Liposuction is a body contouring procedure designed to remove excess fat from an area. Liposuction can be performed on many different areas of the body to include: abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, back, arms, neck, etc. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. You will lose some weight when the excess fat is removed but weight loss is not the primary reason to undergo liposuction.
The ideal candidate for Liposuction is someone who is at a stable weight, exercises regularly, and eats healthy but finds that certain problem areas will not improve any further with the work they are doing. Patients will often hit a plateau after seeing early improvements. If you still are not happy with your appearance, Liposuction can provide a dramatic change. After recovering from your Liposuction procedure, clothes will fit better, exercise will be easier and self-confidence will soar.
Dr. Healy utilizes the “tumescent” technique for his liposuction procedures which is the gold-standard way to perform liposuction. One or more small skin incisions will be made in the area to be treated. The “tumescent” solution is then infiltrated into the fatty tissue. The “tumescent” solution contains local anesthetic to minimize the pain afterwards as well as epinephrine to minimize the bleeding that occurs during the procedure. This will help to decrease the bruising and swelling that you may experience after liposuction.
The “tumescent” solution is allowed to act for 10-15 minutes. After this the liposuction cannulas will be inserted into the small incisions and the excess fat will be suctioned out. As Dr. Healy is removing the fat, he will sculpt the area to give the best possible contour. After the liposuction is complete the incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures and you will be placed into a compression garment.
Liposuction removes the excess fat from the area being treated but doesn’t do anything directly to the skin itself. Depending on how much fat is removed and the condition of the skin to begin with, there may be some looseness or laxity in the skin after liposuction. This skin looseness should be temporary as the skin has elasticity and will shrink down over time. This skin tightening process can take several months to complete itself. You will see some immediate results after liposuction, but those results will continue to improve for up to a year afterwards as the skin tightens. This assumes you keep exercising and eating healthy to optimize your long-term results.
CAN I GET FAT AGAIN AFTER LIPOSUCTION?
This is a common question that patients have when considering a liposuction procedure. Liposuction is a procedure that permanently removes the fat from the area being treated. Your body will not make new fat cells to replace the ones that were removed. In fact, once we reach the age of puberty our bodies don’t make any new fat cells. When we gain weight our fat cells become larger and when we lose weight the fat cells become smaller. Liposuction does not remove all of the fat cells from the area being treated. The remaining fat cells will respond to our diet and exercise regimen just as they did before but there will be substantially fewer fat cells in the area. Areas of the body that were not treated with liposuction will have the original number of fat cells, so weight gain may be more apparent in those areas. Any body contouring procedure should be viewed as an investment in yourself. You want to protect that investment by eating healthy and exercising regularly. This will ensure an optimal long-term result for your surgery.
The vast majority of liposuction procedures are done under general anesthesia. This allows optimal comfort for the patient and also allows Dr. Healy to be more aggressive in removing the unwanted fat. See “Day of Surgery” for further details about general anesthesia.
In certain cases liposuction can be done with just sedation and the “tumescent” solution mentioned earlier. Situations where this option is available would be smaller areas being treated such as the neck, or perhaps small touch-up procedures.
ACTIVITY AFTER LIPOSUCTION
As with any surgery, there will be a recovery period after your liposuction procedure. Generally plan on 3-7 days off of work depending on your job requirements and how many areas were treated. There should be no strenuous exercising for approximately 4 weeks after surgery. Some exercise such as walking and other non-impact cardio is encouraged right after surgery and will actually speed up the recovery process and minimize the chance of complications.
Compression garments will be worn for at least 4 weeks after the surgery. The purpose of the compression garments is to help shape the areas that was treated, minimize the amount of swelling that occurs and also give some degree of support to the area. Many patients like to continue wearing the compression garments for longer than 4 weeks.