Many people struggle with weight gain. They are bombarded with the latest fad diets which are “guaranteed to work” only to be disappointed time and time again. The majority of Americans have tried different weight loss solutions from medications, to herbs, to garments, to new exercise equipment. While the wish is to reduce the number of fat cells, the only permanent way of accomplishing such a feat would be the use of liposuction.
Liposuction with Dr. Farella
Liposuction and body contouring is not only an intricate surgical procedure, but in order to have the beautiful results the artistic element must be ever present. Dr. Farella takes special care to understand the needs and desires of his patients, following with his recommendations for optimal results. Your plastic surgeon’s skill and expertise will determine the outcome of liposuction. Working with Dr. Farella and his very caring staff will leave you rest assured you are in the right hands.
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Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat from under the skin through a small incision no bigger than a quarter of an inch. Your plastic surgeon uses a tube or cannula connected to a suction machine. Popular places to perform suction are the neck, arms, abdomen, hips, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, and knees. Liposuction is used to sculpt or contour the body and improve the shape or silhouette. It works best for patients who have localized fat with good skin elasticity, have realistic expectations, and are at their ideal weight. Liposuction will not tighten muscle or skin, nor is it a method for overall weight loss. It is used in addition to but does not take the place of diet and exercise. Removal of fat is considered permanent, however, if you gain weight the fat will go to another location. Fat possibly can return in the same area that was liposuctioned but not to the same extent. It is important to keep in mind that liposuction has limitations. It will only remove fat under the skin. It will not remove visceral fat that is inside the abdomen or under muscle. Liposuction will not change bone structure. Therefore, your results may be limited to your own body structure. Dr. Farella will discuss this and all other questions with you during your consultation.
Tumescent and Super Wet Technique for Liposuction
This component of liposuction is used in all forms of liposuction. It is a step that is used before insertion of the suction cannula and entails injecting a mixture of normal saline (saltwater) epinephrine (adrenaline) and lidocaine (a local anesthetic) into the subcutaneous plane which is the area under the skin to be liposuction. Time is allocated to allow the mixture to take the fact which aid in interop and postop anesthesia and reduce bleeding. It also acts as a plane or space so that the suction cannula could safely be introduced with less possible chance of injury to structures or organs. Dr. Farella uses tumescent fluids to Hydro dissect the plane before liposuction is to be performed. He believes it is the only way and safest way to do all types of liposuction and should be considered standard of care.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction
Ultrasonic assisted liposuction is a type of liposuction that uses ultrasound which is thermal energy to separate fat from the surrounding tissues. Some physicians believe that since it is a thermal technology it may have some effect on skin tightening. At one time it was a very popular surgical modality. At the time of this writing, it is not considered one of the most popular techniques. It is Dr. Farella’s belief that thermal injuries may increase the complication of seroma formation (collection of fluid under the skin) and may even injure the skin. However, in the hands of a skilled surgeon with the right technology, ultrasonic liposuction may be employed.
Powered Assisted Liposuction
Powered assisted liposuction is a type of liposuction that uses a device that reciprocates (moves back and forth) to separate the fat cells from the surrounding connective tissue. It is a non-thermal or heat producing technology. In the hands of a skilled physician, it can be used to reduce operating room time as well as optimize patient outcome. There are more than one type of mechanical devices that are produced by various medical supply companies that work differently in an effort to dislodge a separate fat. At the time of this writing Dr. Farella uses this technology most of the time.
Suction Assisted Liposuction
Suction assisted liposuction is the liposuction which is used by inserting a tube cannula under the skin which is hooked up to a vacuum and simply removes fat by using the back-and-forth motion of the surgeons own power. It is a non-thermal technique and is usually used in addition to other forms of liposuction such as powered assisted liposuction laser-assisted liposuction and ultrasonic assisted liposuction, etc. It was the first method of liposuction before the advent of newer technologies.
Laser liposuction uses the laser to separate the fat from its surrounding tissues, it is another type of thermal technology. It has been very popular due to the vast amount of marketing and buzz names such as smart lipo, cool lipo, slim lipo, etc. It is a thermal device many doctors believe has some degree of skin tightening as well as fat removal. Dr. Farella does not believe that this is the general consensus in the plastic surgery community. As with any thermal device, internal burns and injury to the skin is always a concern. Revision surgery if needed after either laser lipo or ultrasonic lipo becomes a challenge and in some cases may not be possible.
Is Liposuction Right for You?
- Patients who are in good health
- Patients with realistic expectations
- Patients who do not have eating disorders (such as anorexia, bulimia)
- Patients who are doing it for the right reasons (i.e. for themselves)
- Patients who are at their ideal or stable weight
- Patients who have good skin elasticity
- Patients who have localized fat under their skin.
Risks and Complications
While complications can occur, they are rare. Such risks and complications may include but are not limited to scarring, bleeding, infection, rippling, skin contour irregularities, change in skin sensation, pigmentation changes and swelling, asymmetry, the inability of the skin to redrape correctly or snap back, fluid accumulations, pulmonary complications, skin loss, chronic pain, and risks and complications associated with anesthesia.
Please bring up any concerns you have regarding risks and potential complications of surgery during your consultation with Dr. Farella.
Smokers have a greater risk of wound healing and pulmonary complications.
Recovery from Liposuction
After surgery, our licensed Registered Nurse and caring team will care for you and see that your immediate needs are met in our private recovery room. A compression garment is worn for a minimum of two weeks to help decrease swelling and bruising, and promotes skin shrinkage. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as possible to help reduce the swelling and prevent complications. Your recovery time is ten to fourteen days. Even though most of the swelling and bruising will resolve in one to two weeks, your final result will be observed within one year. Remember, liposuction does not take the place of diet and exercise, and the patient must maintain their pre-operation weight or continue to loose weight for the desired results.
Exercise after Liposuction
You may resume light exercise after two weeks. For high impact exercise (i.e. step aerobics, tae bo) four to six weeks is recommended.
Liposuction can be performed as an out-patient procedure under general anesthesia, or in some cases with IV sedation and local anesthesia. Surgery time is usually 1-2 hours depending on the extent of the surgery.
Let Our Expert Staff Answer Your Questions
Liposuction is not a substitute for healthy eating and exercise, and is not a treatment for obesity. This body contouring procedure is one of the few ways to permanently remove fat cells from a particular location on the body. The quality of the skin affects the quality of the look since liposuction relies on the skin’s ability to tighten.
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Information on this page is not a substitute for medical consultation or advice. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss the best treatments for you.