Liposuction surgery treats areas of excess fat in the stomach, buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, breasts, back, arms and neck. Most liposuction procedures involve making a small skin puncture and then utilizing various modalities to loosen the fat prior to suctioning the fat through a small hollow tube or cannula. Some describe the procedure as “liposculpture” because the process of fat reduction with liposuction creates slimmer and more ideal shapes and contours.
Liposuction surgery can be performed alone or in conjunction with an open procedure to contour the overlying skin. The results are best when you are near your ideal weight, but have some specific areas or “pockets” of fat that are exercise and diet resistant. While liposuction can improve the look of cellulite in some cases, there is no guarantee that it will smooth out or remove the dimpled appearance in the skin.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?While every patient who goes in for a consultation will be individually assessed to determine if they are healthy enough to undergo surgery, there are some conditions that could indicate that liposuction is right for you: You have areas of fat deposits that are out of proportion with the rest of your body and do not go away with diet and exercise Your skin elasticity is good – there is not a lot of excess skin and the area is firm (liposuction removes fat, not skin) You wish there was more definition in certain areas of your body or a sleeker contour Oftentimes, if there is too much loose skin around the stomach area due to weight loss or pregnancy, your plastic surgeon might opt for a tummy tuck vs. liposuction. A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can tighten loose skin and muscle, while removing excess fat that is sagging or protruding from your mid-section.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history including previous surgeries, past and present medical conditions, allergies and current medications. It is important for you to provide complete information. High blood pressure, thyroid problems, diabetes, etc. should be reviewed as these medical conditions may increase some risks associated with surgery.
How will my ISAPS plastic surgeon evaluate me?
During the initial consultation, you may be asked to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. Pictures may be taken of you, especially if the areas that will be treated are on your posterior aspect (back, buttock, etc.). This will help your plastic surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved.
A determination of the elasticity of the skin will also occur. The surgeon may perform specific measurements to determine the laxity of skin as well as the amount of excess fatty tissue. The ideal candidate for liposuction surgery is a patient who has excellent skin tone or tissue elasticity with isolated areas of excess fat.
There will be a discussion concerning your ideal weight and realistic weight. Plans such as future pregnancies, weight-loss programs, etc. may be discussed. Your liposuction options Your liposuction optionsThere are a multitude of technologies used for liposuction procedures and some are well established and others are relatively new. Liposuction techniques for body contouring and removal of fat were performed by French surgeons in the 1920s. Modern liposuction using blunt, hollow cannulas to suction fat began in the early 1980s and surgeons since then have added new techniques to make the fat removal process less invasive, more predictable and safer.
The introduction of tumescent fluid for anesthesia as well as minimizing blood loss was a tremendous improvement early on in the evolution of liposuction. The use of ultrasonic energy to “loosen up or melt” the fat prior to suctioning it out was yet another important development.
Other modalities of “loosening up” the fat prior to suctioning it out and in some cases not even suctioning the fat out have all been introduced in the past decade. Various lasers and other energy sources have been used with mixed results. Some newer technologies involve using energy sources (external ultrasound or other) to “melt the fat” and allow the fat to be reabsorbed by the body without suctioning (no incisions or scars). These are relatively new procedures and are now being investigated as to how effective they are and how they compare to liposuction using cannulas to remove the fat.