- Medical Name: Liposuction & Body Contouring
- Common Name: Lipo, Liposuction, Body Contouring, Liposculpture, Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL), Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL), Laser Lipolysis, Tumescent Liposuction, Ultrasonic assisted liposcuction, VASER
- Anesthesia Type: Local / IV Sedation
- Procedure Duration: 1 to 3 hours
- Recovery Time: 1 to 2 weeks
- Procedure Location: Office
About Liposuction & Body Contouring
Most men and women have areas of their bodies that are resistant to exercise and a proper diet. Heredity and gender are two main factors that dictate where excess fat (adipose) accumulate. Thus, both men and women have predictable areas prone to retain excess fat. Typically, women accumulate fat in the lower abdomen, hips and thighs, and men accumulate fat in the flanks, chest and abdomen.
Liposuction is the definitive technique to eliminate fat in most areas of the body and the face, and the only technique that can selectively remove localized fat. The gold standard of lipo techniques is called “tumescent liposuction.” Tumescent liposuction has been around since the 1970s, and involves treating the area with a very dilute saline, lidocaine and epinephrine solution. The surgeon then uses a micro-cannula in strategically placed incisions to selectively remove fat. The success of liposuction is dependent upon the artistry of the surgeon, so choose your liposuction surgeon wisely.
Laser assisted liposuction (also called laser lipolysis and LAL) and power assisted liposuction (PAL) have gained in popularity. Both laser assisted liposuction and power assisted are “add-ons” to traditional tumescent liposuction that add ease in removal of the fat. Laser assisted liposuction equipment is made by a variety of manufacturers including SmoothLipo, SmartLipo and others. This technique uses a laser to heat up the fat prior to its removal via a cannula. It is said that the fat is easier to remove once liquefied by the heat, however it is not always the best option for every area of the body as it carries with it a risk of burning. Power assisted liposuction devices use compressed air or a motor to create a rotary or rapid in-and-out movement, thus breaking up the fat making it easier to for the surgeon to remove.
Ideal Candidate for Liposuction & Body Contouring
The ideal candidate for liposuction is in general good health, has good skin elasticity, is in the age range of 18 to early 40s, and is within a reasonable weight based upon gender and height. Candidates should have reasonable expectations for outcome.
Benefits of Liposuction & Body Contouring
Liposuction is the only tried-and-true technique to selectively remove fat from localized areas like the jawline (under the chin), inner and outer thighs, abdomen, arms, and more. Liposuction has a very high patient satisfaction rate.
Risks and Limitations to Liposuction & Body Contouring
As with any surgery, liposuction carries the risk of complications even when the liposuction surgeon uses utmost care, judgment and skill. You should expect soreness, bruising and swelling at the sites. There is a low probability for skin irregularities at the site of the liposuction, bleeding, inflammation of the veins in the legs, infection, burning (laser assisted), temporary numbness and scarring. Liposuction is not a solution for weight reduction.
Results of Liposuction & Body Contouring and How Long Do They Last
Recovery times vary. Proper care of your liposuction sites and consistent use of compression garments are paramount. You will be active right after your surgery and encouraged to walk frequently. The recovery time could be a week to 10 days, but there may be mild residual soreness that continues for weeks.
Alternate Methods to Liposuction & Body Contouring
While there are new, non-surgical techniques, liposuction is the only method that effectively resculpts fatty areas resistant to a proper diet and exercise.