We may maximize workouts, eat like rabbits and take vitamins like candy and still find that we have those resistant areas around our hips, flanks and abdominal area. If that’s the case, liposuction can be ideal in shaping those extra pads. Dr. Lille uses Vaser Liposelection, the most advanced in ultrasonic technology. It targets only the fat cells and does not injure other tissue components below the skin. The Vaser is very useful in women and men who have more fibrous strands below the skin where fat cells can hide. The Vaser liquefies the hard to get to fat and helps tighten the under surface of the skin from the heat generated by the Vaser. Recovery is fast, anywhere from three to five days before returning to work, and you can work out as soon as one to two weeks. Compression garments are worn and the surgery is definitive.
What happens during liposuction?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions.
First, sterile liquid solution is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through these incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion.
The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
Step 3 – See the results
Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside.
With continued practices of healthy diet and fitness, the loss of excess fatty tissue should be permanently maintained. However, substantial weight gain can alter an otherwise permanent result.
Enhancing your appearance with liposuction
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.
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.
What to expect during your consultation
The success and safety of your liposuction procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of liposuction and any risks or potential complications
Preparing for surgery
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your liposuction
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Liposuction may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
Important facts about the safety and risks of liposuction
The decision to have liposuction is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Possible risks of liposuction include:
- Uneven contours
- Rippling or loose skin
- Skin or nerve damage
- Irregular pigmentation
- Fat clots
- Blood clots
- Excessive fluid loss or fluid accumulation
- Unfavorable scarring
- Thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound with the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty technique
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Change in skin sensation
- Skin discoloration or swelling
- Pain, which may persist
- Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs
- Poor wound healing
- Persistent swelling in the legs
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Is it right for me?
If you are bothered by excess fat deposits – located anywhere on your body – that don’t respond to diet or exercise, liposuction may be right for you.
Ideal candidates for liposuction are:
- Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Once your procedure is completed, a compression garment or elastic bandages may cover treatment areas. These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours.
In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.
A special note: Secondary procedures may sometimes be recommended to reduce excess skin. Special considerations are needed when large amounts – usually more than 5 liters of fat – are suctioned.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
- When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
When you go home
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, 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.
The results will be long-lasting
It may take several months for the swelling to fully dissipate. As it does, your new contours and enhanced self-image should continue to develop.
The fulfillment you feel from the initial results of liposuction should continue as long as you control your weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A significant weight gain can reverse your results. Following liposuction, your slimmer and better-proportioned body should more accurately reflect the healthy and active life you lead.
How much will liposuction cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for liposuction can vary widely. A surgeon’s cost for liposuction may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well as geographic office location.
Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Cost may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
Liposuction Questions and Answers
What does liposuction accomplish?
Liposuction removes excess fat cells to contour and shape the body. The fat cells that are removed are permanently gone.
Who are the ideal candidates for liposuction?
Ideal candidates are those patients that have good skin quality, without stretch marks and have areas of excess fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.
Will I lose weight with liposuction?
Not really, fat does not weigh a lot, it is however, bulky. Liposuction contours those bulky areas and shapes the body. For those people that have excess weight, diet and exercise or medically supervised program can be an alternative, but cannot offer the shaping that lipo-sculpting provides.
Are all patients that have areas resistant to diet good candidates for liposuction?
No. Those patients that have fat areas with overlying skin that is weak with stretch marks are not good candidates because liposuction does not significantly impact lax skin. Although Dr. Lille uses the Vaser instrumentation which can help skin tighten. The amount is dependent, however, on the patient’s current skin elasticity and collagen damage.
How long is the recovery with liposuction?
The recovery for liposuction can vary depending upon the number of areas contoured. Generally speaking, recovery can be anywhere from 3-7 days before returning to work and 12-14 days before returning to the gym
When can I expect my final result?
Generally speaking, all of the swelling; as well as, overlying skin contracture should take place approximately nine months after the surgery.
How big are the incisions?
Liposuction incisions are relatively small, essentially about the width of the tip of your finger and are very well camouflaged. Some of the incision sites are left open to facilitate drainage which usually occurs in the first 24-48 hours following the liposuction procedure. This allows faster resolution of swelling and a quicker recovery.
What is the latest technology of liposuction?
Dr. Lille uses Vaser liposelection which is the most advanced form of ultrasonic liposuction. The Vaser directly sends ultrasonic wave length energy to the fat cells and emulsifies or liquefies the fat. This energy, unlike the more traditional ultrasonic energy, does not damage the surrounding components of the tissue matrix like nerves, arteries, veins and deep tissue connective bands. The Vaser energy, when used correctly, helps promote increased contraction of the overlying skin and can be very helpful in small areas of refined contouring; such as, the knees, axillary areas and very small areas that require the highest element of refined contouring. The Vaser cannulas are also smaller than the more traditional cannulas for contouring. The other advanced technology is called Smart Lipo that uses laser energy compared to the ultrasonic energy which Dr. Lille utilizes. Laser energy, in Dr. Lille’s opinion, takes longer and has a greater potential risk of a burn injury.
Can the fat that is removed by liposuction be used for something else?
Yes, the fat removed by liposuction can be used and transferred to other areas of your body that require volume enhancement such as the face. In addition, the fat removed can also be stored in a cryogenic bank and be used as a stem cell bank for future stem cell therapy such as organ regeneration.
What are the risks of liposuction?
Liposuction, as with any procedure, has risks such as bleeding, infection, scarring, unsatisfactory results, contour irregularities, burn wounds, or damage to deep underlying structures. Dr. Lille, in his extensive patient outcome studies, has a complication rate of less than 0.5% in his liposuction cases.
If I have an area that not only has fat but very loose skin and liposuction is not a viable option, what additional options are available?
All viable options will be discussed by Dr. Lille with each patient and will be individually tailored to the needs of that patient. Often times when patients have excess skin; a skin reducing surgery will be suggested. The benefits and drawbacks of each option and procedure will be fully discussed candidly so the patient can make the best informed decision.