Reconstructive and Cosmetic Liposuction
Liposuction is the removal of excess body fat by suction using special surgical equipment. A plastic surgeon typically does the surgery. Franciscan Health offers reconstructive and cosmetic body contouring surgery with particular expertise in liposuction for both women and men.
Considered to be the gold standard in fat removal, liposuction is a body contouring procedure that eliminates small fat deposits on the body that are resistant to diet and exercise. Following the procedure, you can enjoy a slimmer and more defined body contour. Not only does liposuction remove unwanted fat, it also removes fat cells, which cannot be regenerated. This means that the effects of liposuction are permanent and any future weight gain will be more evenly distributed on the body.
If you have fat bulges on your stomach, back, thighs, hips, buttocks or another body area, liposuction may be right for you. Talk to the board-certified plastic surgeons at Franciscan Health to learn more about the procedure.
The experienced surgeons at Franciscan Health can help you resolve issues with excess fat and skin to enhance muscular definition and achieve a smoother, better-toned body or to correct imbalanced or damaged areas of your body.
Who can get liposuction?
Ideal candidates for liposuction are those who:
- Are within 30 percent of their ideal weight
- Have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
- Have excess fat on their stomach, back, thighs, hips, buttocks, legs, chest, face, neck and upper arms
- Are in good overall health and have no serious medical conditions
- Do not smoke
- Have realistic expectations
Types of Liposuction
Liposuction can also be performed using tumescent technique, in which targeted fat cells are infused with saline-containing solution with a local anesthetic before liposuction, to reduce post-operative bruising and swelling. This type of liposuction involves injecting an anesthetic fluid into the target area to numb it and cause it to swell. The fat is removed easily and precisely using a cannula, a thin tube inserted into the body.
For larger volumes of fat or fibrous body areas, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) may be used to liquefy fat before it is suctioned. UAL is also often used to assist in body sculpting. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses a handheld device to deliver ultrasound energy to the target area. The fat melts and is then removed by gentle suction.
In power-assisted liposuction, a mechanically powered cannula is used to break up and remove the unwanted fat. Compared to other liposuction methods, this technique typically results in smoother body contours, free of lumps under the skin.
This method involves inserting a thin laser fiber into the incision site to deliver bursts of energy to break up and liquefy fat, which is then removed through a thin tube. The laser energy is believed to stimulate collagen production, resulting in tighter looking skin.
Liposuction Procedure Details
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure that can take anywhere from one to several hours, depending on the type of liposuction used, the area(s) treated and the amount of fat being removed. During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will use anesthesia to numb the treatment area and minimize discomfort. They will then make one or more small incisions in the treatment area and insert the appropriate instrument (i.e., cannula, ultrasound or laser probe) to break up the fat. The fat will then be suctioned via a thin tube called a cannula. Once complete, the incisions will be closed with sutures.
Liposuction Recovery Details
The initial recovery for liposuction can take one to two weeks, depending on a variety of factors including the patient’s personal healing progress. Our doctors will monitor your recovery and make any recommendations or modifications as necessary. Temporary side effects include swelling, bruising and soreness. Pain medication may be prescribed in order to minimize discomfort. Our doctors may place drainage tubes in the treatment area for the first few days of recovery in order to remove excess fluids. Patients will need to wear a compression garment to minimize swelling and aid proper healing.
Plenty of rest is key during the initial recovery; follow your doctors’ recommendations as to when it is safe to resume normal activities, including exercise, and when to return to work.
The results of liposuction should be visible within the first three months of surgery. Patients are advised to keep their weight stable in order to maintain results.