Liposuction & Body Contouring (Lipoplasty)

Are you someone who needs the extra push towards your dream body? Have you tried dozens of home remedies and products to get rid of your stubborn cellulite? Liposuction may be the procedure for you. 

WHAT IS LIPOSUCTION

liposuctionLiposuction is defined as the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a canula (a hollow stainless steel tube) with the assistance of a powerful vacuum. Liposuction can be accomplished either with the use of general anesthesia, or with heavy IV sedation, or totally by local anesthesia. It is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States because it offers safe, effective fat and cellulite removal and can easily be combined with other cosmetic surgery techniques. Some of the main liposuction benefits include improved health associated with fat loss, improved overall appearance, and the reduction in the appearance of cellulite.

While it helps with fat loss, it is not intended to be used strictly for weight loss. Rather, liposuction is most effective and beneficial when used to contour a patient’s overall figure by removing pockets of fat in specific areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction can be very useful when performed on localized areas of the abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms and breasts. Patients who undergo this procedure may even find unexpected benefits of the procedure as they begin to partake in activities that they had previously shied away from because they were unhappy with their appearance. Ideally, the right candidates are adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone. Overall, Liposuction is an effective fat removal treatment and can help eliminate unwanted pockets of fat that accumulate disproportionately in various areas of the body, contributing to a more desirable overall appearance.

Some of the common areas for Liposuction:

  • Women
    • Abdomen,
    • Breasts
    • Hips
    • Outer, Anterior and Inner Thighs
    • Knees
    • Arms
    • Buttocks
    • Cheeks
    • Neck
  • Men
    • Chin and Neck
    • Abdomen
    • Flanks (“Love-Handles”)
    • Breasts

Can liposuction be used for female breast reduction? What about in men?

Yes, tumescent liposuction is a very effective method of breast reduction for both women and men with very rapid recovery. For women, liposuction typically reduces the breast size by 35% to 45%, and produces a noticeable elevation or lifting of the breasts. Liposuction elevates the female breasts by removing fat and reducing the weight of the breasts, thus permitting the natural elasticity of breast tissues to contract and give the breast a noticeable lift. Postoperative recovery after liposuction of female and male breasts is very quick, with patients typically able to return to work in one to three days.

Are the results of liposuction permanent?

Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. As long as the patient does not gain an excessive amount of weight, the new, more pleasing silhouette is permanent. A woman who always tends to put weight on her thighs and knees, will find that after liposuction, these areas are less likely than other areas to accumulate fat when she gains weight. In fact, a number of patients have had liposuction and subsequently gained weight. In these patients, the areas originally treated by liposuction generally maintain their new desirable silhouette, whereas areas not treated by liposuction are the sites of new deposits of fat.

HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?

Every cell in the body has a specific function that is vital to the body’s overall health and well-being. However, fat cells are designed to store any unused energy from the food we eat. The body then uses fat for insulation, shock absorption and an emergency source of fuel. The specific body areas where fat is stored depend on your body type, which is largely determined by genetics.

The Different Liposuction Techniques

There are many ways to do liposuction, for example liposuction can be accomplished painlessly either totally by local anesthesia or with general anesthesia.

