Body contouring procedures are designed to improve patients’ natural proportions while minimizing the recovery period. Liposuction is used to remove small deposits of fat from the abdomen, thighs, hips, flanks, neck, and other areas and sculpt the patient’s body into a more slender shape. I utilize both the conventional and ultrasonic tumescent liposuction techniques at my Dallas, Texas plastic surgery practice. Liposuction may be used in conjunction with abdominoplasty, plastic surgery after weight loss, breast reduction, and other procedures.
Most liposuction procedures fall into two broad categories: conventional liposuction procedures and ultrasonic liposuction.
When undergoing the conventional liposuction procedure, the patient is placed under anesthesia. A tiny incision is then made at the liposuction site and tumescent fluid containing local anesthetic and epinephrine is infiltrated into the area of excess fat. The local anesthetic minimizes pain from the procedure so that less general anesthesia is necessary and the patient subsequently has less nausea after surgery. The epinephrine constricts blood vessels so that there is minimal bleeding from the procedure. I then insert a small tube called a cannula under the skin. The cannula is moved back and forth to break up the underlying fat cells, which are removed by suction through the cannula. In a typical liposuction procedure, up to 10 pounds of fat can be removed.
During the ultrasonic tumescent liposuction procedure, fat is liquefied by sound waves prior to removing it with suction. Before surgery, I inject the parts of the body to be treated with a tumescent fluid containing local anesthetic and epinephrine. In addition to the effects mentioned above with the conventional liposuction procedure, this liquid causes deposits of fat to swell so that they can be removed smoothly, with minimal trauma to the body’s other tissues. As the sound waves penetrate the fat deposits, the fat melts, easing the removal process. This is especially useful in patients who have scar from prior liposuction and male patients with more fibrous fatty deposits. The use of ultrasonic sound waves can also help the skin tighten around the treated area. Ultrasonic liposuction can lead to more unpredictable results after surgery, increased sensory alterations and increased potential contour abnormalities. I generally reserve ultrasound liposuction for redo liposuction patients who have more scar tissue and for male patients with more fibrous fat.
Liposuction is most indicated in patients who lead a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise who are at or close to their ideal body weight. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. Patients frequently ask us if the fat that is removed will come back or if it will come back in strange places. Liposuction permanently removes fat cells. If a patients fails to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle after surgery, fat will be stored in the remaining fat cells in their bodies. Patients who inappropriately use repeated liposuction procedures to control slowly increasing weight will eventually find unusual fatty deposits in strange places on their bodies.
Your Initial Consultation
When a prospective patient meets with me for a liposuction consultation at my Dallas practice, I review your aesthetic concerns and goals and your anatomy so I can recommend the procedure and technique that will help you achieve your desired result. After your exam, I may recommend additional procedures such as abdominoplasty or mommy makeover.
The cost of any body contouring depends on the nature of the procedure. My staff will provide you with detailed estimates of the costs involved with surgery, including the surgical fee, anesthesia fee, possible overnight stay and facility fee.
Fees for cosmetic surgery are payable in advance of surgery. The surgical fees include the cost of surgery and all post-operative follow-up care. Financing plans are available to help patients cover the cost of treatment.
Your Liposuction Procedure
The day that you come in for your surgery, I will make marks on the areas of your body where surgery is planned. I will then create an incision near the areas where we plan to perform liposuction. Every attempt will be made to hide the tiny incisions in natural body creases.
The areas marked for surgery will then be infiltrated with tumescent solution containing electrolyte solution, lidocaine and epinephrine. This will minimize pain and bleeding during surgery, resulting in the need for less general anesthesia during the procedure. Excess fat is then removed with hollow cannulas attached to a vacuum source until the desired final body contour is achieved. If ultrasound liposuction is planned, the ultrasound cannula is used to liquify the fat prior to removing it as desired above. The incisions are then closed with absorbable sutures.
The surgery will usually require one to three hours to complete depending on the nature and extent of planned procedures. You will usually be discharged home after surgery. For larger volume liposuction procedures, you may spend the night in the hospital or surgical facility, depending on the extent of your surgery.
After Your Liposuction Procedure
I want your recovery period to be as quick and painless as possible. You will wear post-operative compression garments for several weeks around the clock after surgery. Most post-liposuction patients can move normally and return to work within a week of surgery. You will receive pain medication in case of discomfort, but much of this pain is mild and can be alleviated by simply walking around. After a few weeks, you will be able to remove your compression garments and enjoy living normal lives with your newly contoured figures. Swelling may persist for a few months after surgery as the final results emerge.
Limitations, Risks and Possible Complications
All surgical procedures will leave some type of scar, which will fade significantly in the months following surgery.
An infection can also occur after any surgical procedure; I will prescribe antibiotics to decrease the risk of infection
Patients undergoing liposuction procedures will have large areas of skin undermined, this could result in temporary or permanent sensation alteration or loss. This is more common with ultrasound liposuction procedures.
Residual contour deformities, such as bumps and wrinkles may persist after surgery.
There is a small risk of undergoing general anesthesia, including the possibility of blood clots in the legs or lungs or even death. This risk is extremely small (much less than 1 percent).
Schedule a Consultation Regarding Liposuction
Advancements in liposuction make it a procedure that effectively shapes the body with a manageable recovery time. For those seeking liposuction to smooth and contour the body, in Dallas, Texas please schedule a consultation at my practice.