Liposuction is one of the most common body contouring procedures, which is performed in our practice for both women and men. Despite extensive diet and exercise, many individuals can find themselves with resistant areas of fat. Other patients undergo liposuction because they want to redefine and reshape their bodies to enhance their overall appearance. Other individuals interested in liposuction have the procedure done to remove larger volumes of fat (large volume liposuction) as part of a staged body contouring procedure.
All patients who undergo liposuction must be motivated to maintain their results through lifestyle modifications. With the right lifestyle changes, results from liposuction are typically permanent as the fat cells do not return. Many of these liposuction procedures are performed on an outpatient basis at Dr. Spence's & Dr. Ovalle's Orlando, Florida plastic surgery offices, with some of their patients coming all the way from the Caribbean.
Fat Removal Expectations
It’s important to not view liposuction as a weight-loss procedure, as it is not considered a treatment for obesity. Liposuction with Hillcrest is a body-contouring procedure intended to remove stubborn pockets of fat in areas of the body such as the lower abdomen and the flanks. After the procedure when the desired amount of fat is removed, maintaining a healthy lifestyle afterwards can make results permanent.
The fat removed in a single liposuction procedure is usually in the four to five pound range. We are careful to not exceed the limits as removing too much fat in a single procedure can be dangerous. Immediately after your procedure, however, you will weigh more due to the tumescent solution that is injected, and the slight swelling that will occur.
Will I Have Loose Skin After Liposuction?
When you come in for your consultation with Dr. Spence or Dr. Ovalle, they will ascertain the elasticity in your skin. The elasticity of your skin is important because after the desired amount of fat is removed, the skin needs to be able to tighten down over its new slimmer contours. If you still have good elasticity, loose skin will not be a problem, and your skin will tighten down to your slimmer contour.
If our doctors think you have excess, sagging skin that seems to have lost its elasticity, they may recommend a tummy tuck (often with some amount of liposuction) to remove excess skin instead of only liposuction. This is only applicable to the areas around the abdomen, upper thighs, and flanks.
Is Liposuction Painful?
Modern day liposuction procedures are minimally invasive thanks to our skilled and wonderful team. This is in sharp contrast to the original procedure that was introduced in the U.S. during the 1980s. During those days, liposuction procedures involved very aggressive movement of the large cannula under the skin to break the unwanted fat cells loose before suctioning them away. This created a good deal of blood loss and subsequent bruising and tissue trauma. Patients had to be under general anesthesia.
Our doctors use tumescent liposuction, where a saline solution that also includes Lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the target area first. This swells the area for easier access, and the Lidocaine provides local anesthetic. The epinephrine constricts the blood vessels for less blood loss and bruising. We may also use power-assisted liposuction, which further helps to break loose the targeted fat cells.
Most patients equate the pain to more of an aching feeling and less of a sharp or dull pain feeling. While it is available, most patients don’t require pain medication beyond over-the-counter options.
Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
During your consultation, our doctors will pay close attention to your overall body proportions, as well as taking your overall health into account. A diagram will be drawn to show the areas of fat that will be addressed and after that, a few photographs are taken. Our doctors will evaluate skin tone, elasticity, areas of cellulite, contours of underlying muscle, and bone structure. After doing so, our doctors will be able to give you a realistic understanding of the results you can expect.
How do I Prepare for my Liposuction Procedure?
Although liposuction is not an overly invasive procedure compared to what it used to be, patients still need to follow the pre-procedure protocols for surgery. This means not smoking for two weeks prior to your procedure and for at least two weeks after. Smoking can cause surgical implications as well as reduce skin elasticity.
You’ll need to stop taking aspirin or other medications and supplements that may reduce the ability of your blood to clot. This will also limit your bruising. If you’re having larger areas treated, you should prepare your house for a few days of being able to relax and limit movement.
Some tips include:
- Get hydrated prior to surgery (e.g. drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily for 3 days prior to surgery).
- Start a walking program prior to surgery (at least 20 minutes per day for 3 days)
How is the Liposuction Procedure Performed?
Dr. Spence and Dr. Ovalle offer two types of liposuction which are Power Assisted Liposuction and the Tumescent Technique. Dr. Spence was the first surgeon to introduce the MicroAir power assisted liposuction to Orlando, Florida, and has gained extensive experience with it over the years. Power assisted liposuction is a new technology for body sculpting.
The tip of the liposuction instrument vibrates rapidly, with special contours in the tip that enable efficient removal of fat from previously hard to get to areas, such as the flanks of men. This allows the surgeon to have more precise control for the efficient removal of fat; therefore decreasing the amount of time you will be under general anesthesia.
