There are certain areas of our bodies that do not respond well to the traditional weight loss methods of diet and exercise. Liposuction is a very common and popular procedure that removes unwanted fat from areas of the body including the back, abdomen, love handles, outer and inner thighs, knees, calves and ankles, upper arms, breast, and buttocks. At Florida Plastic Surgery Group, liposuction can be performed either under general or local anesthesia and is generally performed on an outpatient basis unless multiple areas of fat are targeted. There are a number of different ways our experienced plastic surgeons can perform liposuction, including Smartlipo™, VASER® liposuction or ultrasound-assisted liposuction, tumescent liposuction. Please continue reading below to learn about tumescent liposuction, the only technique used at our practice.
Tumescent liposuction is the most common type of liposuction used in the world and is a component of all the other modalities. Fluid containing numbing medications (i.e. lidocaine) and medications to decrease bleeding are placed around the unwanted fat. The liposuction cannulas (long, thin tubes) are then used to remove this emulsified fat from your body, leaving all the blood vessels and nerves intact. The aim of this treatment is to create an even contour while removing as much fat as possible from the targeted areas of the body.
During the tumescent liposuction procedure, one of our experienced plastic surgeons will gently insert the cannulas into the target areas and gradually move them back and forth, ultimately suctioning out the excess fat cells. Since the cannulas utilized in tumescent liposuction are typically thinner than the cannulas used in many other liposuction techniques, our plastic surgeon can create smaller incisions, which can lead to less noticeable scarring. The tumescent technique is designed to minimize discomfort and bleeding, allowing this procedure to be performed on an outpatient basis. Tumescent liposuction also usually involves less bruising and swelling when compared to other types of liposuction, often resulting in an easier recovery process.
Preparing for Your Liposuction
Who is a candidate for liposuction / body contouring?
Men and women who desire improvement in the shape, appearance, and contour of their arms, thighs, abdomen, chest, back, buttocks, or legs are potential liposuction candidates.
How do I prepare for my liposuction / body contouring?
Patients should stop taking medications such as Aspirin, Plavix, NSAIDS (i.e. ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc), and dietary/herbal supplements such as weight loss prescriptions or Vitamin E
Recovering After Your Liposuction / Body Contouring
Questions about Liposuction
What is the liposuction recovery process like?
Every patient heals differently. The amount of time you will need to recover from liposuction can vary based on a few different factors, including:
- The extent of your procedure
- The surgical technique(s) used
- Your response to pain and initial disability
Most patients need an average of 2–3 days of downtime before they are able to return to work. You can expect some soreness and discomfort to linger for about two weeks following your procedure, which can be controlled by pain medication. Getting up and taking light walks about a day after surgery is an important way of encouraging your body to heal, and can also help prevent post-surgical complications (such as blood clots).
What areas of the body can be treated with liposuction?
Virtually any area of your body that contains a stubborn fat deposit can be treated by liposuction. In most cases, patients seek out liposuction to help re-shape their:
More than one area of your body can be treated at a time, most often in a single office visit. In certain cases where patients have a higher BMI, more than one session may be recommended.
What are the risks of liposuction?
Liposuction is one of the safest plastic surgery procedures available, but it does come with certain risks, including excessive bleeding, blood clots, and infection. However, because the incision required for liposuction surgery is so small, the chance of these complications occurring is very low. Be sure to follow all of our doctors’ post-surgical instructions and attend every follow-up appointment he schedules with you to ensure you are healing normally. He can work with you to avoid complications and quickly address them if they arise.
How long do liposuction results last?
The fat cells that are removed during liposuction will not grow back. However, you can still re-gain fat in your treated area(s) if you are not careful about staying below your original weight. As long as you are diligent about diet and exercise habits, your liposuction results should be permanent.
Liposuction can be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with treatments such as tummy tuck surgery or other body contouring options. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of liposuction, or if you have further questions, please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons today.