Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits. The procedure leaves minimal scars and may be used to improve the contour and proportion of the face and body.
Liposuction is a proven surgical method for sculpting specific areas of the body, and should not be considered an effort-free form of weight loss. Liposuction is very effective at removing pockets of fat that can persist in certain areas of the body. These problem areas generally refuse to shrink by diet or exercise and tend to locate around the thighs and abdomen.
By itself, liposuction is more effective with younger patients whose skin has more elasticity, which is better able to reshape itself around the lost fat deposits. Older patients or those with poor skin elasticity may wish to combine liposuction with a tummy tuck or thigh lift.
Nearly any area of the body can be treated with liposuction. Some of the most common areas that patients choose for this procedure include the thighs, tummy, back, flanks, knees, neck, chin, and elsewhere. During body contouring procedures such as the tummy tuck, arm lift, or body lift, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat.
The basic concept of liposuction is fairly simple. A hollow, slender stainless steel tube called a cannula is inserted through a small incision and massaged through the tissue to loosen the fat deposits. This is generally combined with liquid anesthetic, and an epinephrine compound to contract blood vessels to minimize bleeding. The loosened fat is then removed from the body with suction.
As fat cells are physically removed from the body, it is important to understand that this is permanent. Your body only has so many fat cells which can expand or retract with weight gain or loss. If you are at a stable weight, removing fat cells carefully can be an effective means to sculpt parts of the body. Bear in mind though that if weight is gained, there will not be the proportionate fat cells in the area to enlarge. This can result in irregular proportions as added weight will distribute unevenly.
Liposuction will not remove more than 5 to 10 pounds of fat. However, as the actual fat cells are removed, the change to your appearance is much more drastic than with physical weight loss through diet and exercise.
Be realistic regarding your goals and understand that Dr. Hess can change your form in dynamic ways, but cannot give you an entirely new body.
After liposuction, you may be able to return to work in as little as two days. Dr. Hess will prescribe a medication to help you manage any pain or discomfort. Some swelling is also normal, and will usually subside in two to eight weeks.
The final results may not be evident for up to six months, although changes will be noticed as soon as the swelling starts to subside. It may take time for your skin to adjust to your new body shape. However, once recovered, and so long as a stable weight is maintained, results are typically effective, eliminating problem areas and toning your shape.