What is liposuction
and body sculpturing?
Liposuction is a surgical technique that improves the body’s
contour by removing excess fat from fatty deposits located between
the skin and muscle. Body sculpturing by liposuction is literally
a dream come true. Localized accumulations of fat, which are often
hereditary and frequently impossible to eliminate by exercise or
dieting, can now be removed permanently by liposuction surgery,
never to plague you again.
Liposuction involves the use of a small stainless steel tube called
a cannula. Connected at one end to a specialized suction pump, the
cannula is inserted through tiny skin incisions. The removal of
fat is accomplished as the suction cannula creates tiny tunnels
through the fatty layers. After surgery, these tiny tunnels collapse,
resulting in an improved body contour. [Return
The body fat of an adult tends to increase gradually over the years.
After the age of 30, an individual tends to add fat according to
a genetically predetermined pattern. This fat distribution is often
resistant to exercise and dieting. An example of genetically predetermined
fat distribution that is resistant to dieting and exercise is the
fat that appears on the abdomen and hips of a woman after pregnancy. For
many people who have inherited the tendency to accumulate excessive
fat, liposuction is the only realistic means of significantly changing
the body’s silhouette. [Return
What areas can be treated by liposuction?
The most frequently treated areas in women are the abdomen, hips,
thighs, knees, calves, ankles, and beneath the chin. In men, who
comprise about 25% to 30% of patients who undergo liposuction, the
most commonly treated areas include the love handles, abdomen, breasts,
and the neck and chin area. [Return
Are the results of liposuction
Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. As
long as the patient does not gain an excessive amount of weight,
the new, more pleasing silhouette is permanent.
A woman who always tends to put weight on her thighs and knees,
will find that after liposuction, these areas are less likely than
other areas to accumulate fat when she gains weight. In fact, a
number of patients have had liposuction and subsequently gained
weight. In these patients, the areas originally treated by liposuction
generally maintain their new desirable silhouette, whereas areas
not treated by liposuction are the sites of new deposits of fat. [Return
What is the Tumescent technique?
The Tumescent Technique of liposuction was developed in 1985. The
Tumescent technique involves the use of large volumes of a dilute
solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) in combination with the
vasoconstrictive drug, epinephrine, which shrinks capillaries.
Local anesthesia used in the Tumescent technique for liposuction
is so effective that patients no longer need intravenous sedatives,
narcotic analgesics, nor general anesthesia. This technique is now
considered the safest form of liposuction for removing very large
amounts of fat because there is virtually no blood loss. Not only
has the Tumescent technique proven to be safer than the standard
technique using general anesthesia, but it also has proven to be
less painful, has minimal post operative recovery time, and produces
optimal cosmetic results.
With the Tumescent technique, infiltrating the local anesthesia
is associated with minimal discomfort. Once the area has been completely
numbed, surgery in that area is essentially painless. In addition,
because the numbness remains in the treated area for more than 12
hours, there is no pain immediately after surgery. [Return
What are the risks?
As with any surgical procedure, liposuction is associated with
certain common side effects such as bruising, swelling, and temporary
numbness. Although irregularities of the skin are possible following
liposuction, this side effect is minimized by the Tumescent technique.
When larger cannulas are used, occasionally there are patients with
an irregularity of the skin. Since smaller, microcannulas became
available, noticeable irregularities are very rare. Because of the
slow resolution of post liposuction swelling, the ultimate results
following liposuction usually require 12 to 16 weeks to become fully
apparent. Nevertheless, patients can usually see dramatic improvements
within two to four weeks after surgery.
Although the results of liposuction are often quite spectacular,
it is not realistic to expect perfection. Liposuction of the thighs,
while improving the silhouette, does not necessarily eliminate the
subtle “puckering” of the skin that is often referred
to as “cellulite.” Liposuction with the Tumescent technique
does reduce the degree of cellulite but it is unlikely to eliminate
it. Rare problems that can potentially occur with any surgical procedure
include infections, bleeding and nerve injury, The Tumescent technique,
however, minimizes these risks.[Return
How does the Tumescent technique reduce
risk of infection?
Infections are extremely rare, regardless of whether or not the
anesthetic technique is that of general anesthesia or local anesthesia.
Although there have been reports in the medical literature of patients
who have had serious infections following liposuction surgery, to
the best of our knowledge, there have never been any patients who
have had an infection following Tumescent liposuction performed
using only local anesthesia. Lidocaine, the local anesthetic
that is used for the tumescent technique, kills bacteria. With the
Tumescent technique the areas that are being treated surgically
are those same areas that will receive the local anesthetic that
kills bacteria. [Return
When can I return to normal activities?
Because of the significant decrease in swelling and decrease in
inflammation and pain after surgery, patients are able to return
to normal physical activities very soon after the procedure. There
is no limitation of physical activity other than what common sense
would dictate. Some patients are able to return to jogging, golf,
or light aerobic exercise within a day or two after surgery. Some
patients do find the soreness after surgery to be more significant
than others, but on the average, most patients are surprised at
how quickly they are able to return to normal activity.[Return
How does the Tumescent technique result in
better and smoother results?
Because very small cannulas are used with the Tumescent technique,
it permits a more delicate and gentle approach to liposuction as
the surgeon can control the direction and position of the cannula
with much more accuracy. This results in a greatly reduced risk
of inadvertently approaching the undersurface of the skin too closely
and unintentionally causing skin irregularities. Further, the use
of very small cannulas enables the surgeon to make such small
incisions that no stitches are used. The wounds heal by themselves
and virtually disappear over time.
By not using stitches to close skin incisions, the rate of healing
is faster. Another benefit of not stitching the incisions closed
is that, after the procedure, the open incisions permit easy drainage
of the slightly blood-tinged anesthetic solution. This has a dramatic
effect in minimizing bruising. Most patients notice that bruising
is almost entirely absent after surgery. [Return