Liposuction is one method of reduction of unwanted fat and it is best viewed as a spot reduction method rather than a weight loss method. The best candidates for liposuction are people who are somewhat near their desired weight but who have problem areas that persist despite their best efforts at weight reduction. Typical problem areas are the abdomen, love handles, outer thighs (saddle bags), arms, chin, and jowls.
Tumescent liposuction is one of the safest cosmetic procedures. In tumescent anesthesia, a dilute mixture of lidocaine and epinephrine is infused into the area to be treated. This numbs the area and decreases the bleeding. Patients can often return to work after one to two days. Another advantage of tumescent liposuction is the avoidance of general anesthesia. This increases safety and further speeds recovery time.
Who are the best candidates for liposuction?
Both men and women can benefit from liposuction. There are no absolute age limitations for liposuction, but as the skin becomes looser, either through age or through repeated pregnancies, it is less likely to return to its previous shape. It is important to remember that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. It aims to mold the body into a more pleasing shape.
How is liposuction performed?
With the advances in tumescent anesthesia and patient monitoring, liposuction is usually performed in our office. The areas for fat removal are marked and the sites for the injection of the solution are numbed with local anesthetic. Tiny (1/2" or less) incisions are made, in inconspicuous areas, and the injecting solution, which is a dilute mixture of local anesthetic and epinephrine in saline, is injected into the area to be treated. A small blunt hollow tube, the cannula, is inserted into the skin openings and the fat is broken up by moving the cannula back and forth. Plastic tubing, attached to the end of the cannula, is hooked up to a suction pump, which removes the fat from the body. The benefits from liposuction occur not only from the removal of fat, but from the reabsorption of injured fat cells that are left behind after the procedure. When the fat cells are removed, small tunnels are created, leaving the skin connected to the underlying muscles by fibrous attachments. During healing, these fibrous strands contract and pull the skin down tight. Because a thin layer of fat is attached to the skin, it looks and feels soft and normal after liposuction.
What should you expect after the procedure?
The goal of liposuction is to lose inches, not pounds. Immediately after the procedure is performed, the treated area is noticeably smaller in size. However, within 24 hours the treated area may become larger than it was initially, due to the swelling that follows the procedure. This swelling may take months to resolve completely and to reveal the full benefits of the liposuction. Although the benefits of liposuction can be quite dramatic, you should not expect perfection. The unevenness of the skin surface, often called cellulite, is not significantly improved by liposuction although TriPollar
treatments can help.
There is some bruising after liposuction, although with the tumescent technique this tends to be relatively mild, and to resolve within a week or occasionally two. Pain after liposuction is usually mild and is similar to the discomfort felt by someone who is not in shape and has vigorously exercised.
We advise our patients to rest the day of the procedure, but they are ambulatory and they may gradually resume exercise beginning the second day after the liposuction. Generally, people may return to work 2 to 3 days after the procedure, depending on the area treated. Full exercise may be resumed 2 weeks after the procedure.
Are the effects of liposuction permanent?
The fat cells removed by liposuction are removed permanently. Some fat cells remain in the treated area and, if you were to gain weight, these cells would enlarge along with the other fat cells in the body. You would not preferentially gain weight in the treated area, and the cells that had been removed would not be replaced. Subsequent weight changes tend to be distributed proportionately over the entire body and the new, more pleasing silhouette tends to be permanent.
If you are interested in liposuction surgery, what is the next step?
The next step is to call California Skin & Laser Center at 209-751-4292 and schedule an evaluation. At that time, Dr. Bock will advise you whether you are a candidate for this procedure, and what other possibilities exist for improving your appearance.
Why should you choose California Skin & Laser Center for your liposuction?
At California Skin & Laser Center, all treatments are supervised or performed by a highly respected, board-certified dermatologist with many years of successful experience in a large variety of cosmetic procedures. Our Stockton and Lodi, CA, dermatology practices serve patients from Sacramento, Tracy, Galt, Manteca, Modesto, Valley Springs, and other communities throughout the Central Valley and San Joaquin County, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Modern liposuction was developed in France and Italy in the 1970s and was brought to the United States in the early 1980s. The first major advance in modern liposuction was the development of tumescent liposuction by Dr. Jeff Klein, a dermatologist from southern California, who was trained in liposuction in the mid-1980s, at the same course that Dr. Bock attended.