Liposuction is used to selectively eliminate unwanted fat cells from areas ranging from the abdomen and back to the arms and thighs. This procedure is used to reshape areas that do not respond to diet and exercise, in order to achieve a more aesthetic facial or body shape.
Abnormal or excess fat deposits can arise from a familial trait or simply as a result of the changes of aging. Fat deposits in the lower body and legs commonly have a genetic component, and can prove difficult for the patient to reduce with diet and exercise alone. Fat deposits in the male chest are relatively common and rarely respond to diet and exercise, but can be suitable for liposuction
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Liposuction should not be used as a means for weight control. It is only used to reduce localized fat deposits. If you are on a good diet, are able to exercise and your weight is stable or reducing, but you are concerned about stubborn fat around the abdomen, hips, thighs, knees, neck or arms then liposuction can help to improve your body shape and self-image. If there is loose skin due to weight loss or pregnancy in the area targeted for liposuction, Dr. Lies may recommend some type of skin tightening treatment or procedure in combination with liposuction.
What are the risks of liposuction?
Smoking must be avoided before and after liposuction to avoid complications such as infection or poor healing. You should also avoid any blood thinning medication or supplements. There are always risks associated with any type of surgery; however, liposuction is a very safe procedure when performed by a fully qualified and trained plastic surgeon such as Dr. Lies. The common risks are bleeding, infection, delayed skin healing, fluid under the skin, irregularity of the skin, numbness, and poor scarring. Each of these risks may require a revision surgery. Other risks that may occur are blood clots and asymmetry. Damage to internal organs is extremely rare.
What does liposuction involve?
This operation is performed either under a local anesthetic for smaller areas, or deep sedation or general anesthetic for more extensive areas. Before surgery, the areas to be treated are marked while the patient is awake and in a standing position. This allows the surgeon to accurately locate where the liposuction will be most effective. A wetting solution is introduced to reduce bleeding and make it easier to move the liposuction cannula back and forth.
What is recovery from liposuction like?
Suctioning fat tissue from under the skin leaves small tunnels and empty pockets that need time to heal. You will need to wear a compressive dressing or girdle to help this process, minimize bruising or swelling, provide a degree of support for loose skin, and even out any irregularities.
Areas treated with liposuction can be tender to pressure, but there is usually little pain. Although there may be a feeling of stiffness when moving about, this discomfort usually subsides after a few days. Bruising usually starts to settle after a week, and customarily starts fading after about two weeks; however, it can take four to five weeks for all the bruising to disappear completely. Swelling resolves more slowly, with the final result becoming apparent only after three to six months.
A scar will result whenever surgery is performed on the body. Although the scar from liposuction heals very well, it will always be present. It will take at least a year for the scar to mature and fade from pink or red to pale. It is usually not visible in your swimsuit or underwear. Dr. Lies will discuss the placement of the incision during your consultation.