Liposuction is one of the commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures. Through small incisions, we’re able to remove excess fat that accumulates disproportionately in the body, especially in the hips, thighs, and abdomen. The incisions are small, the recovery rapid, and the results can be very impressive.
The best candidates for liposuction are those that are at a stable weight and have areas of excess fat deposits that are out of proportion to the rest of their body. The overlying skin should be of good quality, as we will need this to shrink up after the procedure to provide a good result. Our best results are in those with good quality skin who are at or near their ideal weight and exercise regularly.
We have discouraged patients from using this as a weight-loss technique as there are really better, safer, and cheaper ways of losing weight if you are simply too heavy. We also are reluctant to perform this in areas where the skin is stretched and has lost its elasticity as there may be a “deflated” look to the suctioned area after the surgery which may be unattractive.
Of course, you should be in overall good health to undergo liposuction to minimize your risks of complications.
At your initial consultation we will evaluate and carefully discuss your problem areas. We will be looking at your underlying muscle and bone structure, assessing the amount of fat present, looking at the elasticity and quality of your skin, and evaluating scars from previous surgery that might affect our approach. If we feel that the skin is too loose or stretched to allow correction by liposuction we may suggest an excisional procedure. For example, loose skin and excess fat on your abdomen may be better treated with an abdominoplasty rather than liposuction. We will then discuss how we might best approach these areas to achieve your goal.
Types of Liposuction
We utilize the “tumescent technique” to perform our cases. We begin by infiltrating a very dilute anesthetic solution into the fatty tissue where we will be performing our procedure. Infusing this solution prior to suctioning:
- Reduces pain during and after the procedure
- Loosens the fatty tissue so that smaller cannulas can be used
- Helps minimize blood loss
The tumescent technique is not new, having been first described around 30 years ago. At that time it represented a significant improvement over the standard liposuction techniques of that time and allowed liposuction to be performed much more safely on a wide variety of patients. We were some of the earliest to utilize this technique, as we recognized its potential.
Over the years, other techniques have been utilized for liposuction and we have carefully evaluated (and sometimes used) these techniques. Ultrasonic liposuction, power-assisted liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction, water jet liposuction, external ultrasonic liposuction, lipodissolve, and other techniques have all been greeted with great fanfare (and marketing) only to fall short of delivering any significant improvement over the more traditional liposuction done by an experienced surgeon. External techniques such as CoolSculpting and others offer a reasonable alternative for patients although the cost and time involved maybe even greater than with liposuction. While we continue to look for new and better tools to help us achieve your goals, we are so far unimpressed with many of these newer techniques. We urge you to beware of the inexperienced practitioner marketing a “new” technique. It is ultimately the surgeon, not the tools used, which determine your result.
The areas we most commonly treat are the abdomen, outer thighs (“saddlebags”), inner thighs, hips, flanks (“muffin top”), back folds, and arms.