Liposuction and Liposculpture
Straub Plastic Surgery specializes in liposuction and body contouring. After a private, complimentary consultation, we can assess if liposuction will be the most effective and safest choice to achieve your goals. The final choice of treatment will depend on your body contour, your medical health and your lifestyle goals.
How is the liposuction procedure performed?
Typically, the procedure involves multiple small incisions and a suction tube from 6 to 12 inches in length passed through an opening into the area of fatty tissue. The suction tube (cannula) is connected to a high-volume suction apparatus, and the fat tissue withdrawn. The removal of the fatty tissue is done in an evenly spaced pattern. This allows the overlying skin and subcutaneous tissue blanket to "settle" so that the fullness or bulge of the fat is recontoured. There is a limited amount of improvement that can occur, but in the well-chosen case, this can produce a nice correction.
The small incisions are closed with sutures and a compressive dressing or garment is placed about the suctioned area. This is done either with an elasticized tape or with an elastic bandage wrapping or even, in some, a corset-type of dressing. The compressive dressing is worn for a few weeks or longer.
Will the liposuction procedure result in permanent scarring?
Since the incisions are short, an unsightly scar is uncommon. All incisions produce scars, but those associated with this surgery usually are not a major issue.
How long does the liposuction procedure take?
The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia and the technique used.
How long is the recovery time for liposuction?
You will probably be instructed to start walking around as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two, and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed or dissolve on their own within the first week to 10 days.
Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.
Will I need anesthesia for liposuction?
The procedure can be done with a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic, depending on the location and the bulk of tissue that needs to be removed.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
This procedure is not the answer for generalized obesity but is appropriate for those with local areas of fat (i.e., in the abdomen, under the chin, in the thighs or in the flank area). You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations. Your age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie, and assess the condition of your skin. Your surgeon will explain the body-contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you.
You will be provided with specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may need to be postponed.
Though it is rarely necessary, your doctor may recommend that you have blood drawn ahead of time in case it is needed during surgery.
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and to help you at home for a day or two, if needed.
Rest as much as possible when you return home. It is normal to feel drowsy or sluggish the entire day. You may feel dizzy or uncomfortable upon standing or walking, so be sure that support from a person or object is nearby.
Stay in bed at all times on the day of surgery except for during meals or to use the bathroom.
Sleep on your back rather than on your side. (Sleeping on your side will cause you to become more swollen on that side.)
Keep your head and legs elevated.
Take pain medication as instructed and prescribed by your physician.
TAKE PAIN MEDICATION WITH FOOD. Avoid alcohol beverages.
Wear your pressure garment at all times.
Sponge bathe for the first three to five days after surgery.
After five days, you may remove the pressure garment only to shower. The pressure garment must be worn for approximately four to six weeks.
Do not wear any tight or constricting clothing (belts, tight pants).
Avoid putting pressure in one area (i.e., sitting for long periods of time causes wrinkles in abdomen and groin area).
No high-impact exercise for at least one month.
If you are a smoker, DO NOT smoke for at least one to two weeks after surgery.
The suctioned areas are normally bruised after the surgery and slowly fade in one to three weeks. After this, there is a hardening or lumpiness under the skin that will last a month or more before returning to normal. The final result will not be attained for three months or more.
Fat suctioning is done in a conservative fashion to get the best results possible. If too radical a suctioning is done, the result can be unsightly. It is almost impossible to replace fat if too much is removed. If a conservative suctioning is done, an additional amount can be removed later, if needed. This would be a "touch up" procedure and done six months to one year after.
After three to six months, the final contour will be visible and skin texture will be normal.
It is necessary to note that liposuction is not a permanent solution and does not make it impossible to regain fat in this area.