Liposuction is a common surgical procedure where deposits of stubborn fat under the skin are suctioned from the body. Common liposuction areas where liposuction is performed include: the abdomen, flanks (love handles), bra strap, arms, male chest, female breasts, jowls, chin, buttocks, lower back, thighs, knees, calves and ankles. The surgery begins by the nurse scrubbing the skin over the treatment area with iodine or a comparable cleaning solution. Then, warmed numbing fluid (tumescent fluid) is injected into the fatty layer. This swollen area is then allowed to sit for 90 minutes (de-tumescence) to absorb completely into all parts of the fatty tissue. After this period, a thin, metal tube, called a microcannula is inserted through tiny holes in the skin and fat is sucked out. Not all the fat is removed. It is very natural to have a thin layer of fat just underneath the skin. This layer of fat allows the overlaying skin to appear and feel smooth. At the Liposuction Center, we perform Tumescent Liposuction following the Salus Gradus method (discussed below). Salus Gradus means “safe steps.” We remove a maximum of 1 gallon of fat at one time. If our patient has more than 1 gallon of fat to remove, then we will perform several sessions of liposuction several weeks apart. This practice of gradually removing fat over time is an example of our Salus Gradus approach. It is much safer to remove smaller amounts of fat over time than to remove a very large amount of fat all at once.
This type of liposuction is done with the patient under general anesthesia. Patients and surgeons choosing traditional liposuction oftentimes have several different cosmetic procedures scheduled during the same operation. Although using general anesthesia is very convenient for the surgeon, this type of anesthesia carries real risks to the patient. Whenever a person’s drive and ability to breath is replaced by a machine, complications can happen. When general anesthesia is necessary, it should be used. However, liposuction is always a cosmetic, elective procedure. Total tumescent liposuction is much safer than general anesthesia liposuction.
On average, the procedure takes 3-4 hours
Post-operative soreness is usually the most intense 2 to 4 days after the surgery. Many patients report that this soreness is like performing too many sit-ups. After 4 days, this soreness decreases steadily. In rare cases the tenderness can persist for several weeks.
- Off work for 1-2 days
- Pain that may require pain medication for 3-4 days
- Dull soreness up to 7 days (Ibuprofen and Tylenol can be very effective.
- No high-impact or rigorous exercise for 4 weeks. Acceptable exercises include stationary bike.
- elliptical, weight training for arms and legs, and walking
- After 4 weeks all exercise activities may be resumed.
At the Liposuction Center, we us open drainage and bimodal compression. This means that we do no put stitches in the tiny holes that we put in the skin. This allows the numbing fluid to drain out. For the first 24 hours, we use two types of compression, very snug and snug. For the first 24 hours, we place an absorption pad against the skin to prevent leakage on clothing and furniture. After 24 hours the patient removes the very snug compression wrap and only use a fresh absorption pad with a snug compression garment. This second compression garment should be worn for 1 to 2 weeks.
Good candidates for liposuction are men and women who have stubborn pockets of fat resistant to diet and exercise. We strongly encourage a lifelong pattern of healthy eating and regular exercise. The ideal liposuction candidate has a BMI between 25 and 35 kg/m2 with good skin elasticity. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure so patients wishing to lose weight must choose other options. Liposuction is not for cellulite removal.
Results are visible immediately after surgery. Patient continue see improvement for up to 6 months after surgery. The before and after photos on our website are taken 6 weeks after surgery.