Liposuction surgery may be considered to treat areas of excess fat in the stomach, buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, breasts, back, arms and neck. Often, patients seeking liposuction have noticed areas of fat deposit that are out of proportion with the rest of the body and do not go away with diet and exercise. Since liposuction removes fat and not skin, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Hsu, finds it is well suited for areas with minimal amounts of excess skin and good skin elasticity.
Best Candidates for Liposuction
The following are some common reasons why patients may want to consider liposuction:
Patients who are relatively fit with specific problem areas, which may be the result of heredity and do not disappear with exercise and diet
Patients without excess sagging skin on problem areas and good skin elasticity
In the initial consultation, Dr. Hsu will get to know that patient by asking questions about their concerns, goals, and medical history. He will also perform an examination of the areas the patient would like addressed and see if there is sufficient fat in the area and if it is a good area to target for liposuction. After Dr. Hsu determines if the patient is a good candidate for liposuction, he will create a timeline and surgical plan with the patient for their unique goals and anatomy.
Dr. Hsu prefers to perform liposuction with the patient under general anesthesia, in order to allow for sufficient fat to be removed while keeping the patient comfortable. The procedure is performed in two steps. First, Dr. Hsu injects the area with fluid that includes a local anesthetic for comfort and a vasoconstrictive agent to shrink blood vessels to minimize bruising. Then, Dr. Hsu will make a very small incision to insert the liposuction cannula into the skin to remove pockets of fat. Dr. Hsu uses a power-assisted liposuction technique that helps the cannula remove fat with minimal trauma to the patient. In general, the procedure takes about 30 minutes per area, but time will vary between each patient.
Recovery and Post-Op
After the surgery, patients will wear a compression garment at all times for approximately 2 weeks to aid the healing process. The compression garment will be very tight in order to squeeze the skin. The skin naturally adapts well and the compression garment aids the skin in shrinking over the area. Because the compression garment aids the skin in looking naturally smooth over the smaller area, it should preferably be worn as much as possible for 6 weeks. Patients should also walk several times a day to prevent blood clots. Most patients return to work after 2 weeks and can start exercising again after 6 weeks.
From Dr. Hsu
“Liposuction is best used for patients who have a specific part of the body where they would like to remove some excess fatty tissue. For patients looking for removal of fat all over the body, the best option is really diet and exercise. But for those patients who have specific problem areas, liposuction works very well. The procedure can be tailored to each individual patient with a focus on those specific areas.
Many patients ask if I perform liposuction under local anesthesia, since there has been an explosion in the growth of clinics that are doing it on an outpatient basis. I do all of my liposuction under general anesthesia, because I find that patients are much more comfortable under general anesthesia, and therefore I can take my time to achieve the best results possible. No surgeon wants to cause pain in their patients, and I’ve found that many patients who come to me telling me that they had liposuction elsewhere under local anesthesia either (1) did not have sufficient results, or (2) had a lot of pain while undergoing that procedure.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my final Liposuction results?
The results of liposuction surgery are technically permanent because fat cells have been removed. However, weight gain, aging, pregnancy, family genes, and lifestyle factors may still affect the body shape and contours. It is crucial to maintain healthy habits and a stable weight to maintain liposuction results. Following liposuction, fat will no longer be stored in the cells that have been removed, but will be stored in other body areas. There is no way to predict where the body will store new fat.
What are the different Liposuction techniques?
There are a variety of techniques that facilitate liposuction:
Suction-assisted liposuction (SAL)
Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL)