Liposuction is one of the most common body contouring procedures performed in our practice for both women and men. Despite extensive diet and exercise, many individuals find themselves with resistant areas of fat. Other patients undergo liposuction simply because they want to look better both in and out of their clothes. Yet others require removal of much 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. Many liposuction procedures are performed on an outpatient basis at Dr. Spence's Orlando, Florida plastic surgery offices, with some patients even coming from the Caribbean. Contact Hillcrest Plastic Surgery today for your consultation, 407-999-2585. Also, feel free to browse through our Liposuction Before and After Photo Gallery.
How much fat can be removed with liposuction?
It’s important to not view liposuction as a weight-loss procedure. Liposuction with Dr. Spence is a body-contouring procedure intended to remove stubborn pockets of fat in areas such as the lower abdomen and the flanks. Still, there will be fat removed, and if you maintain a healthy lifestyle afterwards the pounds removed should stay off. The fat removed in a single liposuction procedure is usually in the 4–5-pound range. Removing too much fat in a single procedure can actually be dangerous. Immediately after your procedure, however, you will actually likely weigh more due to the tumescent solution that is injected and the slight swelling that will occur.
Will I have excess, loose skin after liposuction?
When you come in for your consultation with Dr. Spence, he will ascertain the elasticity in your skin. This is important, as after the fat is removed with liposuction 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 Dr. Spence thinks you have excess, sagging skin that seems to have lost its elasticity, he may recommend a tummy tuck (often with some amount of liposuction) to remove excess skin instead of only liposuction. Of course, this is only applicable to the areas around the abdomen, upper thighs, and flanks.
Is liposuction painful?
Modern liposuction with Dr. Spence is only minimally invasive. This is in sharp contrast to the original procedure that was introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s. That involved very aggressive movement of the large cannula under the skin to break loose the unwanted fat cells 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.
Dr. Spence uses 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. Dr. Spence may also use power-assisted liposuction, which further helps to break loose the targeted fat cells.
Bottom line? Most patients equate the pain to more of an aching feeling. While it is available, most patients don’t require pain medication beyond over-the-counter options.
Am I a candidate for Liposuction in Orlando, FL?
During your consultation, Dr. Spence will pay close attention to your overall body proportions. Diagrams are drawn to show the areas to be addressed and photographs are taken. Dr. Spence will evaluate skin tone and elasticity, areas of cellulite, contours of underlying muscle, and bone structure 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. You’ll need to stop taking aspirin or other medications or supplements that can reduce the ability of your blood to clot. This will limit your bruising. If you’re having larger areas treated, you should prepare your house for a few days of laying low. You’ll be able to walk and get about, but you probably won’t feel like going to the store or doing other chores for a couple days.
Other tips include:
- Get well 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 offers two types of liposuction:
- Power Assisted Liposuction
- 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 to the tip to enable the 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 fatty space and causes the small blood vessels to clamp down enabling 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. Dr. Spence uses fine cannulas, lessening the risk of skin irregularities with less trauma to the tissue, while shortening the recovery time. Because of the use of such fine instruments and the placement of the tiny holes for liposuction in areas hidden by the undergarments, these tiny holes are not closed and are allowed to drain immediately after surgery to help diminish swelling. Specially filled compression garments are placed right after surgery to help decrease swelling and support the elasticity of the skin.
What Can I Expect in my Recovery from Liposuction at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery?
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 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. Massage is 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. Dr. Spence 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 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; it 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?
Dr. Spence's 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 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.
When can I get back to my normal activities after liposuction?
This depends in part on the area or areas you had treated. If, for instance, you had bra line fat removed, you won’t have much of a recovery. Larger areas of your upper thighs will be a little more difficult. Dr. Spence will have you wear compression garments or compression bandages on the areas treated, and you’ll 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.
Are my results from liposuction permanent?
The fat removed by Dr. Spence 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 some exercise into your daily life, you’ll enjoy your slimmer contours created with liposuction for the rest of your life.
How can I maintain my results from liposuction?
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, Dr. Spence will discuss additional risks that may be unique to your situation.
Schedule a Liposuction Consult at Hillcrest!
If you are interested in learning more about Liposuction, or if you wish to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure, reach out to our office in Orlando, FL for a personalized consult! Call 407-999-2585 or go to our contact page and fill out our appointment request form. Dr. Kenrick Spence and his skilled team looks 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.