Liposuction: Learning about Body Contouring
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is designed to restore confidence by reshaping and contouring your body. Areas of diet resistant fat are removed through small incisions. Liposuction works well for people with thick skin that is elastic. After the fat is removed, it is expected to retract to restore a nice contour. For patients with thin, or excess skin, excisional procedures are recommended. This could include a tummy tuck, or removal of excess skin on the thighs (thigh lift) or arms (brachioplasty). An in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to determine which procedures are best for you.
How liposuction works:
Liposuction works best to contour areas of diet resistant fat. Men and women who have reached their goal weight with diet and exercise are the best candidates for liposuction procedures. The skin must be thick, and elastic, so it can retract after the procedure.
Before the surgical procedure, areas of fullness are outlined. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia performed by an anesthesiologist. This gives the most comfortable experience for the patient. Fat from areas of fullness is removed by making small incisions and inserting a surgical instrument called a cannula. The cannula is attached to suction and the fat is removed. Once the correct amount of fat is removed, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures.
What areas can be treated with liposuction?
There are many areas of the body that can be treated with liposuction. Common areas include the chin, the bra roll, the back, the hips, tummy, inner thighs, outer thighs, knee area, and calves.
Things to Understand about Liposuction:
Liposuction is a surgical procedure. It works well for patients who are at their goal weight and who have specific areas of excess fullness. After liposuction, there is swelling of the tissues. 80% of the swelling improves in the first month, but residual swelling remains for 6-9 months. Final results are seen at 6-9 months.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tucks:
For people with excess skin, who are not good candidates for liposuction, a skin removal procedure is commonly recommended. This includes tummy tuck procedures. Consultation with your plastic surgeon helps determine which tummy tuck is best for you.
Types of tummy tucks include:
After a liposuction procedure most patients take 5-7 days away from work. Overall, pain is easily managed with ibuprofen or a brief period of taking narcotic pain medication. Surgical garments are worn for three weeks after the procedure. A lighter weight compression garment is worn for an additional three weeks.
How do I learn more about which procedure is best for me?
A board-certified plastic surgeon is your best resource when considering liposuction or other body contouring procedures. After examining you, your surgeon will be able to help you decide which procedures are right for you.
To schedule a consult with Dr. Hayes, see our contact page or call (503) 297-9340.
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Dr. Austin Hayes is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with offices in Portland, Seattle, and Hood River.