Liposuction is the most popular and common cosmetic surgical procedure. Liposuction reshapes areas of fat accumulation that are out of proportion to the rest of your body. This specific fat accumulation is often genetic or an inherited body type. When you are at a stable and healthy weight, and one or two areas of your body have obvious excessive localized fat , liposuction can reshape a pleasing and balanced body contour. Removal of fat with liposuction is not a weight loss tool as fat occupies volume but is not heavy (like feathers). Rather suction assisted lipectomy reshapes specific areas so your clothes fit better and you feel more confident about your body proportions.
- Types of Liposuction
- Liposuction Goals
- Liposuction Incisions
- Liposuction Procedure and Recovery
- Follow-up After Surgery
- At Your Consultation
Types of Liposuction
Liposuction has improved dramatically over the past 25 years. The most significant advancement was the design of tumescent liposuction. By first placing saline fluid (the same fluid used for hydration for medical care) with epinephrine into the fat layer, spaces between the fat cells are spread apart and expanded. The additional epinephrine tightens the blood vessels in the fat layer decreasing bruising. This fluid is placed before the fat is removed, and gives a smoother and safer result.
Additional techniques and technologies for suction assisted lipectomy (SAL) have been introduced. It is important to discuss these with Dr. Baldwin to learn which technologies show effective long-term results or which techniques are directed for specific situations.
A variety of cannulas are available to remove fat cells and to refine your results. Usually different sizes of cannulas are used on each patient to achieve a smooth and balanced appearance.
Liposuction is an effective procedure to reshape the body, specifically in areas where there is a fat accumulation that is out of proportion to the rest of your body. Patients are most satisfied when, through healthy eating and exercise, they are at a stable weight that makes them happy – but still have fatty areas that are not improving. Areas that do not shrink with weight loss, such as the outer thigh or hips, can be successfully treated with liposuction.
If you gain weight after the procedure, the fat will go to areas that have not been treated by SAL. This could include the upper back, shoulders or arms. To prevent this undesired fat accumulation, maintain your healthy weight and enjoy your new proportional shape.
Liposuction can not only make you more comfortable in your clothes, but also pleased in a bathing suit or exercise wear. The freedom to no longer select clothing to hide an area that is out of proportion can give you new energy and confidence.
An exciting part of liposuction is that the incisions are very small, usually one-eighth of an inch. Through these tiny openings, the fat is suctioned and removed. The usual areas that can be improved with liposuction are thighs, hips/flanks, back, abdomen, arms and under the chin. The incisions are usually placed in areas of contour change and not noticeable after they heal. Because the incisions are so small, the liposuction cannulas can approach the areas of fat from different angles allowing for a natural and harmonious shape improvement.
Liposuction Procedure and Recovery
Liposuction with Dr. Baldwin is performed at an accredited outpatient surgical center connected to a hospital or at a full-service hospital. It is an outpatient procedure. The length of the procedure depends on the number and location of areas of the body treated. When Dr. Baldwin examines you, she will let you know which areas can be improved and how long the procedure will take.
Liposuction patients feel soreness in the areas treated which is relieved with pain medication and a compression garment for support. Usually patients can drive moderate distances three days after surgery, but return to safe driving could take longer if multiple areas are treated. The garments are worn continually for six weeks to minimize swelling, and to support the skin to help it shrink and smoothly fit the improved body shape. Although the garments may feel tight the first few days, you feel most comfortable wearing them because it decreases the swelling.
Dr. Baldwin believes port-operative guidelines for restraint from vigorous exercise for six weeks ensures the most natural and pleasing long-term results. However, return to work and normal daily routines is possible in three to four days.
Follow-up After Surgery
Natural, long-lasting results are facilitated by close postoperative follow-up care. SAL patients are given clear, written instructions and seen by Dr. Baldwin in the office following your procedure at day one, week one, week three, week six, three months, six months and annually thereafter. It is important to know there are no additional charges for these important follow-up visits. Closely following the instructions given at the early visits help the patient understand how to best heal from surgery. Our office is always available to see prior SAL patients for concerns that might arise in the future.
At Your Consultation
New information is continually being explored for liposuction options. Dr. Baldwin is interested in discussing all your questions and sharing her opinion and experience on the newest techniques for body contouring during your consultation. Liposuction continues to be one of the most popular elective plastic surgery procedures in the nation.