What is liposuction?
Liposuction, also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. Although liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
Who should consider liposuction?
Individuals who are in good medical health, who have good skin elasticity, and who have local deposits of fat such as "saddle bags", "love handles", "spare tire" that are resistant to exercise and a healthy diet. Liposuction can improve the shape and contour of your abdomen, inner and outer thighs, knees, hips, flanks, chin, arms, buttocks, neck.
Things to consider
Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. It eliminates localized fatty areas, but it does not get rid of wrinkles, excess skin, or cellulite. The procedure is ideal for those individuals with a stable weight and is close to their ideal body weight based on size and height. In some cases, liposuction is performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction, one may have loose skin. If that is a probability, then we may recommend a skin-tightening procedure. This all depends on the patient's individual body habitus, skin tone, elasticity, location, amount of fat removed and overall health. A healthy diet and regular exercise is highly recommended. Liposuction does not prevent you from gaining weight in the future.
What does the consultation involve?
Dr. Kim will evaluate your overall health and surgical history. She will evaluate your skin tone and elasticity, areas of fatty deposits, your overall body shape, and, of course, your goals and expectations.
What does the liposuction procedure involve?
The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia and the technique used. Traditional or power-assisted liposuction techniques can be used. Usually general anesthesia is performed. If it involves a small area to be suctioned, then sedation and monitoring can be performed.
Through a tiny incision, tumescent solution is infused in the area to be suctioned. Then a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. During the course of the procedure, the patient is carefully monitored.
The benefit of liposuction is that it can improved your body contour and the scars are small and located in inconspicuous areas.
What do I expect after surgery?
Once your procedure is completed, you will be required to wear a compression garment (similar to wearing a girdle) to help with the swelling and help compress your skin to your new contour. Initial healing will include swelling, numbness, soreness, bruising, and discomfort that can be controlled with medication. Initial wound healing takes about 7 to 14 days. The swelling will gradually subside over a couple of months and then you will be able to see the improved contours that was achieved with the procedure. Following all instructions and maintaining follow-up is essential to a good outcome.
What are some of the potential risks?
Some of the risks include contour irregularities and laxity of skin. Contour irregularities can be addressed with revisional surgery if needed and the degree of skin laxity depends on your age and quality of skin. Other risks include small hematomas and seromas. Although rare, reactions to medications such as lidocaine, excessive fluid losses or accumulation, infection, fat or pulmonary embolus, vital organ injury are portentials risks.