We are proud to offer patients our extensive experience and expertise in liposuction, the single most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. today. Liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat that has not responded to diet and exercise from the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck.
Liposuction not only offers the opportunity to slim and contour chubby areas of the body; by removing the fat cells, it also ensures that these areas will not accumulate fatty deposits in the future.
Our doctors know that all patients are different, both in their body shapes and in what they wish to achieve with liposuction. We take as much time as necessary during every pre-operative consultation to learn what each patient wants liposuction to do for them, and to decide which technique is best. In this way, every one of our patients enjoys completely customized treatment designed with his or her specific goals in mind.
Types of Liposuction Techniques
The liposuction procedure begins with the injection of a solution composed of saline (salt water), a local anesthetic called lidocaine, and a small amount of adrenaline to decrease bruising and bleeding. This is known as either the tumescent or super-wet technique, depending on the ratio of the fluid to the fatty tissue being removed.
Once this solution has been introduced into the area planned for liposuction treatment, the doctor proceeds with one of two different methods of liposuction currently approved by plastic surgeons: suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL) or ultrasonic-assisted lipectomy (UAL).
In both methods, a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible. In SAL, a cannula (small tube) is inserted and moved back and forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. In UAL, ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out with a cannula.
The liposuction procedure may last from one to five hours, depending on the amount of fat being removed. The doctor will use either local anesthesia or general anesthesia, again depending on the size of the area(s) being treated as well as several other factors. We will discuss which method is best for you during your pre-operative consultation.
What areas of the body does Liposuction treat?
Liposuction techniques may be used to reduce localized fat deposits of the:
- Hips and buttocks
- Abdomen and waist
- Upper arms
- Inner knee
- Chest area
- Cheeks, chin, and neck
- Calves and ankles
"I am so thankful for Dr. Austin and his team for making my experience such a positive one. They are all so caring, attentive, and truly want you to leave feeling confident and happy! I recommend Dr. Austin to anyone considering having any work done!” - T.B
Candidates for Liposuction
If you are bothered by excess fat deposits – located anywhere on your body – that don’t respond to diet or exercise, liposuction may be right for you.
Ideal candidates for liposuction are:
- Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring
Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise. It is also not an effective treatment for cellulite-the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips, and buttocks-or loose saggy skin.
What should I expect during the Liposuction procedure?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The Incision
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions. First, diluted local anesthesia is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma.
Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
Step 3 – The Incision
Your improved body contour will be apparent once the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside. With continued practices of healthy diet and fitness, the loss of excess fatty tissue should be permanently maintained. However, substantial weight gain can alter the results.
Once your procedure is completed, a compression garment or elastic bandages may cover treatment areas. These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours. In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
- How long will I wear the compression garment?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?When do I return for follow-up care?
It may take several months for the swelling to fully dissipate. As it does, your new contours and enhanced self-image should continue to develop.
What results can Liposuction achieve?
Results are visible immediately, and improvement often continues as swelling subsides during the first three months.
We make sure that scars from the liposuction cannula insertion point are small and inconspicuous.
Can Liposuction be performed with other procedures?
Liposuction can be performed alone or along with other plastic surgery procedures, such as a facelift, breast reduction, or a tummy tuck.
Risks of Liposuction
Risks are uncommon when the liposuction is performed by a qualified surgeon. Nevertheless, they do occur, and may include the following:
- Delays in healing
- Fat clots or blood clots
- Fluid accumulation
- Perforation injury
- Lidocaine toxicity
- Unfavorable drug or anesthesia reactions
Irregularities in appearance are possible, such as asymmetric or “baggy” skin, numbness and pigmentation changes.