Tumescent Technique
liposuction2The tumescent technique is a method that provides local anesthesia to large volumes of subcutaneous fat and thus permits liposuction totally by local anesthesia. Unquestionably, the tumescent technique for liposuction is the safest and most commonly used form of liposuction.
The word “tumescent” means swollen and firm. By injecting a large volume of very dilute lidocaine (local anesthetic) and epinephrine (capillary constrictor) into subcutaneous fat, the targeted tissue becomes swollen and firm, or tumescent. The tumescent liposuction technique is a method that provides local anesthesia to large volumes of subcutaneous fat and thus permits liposuction totally by local anesthesia. The tumescent liposuction technique eliminates both the need for general anesthesia and need for IV narcotics and sedatives. The tumescent technique for liposuction 1) provides local anesthesia, 2) constricts capillaries and prevents surgical blood loss 3) provides fluid to the body by subcutaneous injection so that no IV fluids are needed.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction “U.A.L.”
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) requires the use of a large volume of tumescent fluid and uses either a metal probe or metal paddle to deliver ultrasonic energy and heat into subcutaneous fat.
Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture “N.I.L.”
Also known as “TICKLE LIPO”, is a liposuction, fat harvesting and physician support process which utilizes the Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture system (N.I.L.) and is FDA approved for fat removal and body sculpting. The low frequency acoustic INFRASONIC vibration allows for the removal of body fat while respecting the surrounding tissues; resulting in smooth contour and a rapid recovery. The TICKLE LIPO process is a proven reliable system which SAFELY allows for precise, high volume de-bulking in all body areas. The WHIRLING NUTATIONAL pattern offers notable benefits, especially in the areas of fibrosis (secondary liposuction, backs, and in males). Thousands of these proven and effective systems have been sold worldwide.
The Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture (N.I.L.) process was developed with the objective of improving patient safety and procedure outcomes, while significantly decreasing the physical strain on the physician. This procedure differs from the previous methods of lipoplasty by utilizing cannulas activated by air pressure. This NO HEAT, NUTATIONAL WHIPPING movement of vibration, rotation removes fat more effectively than other techniques, while respecting the non-fatty tissues. This allows precise body sculpting with less trauma meaning a reduction of edema, bruising and discomfort. The fat is aspirated simultaneously during the operative emulsification of the fat, thus shortening the procedure time. Because of the characteristics of the system the fat that is removed has a high chance of survival if fat transfer is also an objective of the procedure.
At 10Hz frequency, the INFRASONIC vibration during the infiltration and the operative emulsification creates benefits understood as “The Gate Control Theory”. This vibration interferes with the conduction of painful stimuli by activation of nerves which do not transmit pain signals (nonnociceptive fibers). This advantage allows physicians to perform the liposuction procedure under local or IV sedation and reduces pain for the patient especially during the application of tumescent anesthesia.
Power Assisted Techniques “P.A.L.”
PAL devices use power supplied by an electric motor or compressed air to produce either a rapid in-and-out movement or a spinning rotation of an attached liposuction cannula. Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) devices have recently become available. PAL devices use power supplied by an electric motor or compressed air to produce either a rapid in-and-out movement or a spinning rotation of an attached liposuction cannula. Advocates of PAL assert that it makes liposuction easier for the surgeon. While some liposuction surgeons have expressed enthusiasm about PAL, many others remain skeptical about any advantages of PAL. There are no objective scientific publications to support the enthusiastic claims made by manufacturers of PAL devices.
Water Jet Assisted Liposuction
Water jet assisted liposuction is another method of liposuction being used by cosmetic surgeons today. Water jet assisted liposuction actually uses a slightly pressurized stream of saline to dislodge fat and simultaneously remove the cells. Instead of destroying fat cells, this type of liposuction loosens the fat cells to facilitate more gentle removal.
Water jet assisted liposuction is another method of liposuction being used by cosmetic surgeons today. As in all types of liposuction, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the skin for a more contoured look. Liposuction is optimal for people who are in good physical shape and who aren’t interested in using liposuction as a weight loss measure.
Instead of injecting the body with tumescent fluid and removing the fat cells manually with a cannula, or using laser technology to melt and dislodge the fat, water jet assisted liposuction actually uses a slightly pressurized stream of saline to dislodge fat and simultaneously remove the cells. Instead of destroying fat cells, this type of liposuction loosens the fat cells to facilitate more gentle removal. Water Jet Assisted liposuction injects tumescent fluid (saline and medicines including a local anesthetic) into the body part being treated. Tumescent fluid is proven effective and several alternate liposuction technologies are now using the tumescent technique for its local anesthetic benefits. In the case of water jet assisted liposuction, it then uses different processes to actually remove the fat and manage fluid levels.
Once the local anesthesia has taken hold, a cannula is then introduced into the tissue to irrigate and then simultaneously suction the loosened fat cell from the body. Finally, any remaining fluid is removed. The procedure is considered gentle and minimally invasive and the force seen in traditional liposuction methods is not needed when using jet-assisted liposuction. There is usually very little bruising or swelling and water jet assisted liposuction often has a very short recovery time, partially because the use of water means that there is less tissue trauma to the body.
This is another liposuction technology that does not require general anesthetic, which reduces risks to the patient and reduces costs. Also, because of the fluid management used in this technique, the surgeon can do a more detailed anatomical assessment while conducting the procedure,, so the results are excellent. Basically, the area of the body doesn’t swell up, so the cosmetic surgeon can actually see the results of the liposuction as he or she is doing it.

PREPARING AND PLANNING FOR YOUR SURGERY

First, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Aguilar. Communication is vital in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you would like to achieve. Dr. Aguilar will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and what long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and Dr. Aguilar will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you, during your initial consultation.

  • Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
  • Expect Dr. Aguilar to conduct a physical exam of the area you wish to have the procedure on.
  • Photographs will be taken for your medical record.

As you may have already read, maintaining your healthy lifestyle and diet is a must. We mentioned before that this procedure is not to be confused or taken as a form of weight loss, but rather a procedure to aide you in your journey to your dream body.

Liposuction Complications, Risks, & Safety

One of the biggest ways to prepare for your surgery is knowing the complications and safety behind it. Liposuction is generally considered to be a safe procedure, however, it is an invasive surgery and carries certain risks. The most common complication is a result that produces an unsatisfied patient. Unrealistic expectations before surgery is the most common cause of an unhappy patient. Avoiding this requires careful and accurate communication between patient and surgeon. Other common, but minor complications include:

  • Superficial irregularities of the skin
  • Uneven contours
  • Rippling or lose skin
  • Nerve damage
  • Irregular pigmentation
  • Temporary bruising
  • Blood clots
  • Hematoma
  • Poor wound healing
  • Pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revision surgery

AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE

Be sure to pack “going home” clothes and that they’re loose and without any sort of band to tighten. The full result of the tummy tuck will not be in evidence for a while, and if anything you will still be a bit swollen. As your body will have been quite roughly treated it will be still tender in any case and items digging into the skin will be more painful than usual. Expect some pain, swelling and bruising after the procedure. You may need to wait a few days before returning to work and a few weeks before resuming your normal activities — including exercise. Because of the limited physical activity that you’ll be taking, a caregiver is highly encouraged for the day of the surgery and at least a week after. You also may need to wear tight compression garments, which help reduce swelling, for a few weeks. Also take note that you should stock up with all the medication and household items you will need for a few days for the same reason. During this time, expect some contour irregularities as the remaining fat settles into position.