Liposuction remains the most popular cosmetic procedure according to the recent statistics provided by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The procedure enjoys such popularity because it allows safe and effective removal of unwanted, stubborn fat deposits through very small inconspicuous incisions. Liposuction was developed in the early eighties and since then underwent many refinements including introduction of lipoplasty, liposculpture, tumescent liposuction and ultrasonic liposuction.
Who is a candidate?
Liposuction can be performed on anybody who has excessive pockets of fat and has a proper skin tone. This is not necessarily directly related to the age of patient. If the skin is loose and inelastic, some additional procedures such as abdominoplasty or face lifting may be necessary. Liposuction can result in a permanent recontouring of the almost any area of the body such as neck, chest abdomen, arms and legs. This can offer a new shape for people who never thought it was possible, giving a psychological boost and the incentive to exercise even more than before to improve the rest of their physique. However, liposuction is not a weight loss technique, and is not a cure for overall obesity.
Is liposuction safe?
If performed by a qualified, board certified plastic surgeon, liposuction has become remarkably safe, although some risks do persists. In unusual situations, removal of very large amounts of fat can still result in moderate blood loss, and may require overnight hospital stay. Infection is extremely uncommon.
How is liposuction performed?
A very small incision is made near the area of fat to be removed. A tumescent solution (a mixture of local anesthetic and epinephrine) is first injected. This solution allows not only for pain control but also minimizes blood loss occurring during this procedure due to action of epinephrine which constricts surrounding blood vessels. Then a thin, smooth hollow tube (a cannula), with the size of a small straw, is inserted and connected to a negative pressure vacuum. The vacuum sucks the fat out leaving the skin, nerves and blood vessels intact. This allows Dr. Turowski to carefully sculpt area into a new, improved contour.
Depending on the magnitude of the procedure it can be performed under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. In some cases, general anesthesia might be the best option.
What is the typical recovery?
To reduce swelling and bruising, at the end of the procedure, a snug-fitting garment similar to a girdle is applied over the treated areas. The procedure is usually done on the outpatient basis, so you will be able to go home the same day as your surgery. In unusual cases where the amount of fat removed is very large, Dr Turowski may recommend overnight hospital stay for postoperative monitoring.
Most patients are mobile immediately after liposuction and quiet activity can be usually resumed within a few days. However, for the best results it is prudent to wait a few weeks before resuming strenuous activity and exercises. Compression garments have to be worn 2 to 3 weeks after liposuction. You may feel bruised and sore as if you?d over-exercised that part of the body.
Does the fat come back?
Fat cells do not regenerate so the contour changes should be permanent. However, if you gain weight, the fat cells that are left behind will get bigger, just as all of the other fat cells in the body do. Still, your body should retain the improved proportions.
What is ultrasonic liposuction?
This is the latest technique to improve and refine the results of liposuction. It utilizes ultrasonic energy or very fast vibration of the cannula to brake fibrous attachments between fat cells. It allows for more complete and smooth fat removal. Although not recommended for all liposuction procedures, ultrasonic liposuction may be very helpful in fat removal from the back, upper abdomen and especially from the male chest (ginekomastia).