Liposuction (or lipoplasty or suction lipectomy) is a body-sculpting procedure designed to create a slimmer and better proportioned figure. Often, patients will have areas of fat that seem to be resistant to diet and exercising. These fat deposits respond very well to liposuction. This procedure can be applied to nearly any area of the body and is commonly used on multiple areas during an operation. Liposuction is used effectively to reduce love handles, saddlebags, a double-chin, a bulge around the waistline, or other unsightly fatty deposits in order to develop a better shape and create a more beautiful body.
There are many options available in today’s market to assist in body sculpting. Patients can be bombarded by the “newest and best technique”. Centers will tout fat reduction over your lunch hour. While new technology can improve on results, there are dangerous procedures that are routinely performed by non-board certified plastic surgeons.
Eliminate fat from any of the following areas:
Liposuction is not a replacement for proper exercise and diet. Instead, liposuction is a reduction procedure for stubborn areas where fat accumulates. Used in combination with several areas of the body, liposuction can provide a well proportioned body appearance. Ideal surgical candidates are those already in good physical condition but having stubborn areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. Patients with loose skin or poorly elastic skin will often not do as well with liposuction since no skin is removed in this procedure. These types of patients will often have a “saggy” appearance after fat removal.
There are several techniques for performing body sculpting with today’s technologies. Liposuction refers to any procedure in which fat is removed directly though a narrow tube called a cannula. The most commonly performed type of liposuction in the United States and the world is tumescent liposuction. Tumescent liposuction is usually performed under general anesthesia and can be done on an outpatient basis unless several body areas are being treated at the same time in which case the patient will usually spend one night in the hospital. In this type of liposuction, small incisions are made to allow access for fat removal. The number of incisions will depend on the amount of fat being removed and the body area being treated. Through these incision, tumescent fluid is injected. This tumescent fluid contains numbing medication and epinephrine which helps minimize the bleeding and bruising from the procedure. After waiting some time for the tumescent fluid to take effect, liposuction is performed using several types of cannulas. These cannulas break up the fat deposits and allow for easier suction of the fat from under the skin. Different types of cannulas are used to help contour and achieve the shape desired. The small incisions are closed by absorbable sutures. The patient is then placed in a compression dressing or garment at the end of the procedure.
There are several different types of tumescent liposuction procedures that have developed as a result of recent advancements in new technologies. There is traditional liposuction, power-assisted liposuction, and ultrasound-assisted liposuction. The idea is the same in each of these techniques as the fat deposits are mechanically disrupted and removed. Power-assisted and ultrasound-assisted can speed the time of the procedure and help with removing tougher areas of fat and tissue. Together the patient and the surgeon can discuss which method(s) are best during the initial consultation visit. Liposuction can last from thirty minutes to several hours depending upon the amount of fat to be removed. Liposuction surgery is an excellent procedure that can benefit those who want to remove unattractive fatty deposits.
Another type of “liposuction” is laser-assisted lipolysis. This technique is marketed as SmartLipo or SlimLipo. The perceived advantage of this technique is the improved removal of fat by using lasers to heat and disrupt the fat cells. After using the laser, the “melted” fat is removed by suction techniques. Some people will also report some skin tightening due to the effects of the laser. Smaller areas can be done in the office under local anesthesia as well. There can often be less bruising and swelling. However, there can be dangerous side effects such as skin damage and burns due to the laser. Oftentimes to get enough fat removal, the laser can be so hot as to cause damage to surrounding tissue such as blood vessels, nerves, and the overlying skin. Therefore, we will often recommend SmartLipo only for small areas of treatment.
There are several other non-invasive methods of body sculpting that some centers will advertise as replacing liposuction. These include Zeltiq (cryolipolysis or “freezing the fat)”, Zerona (external laser), external ultrasound, and radiofrequency ablation. These techniques are more successful for small areas and will often have only subtle changes over several treatments. These treatments will never be able to mimic the results of liposuction in certain patients.
The length of the recovery will depend on how extensive of an operation the patient undergoes. Patients will be placed in a compression dressing or garment right after surgery that they will wear home. Patients are asked to do some light walking immediately to help prevent blood clots. If many areas are treated or large volumes are removed, patients may be sent home with some blood thinner medication. Generally, patients are seen in the office within a few days after surgery. The compression garments are worn for several weeks at all times and help with contouring by minimizing swelling. Bruising will generally resolve by the end of 1-2 weeks. The pain associated with surgery can usually be treated effectively with oral medication. Pain is usually proportional to the amount of fat removed and the number of areas treated.
Generally, patients are asked to refrain from any exercise of any type for at least two weeks. Incisions are very small and placed in discrete areas. Scarring is usually very minimal. While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the directions given after surgery.
In you’re interested in liposuction in Texas, call (214) 842-6960 or email Beauty by Setty. Our helpful staff is happy to answer your questions and arrange a convenient time for you to meet with Dr. Setty. Dr. Setty will listen to all of your concerns and may suggest liposuction or another body contouring procedure based on your unique anatomy and goals.
Dr. Setty is a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive training in body contouring surgery and regularly treats patients seeking liposuction in McKinney and other local Texas communities.