Liposuction is a highly effective technique for the removal of localized areas of fatty deposit that won’t go away with diet and exercise. Unfortunately is it not effective as a technique for losing a lot of weight, and it won’t remove excess skin. With the right circumstances and reasonable expectations, liposuction can lead to satisfying and durable results.
How is it done?
The initial examination will determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction, and what areas might be addressed. Commons areas are the flanks, lower abdomen, thighs, arms, and the neck. Any area with fat can be suctioned if done carefully. On the day of surgery, markings are performed with your input. After the administration of anesthesia (local for small areas, general anesthesia for larger), the areas are filled up with a solution that reduces pain and bleeding. Suctioning is performed with a series of tubes, or cannulae of different sizes. The procedure is continued until the excess has been removed. The incisions for the cannulae are about a quarter of an inch in size and usually heal well. They are hidden in inconspicuous areas. A compression garment is used afterward to reduce swelling.
What about recovery?
Recovery is not significant. Discomfort may last a day or two. Bruising is variable. Some clear drainage may last a day or two. Normal activity can be resumed when comfortable. Final results take about two to three months, once the swelling is completely gone.
What about risks?
Irregularities can be seen under the skin, but being both well-trained and careful we rarely have this problem. Infection and bleeding are rare. Severe complications are usually related to very large volume liposuctions, which we don’t do as we feel they are inappropriate.
Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Brachioplasty, commonly known as an arm lift, attempts to procure a more natural and youthful look by removing the fat and excess skin hanging down from the underarms. This is most commonly requested by aging women, but some men opt to have this procedure as well. An arm lift is often performed on post-bariatric surgery patients who have lost huge amounts of weight in a short amount of time. The procedure helps to relieve patients’ self consciousness in wearing short sleeves or otherwise showing their arms.
During the arm lift procedure, the incision is made beneath the arm and can extend from the elbow to the armpit, varying upon how much skin must be removed. The skin is then cut away from the rest of the arm and pulled taut around the extremity.
This procedure is very likely to leave a scar that could be noticeable. Most doctors can adjust where they make their incision so that the cut runs either underneath the arm or on the inside surface. These are less visible in normal poses and can improve over time as the scar fades. However, most patients need to be firmly aware that they are essentially trading “skin for scars” with this procedure.
Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)
Also called belt lipectomy, torsoplasty and panniculectomy, the circumferential body lift is performed to remove excess skin from the torso and upper legs.
Candidates for body lifts typically suffer from loose (inelastic) skin on many or most areas of the body as a result of age, childbearing or significant weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breast lifts, arm lifts and liposuction to retain a proper body proportion. Body lifts tighten and tone the abdomen, back, buttocks, hips and thighs.
During the procedure, skin is lifted from underlying tissue, muscles are tightened and stitched, fat is removed where necessary, and the skin is sutured closed. The navel is often removed and replaced in its new position. Surgical tubes may be needed for a few days to drain any fluid, and patients may need to wear compression garments for a few weeks to facilitate faster healing.
After surgery, patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able to, although strenuous activities must be limited for about a month. Results are visible immediately.
A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper legs. Candidates typically suffer from loose, inelastic skin after extreme weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breast lifts, facelifts and arm lifts to retain an attractive body proportion.
In a medial thigh lift (inner thigh lift), the surgical incision is made in the inner thigh along the line where the leg meets the groin. In a lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift), the incision is made from the groin around the back of the body, so that the buttocks are lifted along with the thigh.