Large volumes of fluid, called tumescent solution, are infused beneath the skin.This swells the area up and causes the small blood vessels to clamp down, which enables the efficient removal of fat with minimal amounts of blood loss. This produces much less trauma to the patient, speeds their recovery, and lessens bruising. Since Power Assisted Liposuction uses no heat to break up the fat pockets, there is much less risk of damage to the skin as seen with some other forms of liposuction.
Our doctors use fine cannulas, lessening the risk of skin irregularities with less trauma to the tissue, while shortening the recovery time. Due to the use of fine instruments and the placement of the tiny holes for liposuction in areas hidden by the undergarments, the tiny holes are not closed, and are allowed to drain immediately after surgery to help diminish swelling. Specially filled compression garments are applied right after surgery to help decrease swelling and support the elasticity of the skin.
What Parts of the Body Can Liposuction Be Performed on?
Areas of Liposuction commonly addressed for women are:
Most common areas for men are:
Which parts you can have liposuction treatment on also depends on the area or areas you had treated in the past. Larger areas of your upper thighs can also be a little more difficult to treat. Our doctors will have you wear compression garments or compression bandages on the areas that have been treated, and you can expect to wear these for up to one month. Most people can get back to light exercise and normal other activities in a few days. Unless you have multiple areas treated, you’ll probably be able to return to work in just two to three days.
Liposuction Surgery Recovery Expectations
For most patients, liposuction is done on an outpatient basis so you may return home that night. Patients undergoing large volume liposuction, greater than 5 liters, are kept in a monitored setting overnight and are discharged home the following morning. Tumescent solution, which is pink tinged, will drain from the tiny liposuction holes for approximately 24 hours. Patients will be up and walking within a couple of hours of completing surgery. It is advised to be up and walking at least 3 times the night of surgery for 10 to 20 minutes each time. Walking helps to minimize any risk of clot formation in the legs. In the subsequent days, swelling goes down, and the skin overlying the areas of liposuction will remain numb. The underlying tissue will feel firm with knots.This is normal and will resolve over time. Massages are very important during this time.
Patients are referred to massage therapy as needed. Significant differences will be seen as early as 2 weeks after surgery, but your final results will not be seen for several months. Our doctors will instruct you as to when you can return to your specific exercise regimen. Many patients require more than one garment because the first garment becomes insufficient as their swelling goes down and you lose a few inches. The success of liposuction is not measured in pounds; it is measured in inches. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure but is ideal for removal of resistant fatty deposits.This usually requires a healthy lifestyle to maintain your results. Contact us today for your liposuction consultation at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery, 407-999-2585.
What Can Help Me Heal Faster From My Liposuction?
Our practice provides a number of regimens to speed your recovery from liposuction, including:
- Oral agents such as Arnica Montana, Bromelain
- Topical agents for the skin to aid skin color in returning to normal if any bruising occurred.
- Bleaching creams to help fade the tiny holes from the liposuction scars
- Massage therapy to help speed your recovery
To schedule a liposuction consultation with Dr. Spence or Dr. Ovalle at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery, call 407-999-2585 or request a liposuction consultation online. Also, feel free to browse through our Before and After Photo Gallery for liposuction photos.
Are My Results From Liposuction Permanent?
The fat removed by our liposuction doctors is gone for good. The human body only has a limited number of fat cells, and they generally increase and decrease in size with the gain and loss of weight. By removing fat cells from an area such as your lower abdomen, that area will now have fewer fat cells permanently. It is possible to build new fat cells, but that only occurs with a large increase in weight.
If you maintain a healthy weight and incorporate exercise into your daily life, you’ll enjoy your slimmer contours created with liposuction for the rest of your life. Exercise and dieting can help keep fat growth to a minimum and help make liposuction results permanent.
How Can I Maintain My Results?
It’s not difficult to maintain your results because you’ll have fewer fat cells in the treated areas. To maintain your slimmer contours, you simply need to maintain a healthy weight and make some form of exercise a part of your life.
Risks of Liposuction
- Contour depression
- Clot formation in the legs
- Seroma - fluid collections beneath the skin
- Prolonged swelling
At the time of your consultation, our doctors will discuss additional risks that may be unique to your situation.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you are interested in learning more about Liposuction, or if you wish to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, reach out to our office in Orlando, FL for a personalized consultation!
You can contact Hillcrest Plastic Surgery at 407-999-2585 to schedule your consultation. You can also feel free to browse through our Liposuction Before and After Photo Gallery.For any other inquiries, head over to ourcontact page and fill out our appointment request form. Dr. Kenrick Spence, Dr. Ovalle, and our skilled team look forward to serving you!
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons News Release
"Lipoplasty: Position Statement and Guidelines" - Nearly two decades of clinical experience have demonstrated that lipoplasty (liposuction) is safe and produces effective therapeutic outcomes. Lipoplasty is generally recommended for patients of normal weight who have localized fat deposits that are resistant..... read more.