Liposuction is perhaps the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the U.S. It is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to contour and remove localized areas of fat from the body through a small thin tube called a cannula. The fat from the targeted area, often referred to as a “liposity” – an area that defies the efforts of diet and excercise, is suctioned from the body through this tube to help patients achieve a slim and balanced appearance. Many times we are asked “How much is liposuction?” the answer is not easy, it depends.
Candidates for Liposuction
The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in good overall health and maintains a healthy life, but has one or more problem areas with unresponsive fat deposits, “liposities”. It is also important for patients to have realistic expectations, and remember that liposuction cannot be used as a means for weight loss. It is instead used to remove localized areas of stubborn fat after the patient has attempted other natural weight loss methods.
Liposuction can be used to treat localized fat deposits within the:
This procedure may be performed alone, or can be combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as a facelift, breast reduction or tummy tuck, to achieve maximum results.
There are several different techniques currently available for patients seeking liposuction treatment. New technologies have improved the accuracy, and allow patients to achieve their desired results through a much less invasive procedure. Dr. Wortham performs liposuction through a tumescent technique with a twilight anesthesia if requested. At this time, there is no convincing evidence to support the superiority of lasers, ultrasound, water-assistance, power assisted, or newer technologies in regards to final outcomes.
Liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis in our state-licensed surgery center, under local anesthesia with or without IV sedation or general anesthesia if preferred. Dr. Wortham will make several tiny incisions and inject a local anesthetic into the area to help expand and firm the fat, making it easier to remove. The cannula, which is connected to a special vacuum, is then inserted through the incisions to suction out the fat. Stitches are seldom needed after liposuction since the incisions are small enough to heal on their own. Incisions are usually less than one centimeter long and are placed within underwear or swimsuit lines.
Liposuction Recovery and Liposuction Results
After the liposuction procedure, patients may experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Compression garments or elastic bandages are used to help reduce these symptoms while the area heals. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks.
Our doctors will give you special instructions on how to care for your treated area and reduce any complications after the procedure. The results of the liposuction procedure may not be visible until after swelling and bruising subside. This may take a few weeks to months, and results will appear gradually throughout this time.
The results of liposuction can be permanent, as long as patients maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. If substantial weight is gained after this procedure, the results may be altered.