Liposuction is a very common, popular procedure. It is designed for the permanent removal of fat especially in isolated areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. These areas include the hips, thighs, abdomen, knees, ankles, face and neck. I have personally performed around 400 liposuction cases. I treat every patient an individual with different problem areas and different goals. I will take the time to listen to your specific concerns and develop a customized plan for you.
I am also a liposuction patient myself and had surgery myself about 10 years ago. I have always been active and in good shape, however, I had isolated extra fat in my inner thigh and around my knees that I just could not get rid of – no matter how thin I was. I was modeling a lot at that time but always felt self conscious about the bit of fat I could grab in my upper inner thigh. I also hated the how I could pinch fat on the inside of thigh just above my knees. Liposuction helped me get rid of those two fat pockets. Honestly, I wished I had done it sooner. I felt much better about the way I looked in my biniki’s and in my shoots – because I felt like I looked better, it motivated me to get in even better shape.
Liposuction is most successful in people with good skin tone who have fatty deposits. I want to emphasize that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. If weight gain occurs following liposuction, you each fat cell left behind will get bigger and you will get bigger everywhere. The good thing is that if you continue diet and exercise after surgery – each fat cell will get smaller so you will get an even better result in the areas you’ve had operated on. Almost all of my patients lost weight after their surgery because they felt better about themselves and more motivated to stay healthy. To maintain the safety of the procedure, there is a limit on how much can be done at one time.
Body contours made irregular by fat can be improved by this procedure; it cannot correct contours that are irregular for other reasons, such as muscle weakness or hernia. Sometimes in patients with poor elasticity, liposuction actually makes their skin hang more. I spend a lot of time with my patients talking about what can and cannot be fixed with liposuction. It is VERY important for patients to have realistic expectations after liposuction. With a good understanding of what can and cannot be achieved with liposuction, so far all my patients have been extremely happy with their results
Liposuction is done under general anesthesia or IV sedation on an outpatient basis in a hospital or surgical center. With very small isolated areas, I sometimes perform liposuction under local anesthesia. I make small (less than 1/2 cm), discreet incisions in the areas to be treated. A cannula is inserted in a small incision and attached to a suction machine. The procedure may take an hour or more, depending on how many areas are involved.
Recovery from liposuction is relatively easy. Expect a fair amount of swelling and bruising in the following two weeks. You will probably feel bigger than you did before surgery for at least a few weeks. You will wear special garments provided to apply pressure, minimize swelling and provide support while healing. These garments also assist in retraction of the skin. I use dissolvable sutures so none need to be removed.
Results are recognizable almost immediately and will continue to improve as swelling subsides. The day after surgery you should be up and walking around. Increase your activity daily until full activity is resumed at 2-4 weeks. You will be ready to return to office work in 3-5 days and more active employment at 10-14 days. Avoid the sun until all bruising has subsided. A sunscreen should be used routinely; it is easy to get sunburned during recovery because of decreased sensation. Often you will feel tingling as your sensation returns. Eventually your skin sensation will return to normal.
As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Cosmetic complications include contour irregularities, skin discoloration, asymmetry, scar tissue, tape burns, collection of blood or fluid under the skin. Uncommon complications include loss of sensation, skin breakdown, fat embolism, serious infection or shock. Bleeding does occur during liposuction. There is a limit to the amount of fat that can be safely removed in a given procedure.
Following liposuction, the scar will go through a maturation process—during the first 8-12 weeks they may be red and possibly raised. The scars will mature over 6-2 months and become pale, flat and soft. You may experience numbness, burning, tingling around the incision site. These symptoms are almost always temporary. The scars will be almost invisible. (I’ll show you mine – you can barely see them)
Please let me know if you are prone to keloid scars.
Overall, my patients are extremely happy after liposuction. They feel they can wear more fitted elastic clothing, look better in their clothes, and feel finally rid of “problem areas” they lived with for a long time.