Remove stubborn fat
Liposuction (or “lipo”) is arguably the single most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. today. Liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat that has not responded to diet and exercise from the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks, and neck. Liposuction not only offers the opportunity to slim and contour chubby areas of the body by removing the fat cells, but it also ensures that these areas will not accumulate fatty deposits in the future.
While many people associate plastic surgery with mostly women, men regularly receive liposuction. Listen to Dr. Fiorillo talk about why men genetically gather fat around their waistlines and why liposuction is perfect for many self-conscious men in this segment on KSMO.
What can liposuction do for me?
Liposuction slims and re-contours target areas of the body by eliminating excess fat deposits. This results in an improvement in body shape and proportion and ultimately enhances the patient’s self-image.
Liposuction is ideal for treating stubborn fat deposits in many parts of the body including:
- Abdomen and waist
- Thighs, hips and buttocks
- Arms, neck and back
- Inner knee
- Cheeks and chin
- Calves and ankles
Usually lipo is performed as a standalone procedure, however in many cases it is also used in conjunction with other procedures such as facelifts, breast reductions, or tummy tucks.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
It is important to note that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or meant to replace exercise and proper eating habits. Ideal liposuction candidates are individuals in good physical and mental health, who exercise regularly and maintain a proper diet but still have stubborn areas of fat they cannot get rid of.
How is the procedure performed?
The liposuction procedure begins with the injection of a solution composed of saline (salt water), a local anesthetic called lidocaine, and a small amount of adrenaline to decrease bruising and bleeding. This is known as either the tumescent or super-wet technique, depending on the ratio of the fluid to the fatty tissue being removed.
Once this solution has been introduced into the area planned for liposuction treatment, Dr. Fiorillo proceeds with one of two different methods of liposuction currently approved by plastic surgeons: suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL) or ultrasonic-assisted lipectomy (UAL).
In both methods, a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible. In SAL, a cannula (small tube) is inserted and moved back and forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. In UAL, ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out with a cannula.
The liposuction procedure may last from one to five hours, depending on the amount of fat being removed. The doctor will use either local anesthesia or general anesthesia, again depending on the size of the area(s) being treated as well as several other factors. Dr. Fiorillo will discuss which method is best for you during your pre-operative consultation.
After liposuction surgery, drainage tubes, compression garments and antibiotics may be needed to facilitate the healing process. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able to, and many return to work within a few days. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
Results are visible immediately, and improvement often continues as swelling subsides during the first three months.
What are the potential risks of liposuction?
Risks are uncommon when a qualified surgeon performs the liposuction. Nevertheless, any surgical procedure carries certain risks, and those of a liposuction may include the following:
- Delays in healing
- Fat clots or blood clots
- Fluid accumulation
- Perforation injury
- Lidocaine toxicity
- Unfavorable drug or anesthesia reactions
Irregularities in appearance are possible, such as asymmetric or “baggy” skin, numbness and pigmentation changes. Dr. Fiorillo will ensure you understand the potential risks and complications of your procedure before undergoing it.