Bothered by stubborn fat deposits that won’t go away even with regular exercise and healthy eating? At Politis Plastic Surgery, we recommend you consider liposuction to achieve a more comfortable and confident look.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that removes unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body. A plastic surgeon makes incisions to reach the fat deposits and uses a cannula to draw them out. The areas commonly treated include the abdomen, arms, thighs, hips, ankles, calves, neck, love handles, tummy, face, chest and buttocks.

The surgery helps to:

  • Remove localized areas of fat
  • Make the body slimmer and sleeker
  • Achieve a more defined, proportionate body
  • Make clothes and swimwear fit better

Is liposuction right for you?

Liposuction is a way to remove isolated fat deposits that are out of place with the surrounding areas of the body. You are an ideal candidate for the procedure if both dieting and exercise have failed to reduce localized fat deposits in your body. You should also have good general health, stable weight, minimal excess skin and proper skin elasticity.

However, when considering liposuction, you should know there are things the procedure cannot do. For example, the surgery removes fat but does not tighten the skin. It is also not a treatment for obesity, cellulite or stretch marks. Likewise, the surgery is inappropriate when you have a significant history of medical problems, want to merely improve body contours, or may still regain weight in the future, such as with a pregnancy.

How should you prepare for the surgery?

The success of liposuction depends on the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choosing a board certified surgeon who performs liposuction regularly will ensure the procedure is personalized to your body type and aesthetic goals.

Your surgeon will conduct a physical exam, take a thorough medical history, and explain to you the procedure options, limitations and risks to help you make an informed decision. Make sure to openly and honestly explain to the surgeon your concerns and goals.

There are limits to the amount of fat that liposuction can safely remove. For best results, you should already be at your ideal weight. At Politis Plastic Surgery, a nurse will assess your body mass index (BMI) and have a plastic surgeon provide weight benchmarks.

Your surgeon will explain the procedure step-by-step during a consultation before giving you preoperative instructions. You will be required to stop smoking for at least six weeks before and after the procedure. You should also be advised to keep your body well hydrated before and after surgery, and to avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.

How is liposuction done?

Liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis according to the surgical plan created by your plastic surgeon. The multi-step procedure is done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, and takes 1-3 hours depending on the area treated and amount of fat removed.

Before the procedure, the area to be treated is marked out and then injected with anesthesia and medicine. The injection minimizes pain, bruising, blood loss and swelling. Then the surgeon applies a high-pressure water jet, high-frequency vibrations, or a weak laser pulse to break the fat cells in the area.

With the targeted area prepared, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a cannula that is attached to a powerful vacuum machine. If the area with unwanted fat is large, the surgeon can make several incisions. The inserted cannula is moved back and forth to loosen the fat, which is then drawn out through the vacuum machine.

Once the fat is removed, the incisions are closed and any excess fluid and blood are drained. The surgeon also fits compression garments over the treated area to reduce swelling and bruising. You will need to wear compression garments at all times for several weeks. Your surgeon will provide mild painkillers to ease the pain and swelling and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Recovering after liposuction

Soon after the procedure, you will be moved to the recovery area for observation before going home. However, extensive liposuction may require an overnight hospital stay. Once discharged, you should have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

At home, you should rest. And while walking and non-strenous movement are advisable, you should avoid contact sports and strenuous activity for at least 4-6 weeks. Your compression garments should also be in place for 4-6 weeks to ensure proper healing.

One week after surgery, you will have a follow-up session so the surgeon can check the wounds and review the procedure. It may take up to 6 months for the treated area to settle completely, though you can usually return to work within a few days after the procedure.

Is liposuction safe?

Liposuction is one of the safest and most popular plastic surgery procedures. When performed by an experienced, board certified surgeon, complications are quite rare. But like any surgery, it may cause bruising, swelling, inflammation, numbness, scars and swollen ankles. Plus, there are risks of infection, excessive bleeding, allergic reaction or blood clotting in a vein.

Your plastic surgeon will explain the potential risks and complications of the procedure, and advise you on what to do should they occur. If you have severe pain or unexpected symptoms after liposuction, inform your surgeon immediately.

Wonderful results

A single liposuction procedure can remove up to 10 pounds of fat cells. And while you may look bloated during the first few days due to swelling and fluid retention, you will have improved contours after the swelling goes down. Because the fat does not usually return after liposuction, the results are generally impressive and permanent.

At Politis Plastic Surgery, we perform several liposuctions each year and enjoy high patient satisfaction rates. We will keep in touch with you after your procedure to monitor any changes in the treated area and make sure you enjoy lasting results. We will also give you dietary and exercise advice to help you maintain a stable weight and retain a desired body shape.

Want to sculpt your body and eliminate unwanted pockets of resistant fat? Call today to schedule your consultation. For more information on plastic surgery procedures, visit the Politis Plastic Surgery website.