What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses a thin, hollow tube called a cannula to remove localized areas of body fat. The surgeon inserts the cannula through extremely small incisions. Then it moves back and forth to loosen excess fat and suctions it out using a vacuum or a cannula attached syringe. Treated areas look slimmer and more contoured, and in better overall proportion to the rest of the body. However, liposuction is not a method for losing weight and is not effective in eliminating cellulite or tightening loose and sagging skin.
Am I a Candidate For Liposuction?
The ideal candidate has good overall health but has one or more areas of fat that do not respond to diet or exercise. Areas that liposuction can treat include the thighs, abdomen, arms, back, hips, buttocks, chest, face, calves and ankles. Liposuction can be performed alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures, such as thighplasty and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). Dr. Guarnieri will discuss your options with you.
One of the most common liposuction techniques is tumescent liposuction, which may get an assist from ultrasound or laser. It is an outpatient procedure.
During tumescent liposuction, a solution comprising of saline solution, lidocaine (an anesthetic) and epinephrine (a blood-vessel contractor) is injected into the area being treated. The solution causes the targeted tissue swell and becomes firm, which makes it easier to remove via the cannula. The advantages of this technique are that the anesthetic is built in, so there is no need for general or IV sedation. Blood loss is minimal because the epinephrine constricts blood vessels.
In laser-assisted tumescent liposuction, a laser liquefies the fat, which makes removing it easier. The laser can also tighten treatment-area skin after fat removal. Similarly, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasound energy to liquefy fat.
After, patients experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Typically, patients will wear compression garments or elastic bandages are to help reduce these symptoms as the area heals. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Patients should avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for a few weeks.
Risks Of Liposuction Surgery
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery, risks associated include the following:
- Loose or rippled skin
- Worsening of cellulite
- Contour irregularities
- Pigmentation irregularities
When we remove large amounts of fat, surgery to remove excess skin may be necessary.
The procedure results may not be apparent until swelling and bruising subside, which usually takes a week; swelling should completely subside within a few months. Incisions rarely need sutures, and scarring is almost nonexistent because the incisions are so small. The results are long-lasting unless the patient gains a substantial amount of weight.