, any stitches that did not dissolve will be removed. Compression garments may be removed a few weeks or months later. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to avoid infection at the incision sites. Final results are visible once the swelling subsides.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
While the cost of liposuction may be an important factor, the quality of liposuction should remain more important. Be careful not to let cheap liposuction prices supersede good lipo surgery. The cost of liposuction surgery includes surgical fees, operating room costs and anesthesia fees. Non-surgical fees include pre-operative exams, post operative garments and treatments like massages.
In addition to non-surgical fees, other variables that affect liposuction prices include 1) time and effort required by the surgeon, 2) the size of the patient, 3) number of areas being treated, 4) the experience of the surgeon, and 5) geographic location.
The national average cost of liposuction ranges from $2,000 to $8,000 per area. Liposuction can also be offered as a package when combined with other surgical procedures, resulting in a lower cost for the plastic surgery. At Elite plastic surgery, the liposuction prices begin at $3,000 and financing is available.
Frequently Asked Questions About Liposuction
How much weight do I need to lose before getting Liposuction?
Before getting any type of liposuction surgery, your weight should be ideally 20lbs heavier than your ideal or desired weight.
Can you have liposuction surgery before pregnancy?
Yes, the liposuction will not affect your pregnancy. However, liposuction results will be affected by the weight gain during pregnancy. If you’re not going to enjoy the results of your liposuction procedure because you have plans for pregnancy soon, you may want to consider having the liposuction surgery after giving birth.
Which areas of the body can be treated by liposuction?
Women most frequently have liposuction on the abdomen, flanks, back, hips, arms, thighs and knees. Men typically treat their chin, breasts, abdomen and flanks.
How does a tummy tuck differ from abdominal liposuction?
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) involves the removal of skin and fat of the lower abdomen. It also accomplishes tightening of the abdominal muscles. Liposuction does not remove skin or help with tightening of the muscles.
Can liposuction be used to treat obesity?
No, liposuction surgery should not be used as cure for obesity. Even as a last resort, it is not recommended for people unable to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Does liposuction surgery get rid of cellulite?
Cellulite lies under the skin’s surface. Since liposuction removes fat deposits in deeper kin layers, it may reduce cellulite, but will not eliminate it.
Which method of liposuction is best for me?
Your plastic surgeon will recommend the best method of liposuction for you based on your unique physical factors, taking into consideration the areas of the body to be treated and any additional surgical procedures being done.
How is liposuction involved in a fat transfer?
The fat removed in liposuction surgery is harvested and purified so it can be grafted successfully to another area of the body that is being augmented or enhanced, such as the buttocks for a Brazilian Butt Lift.
No matter how much I exercise, my muscles still lack definition. Does liposuction provide more muscle definition?
Assuming your muscle tone is normal, liposuction can be used to further redefine your muscles. To treat stubborn fat that is not easily removed with diet or exercise, we offer the vaser lipo procedure. It is a technique that uses Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) to give high definition to the treated areas. In the appropriate patient, this technique can define the musculature anywhere in the body.
What types of liposuction methods are used at Elite Plastic Surgery?
While there are several different liposuction techniques nowadays, it’s really a matter of preference. Dr. Moises Salama employs Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) for all liposuction surgeries. He also uses vaser lipo, or Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL), to get high definition results.
Does liposuction require post-surgery massages?
Massage treatments are vital in achieving natural looking results and should commence as soon as possible, typically a day or two following liposuction surgery.
Are there any life-threatening risks from liposuction?
Like any other surgical procedure, liposuction involves risks, but major complications are a rare occurrence. The most commonly seen issues are asymmetries or minor irregularities. Dr. Salama will take time to discuss the important complications with you.
Contact us today for more information about liposuction
If you are interested in learning more about liposuction or in scheduling an appointment, please contact us today for more information.