Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or suction assisted lipectomy (SAL), is an outpatient procedure that removes fat from the following areas: abdomen, back, breasts, buttocks, cheeks, chest, chin, flanks, hips, legs, neck, thighs, and upper arms. This is a body shaping and sculpting procedure. It addresses “volume,” shape, proportions, and definition, it is not a weight loss procedure. Fat is light, muscle is heavy.
There are different types of liposuction: Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) which is the standard form, and includes Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL). The others are Ultrasonic Assisted Lipectomy (UAL), Vaser, and Laser. SAL is the manual form of liposuction; PAL uses a reciprocating cannula system to obtain an “air brushed” look at outcome; whereas, the other modalities will melt and emulsify fat and is suctioned in a second step.
Liposuction can be performed under general, local, or twilight anesthesia. Small areas can be done under local anesthesia. All liposuction is performed with tumescent fluid.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Once the incision has been made, the area to be addressed is injected with tumescent fluid (saline, lidocaine, epinepherin). Ultrasonic probe, Vaser, or laser can be used at this point, or this step can be skipped, and a suction cannula is inserted into the body to vacuum out the unwanted fat. Depending upon the board certified plastic surgeon at North Valley Plastic Surgery, the incision site will be closed with dissolvable or Nylon sutures, or, in many cases, dependant skin port incisions are left open to drain. The incisions may or may not be left partly open to let the serosanguineous (blood and tumescent) fluid drain.
Women may have liposuction performed under the chin, on their hips, thighs, and stomach, and in the underarm and breast area. The most common areas for men include under the chin and around the waist. Liposuction is also often used in male breast reduction (gynecomastia)
The best candidates for liposuction are of normal weight with localized areas of excess fat – for example, in the buttocks, hips, and thighs.
The surgeon inserts a cannula through small incisions in the skin. At the other end of the tube is a vacuum pressure unit that suctions off the fat.
A snug compression garment worn after surgery helps reduce swelling. Improvement will become apparent after about six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided.
As healing progresses, a more proportional look will emerge. A slimmer body contour can help you feel more confident and comfortable.
What to Expect During the Recovery Period
Post-operatively, a compression garment will be worn around the liposuction area to help reduce the swelling and aid in the skin retraction process, which can take up to six weeks to subside. The garment is worn for two to four weeks. It is normal for the liposuction incisions to ooze and drain fluid. Maxi pads or gauze should be used to cover the liposuction incisions to absorb the fluid, if needed.
If Nylon sutures were used, they will be removed within one to two weeks. Restrictions over the next six weeks may include but are not limited to: heavy lifting, pulling, or pushing. Your activities may be guided by your tolerance in many cases. It will take several weeks for the swelling and bruising to dissipate.
The use of bath tubs, Jacuzzis, or anything that allows the body to submerge is not allowed, until clearance from the physician has been provided (usually 2-3 weeks after the surgery). Showering is allowed 48 hours after surgery. It is important to pat the operative areas dry and replace the dressings and compression garment.
If you have questions regarding Scottsdale liposuction, Phoenix liposuction or smart lipo, please call one of our licensed providers at North Valley Plastic Surgery Scottsdale Phoenix at (480)991-6877.