What is Liposuction?
It’s a part of being human but for some reason, no matter how much you exercise or watch your diet, there are pockets of fat that simply won’t go away. Liposuction, formally known as lipoplasty, takes care of those pockets.
A tube inserted through tiny incisions in the target areas suctions out the fat. Liposuction can remove fat in the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, inner knees, chest, cheeks, chin, calves, and ankles. This body-contouring procedure can also be used to enhance other procedures such as tummy tucks and facelifts.
Liposuction Before & After Cases
Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Almost everyone has an area or areas on their body where the fat won’t respond to exercise or changes in diet. If you’ve tried working on these areas to no avail, liposuction could be the answer. Liposuction is not a weight reduction procedure; it is simply a way to remove those stubborn pockets of fat. The procedure could work for you if:
- You are within 15% of your ideal body weight
- You have firm skin with good elasticity
- You have good muscle tone
- You maintain a consistent weight
Before your initial consultation, all potential patients should do some research. Learn about the procedure and look at many before and after pictures of liposuction patients to find photos of people with similar body types as yours.
During your consultation, Dr. Saltz will discuss the procedure, your expectations, and goals, and if it seems like a good fit for your particular situation. Dr. Saltz will go through your medical history and conduct a physical exam. As with any surgical procedure, successful candidates need to be in good general health.
The Liposuction Procedure
Dr. Saltz begins the procedure by making small incisions in targeted areas. Next, a liquid solution is injected to loosen the fat before removal. This reduces bleeding and trauma. Then a thin tube, called a cannula, is inserted through the incisions and Dr. Saltz moves the tube around under the skin to suction out the unwanted fat.
How many liposuction treatments are needed?
Liposuction is usually only performed one time in a targeted area. Of course, many of our patients, once they see the slimmed contour created by their liposuction procedure, return to have another area treated in the future.
What are the advantages of liposuction?
The human body is adept at storing and protecting fat in certain areas of our body. Thanks to that trait, no matter how in shape you are you probably still have stubborn pockets of fat that seem virtually impossible to get rid of. No matter how many targeted exercises you do, pockets of fat on areas such as the lower abdomen or the flanks are incredibly stubborn and resilient.
Liposuction is the way you can finally get rid of these pockets of fat. And they are gone for good. No more crunches. No more frustration. Liposuction delivers permanent fat reduction and a slimmer contour. We all have spots where we could use some of that.
Plus, modern liposuction is not a difficult procedure. When liposuction first came to the U.S. from France in the 1980s, it was a relatively violent procedure. The cannulas used were quite large and they had to be moved back and forth very aggressively under the skin to break loose and suction away the fat.
Today, Dr. Saltz and other surgeons use the tumescent method, where a mixture of saline solution, lidocaine, and epinephrine are injected into the treatment area prior to the introduction of the cannula. The lidocaine provides local anesthetic. The epinephrine shrinks the blood vessels for far less blood loss and subsequent bleeding. It also makes the fat cells constrict, so they are easier to break loose and suction away. All of this makes for a pretty easy recovery. Patients can usually return to work in just a couple of days.
Recovery After Liposuction
After the procedure, the treated areas will be wrapped to help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Compression garments, elastic bandages, or other form-fitting garments will need to be worn for the next three to four weeks to help your body adjust to its new contour. There will be a good deal of bruising and swelling for the first week to 10 days.
Your specific recovery period will depend on the extent of the treated areas. If you’ve only had a very small amount of fat removed from a single area, you can usually return to work within two to three days. If you’ve had multiple areas treated, you may need about a week of rest.
You will be able to see results immediately after your procedure, but the full extent may take up to a month to be realized, due to swelling and adjustment from your body. Most patients can return to their full routine, including exercise, within six weeks.
If you take care of yourself, your liposuction results can last forever. But, while the fat removed won’t return to that specific site, if you gain weight, it can form pockets elsewhere. That’s why a continuing healthy lifestyle will produce the best results.
They have the best team, and very caring. The consultation was a great flow, and they were very honest. When I had my consultation, they went over everything so well, and they spent all the time I needed or wanted with them. Definitely would recommend them to everyone! I went to a few consults before I made my decision, and they blow everyone out of the water. This team makes you feel comfortable, and like you’re their really good friend. Not to mention I got exactly what I wanted, and it exceeded my expectations. -Katie H.
Is liposuction dangerous?
Liposuction is a relatively straightforward procedure, utilizing small incisions and small cannulas to remove the pockets of fat. These procedures have become less and less invasive. Patients now lose very little blood, and tissue trauma has been reduced dramatically. As mentioned above, the risks are low. Liposuction has been performed millions of times around the world and it has proven to be a safe, effective, permanent way to get rid of stubborn fat.
But this is not a weight-loss procedure. Dr. Saltz wants his liposuction patients to be within 10 percent of their ideal weight in most cases to qualify for liposuction. Removing too much weight can be dangerous, but that’s not a problem with our patients who simply target unwanted pockets of fat.
What are the risks and complications of liposuction?
Liposuction is an invasive procedure, and it involves the typical risks involved with surgery, such as bleeding, infection, and reaction to the anesthetic, but these are rare with modern liposuction. Complications specific to liposuction are:
- Contour irregularities — The treated area can appear bumpy or wavy. If the patient has inelastic skin, this is more prevalent.
- Numbness — Any numbness in the area is usually temporary, but it can endure.
- Fluid accumulation — Temporary pockets of fluid (called seromas) can form. These may need to be drained.
- The biggest risk is uneven areas after the underlying fat has been removed, but with a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Saltz, this is a very low risk. He has extensive experience with liposuction.
How much does liposuction cost?
The cost of these procedures varies dramatically depending on the areas you seek to address. For instance, we can perform liposuction on a patient’s jowls to remove the fat that has created a double chin. As you would expect, this is a much more limited procedure than, say, the upper thighs or entire lower abdomen.
Once Dr. Saltz meets with you for your consultation and you discuss the area or areas you would like to target, we can give you a precise estimate of what it will cost.