Liposuction is celebrated for its near-miraculous ability to sculpt the body and make patients look and feel glamorous, youthful, and rejuvenated. At our practice, liposuction is used to remove stubborn, unwanted fat deposits from targeted areas of the body. The technique can be used to slim the face, neck, upper arms, trunk, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and ankles. Liposuction is not a replacement for weight loss and is best used to address localized fat deposits that have not responded to diet or exercise.
Liposuction is effective on its own as a body contouring procedure, though it can also be combined with other techniques — such as facelift, tummy tuck, or thigh lift — to refine contours and tighten loose skin and underlying tissue.
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Are You a Candidate for Liposuction?
If you are of normal weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and are willing to continue this healthy lifestyle after undergoing liposuction, you are an excellent candidate for this procedure. When healthy lifestyle practices are maintained over a lifetime, liposuction patients will preserve their improved body contour and may even see the contour improve.
Liposuction is not recommended for:
- Obese individuals
- Individuals suffering from certain medical conditions
- Individuals with unrealistic expectations
- Individuals seeking to address cellulite or irregularities caused by structures other than fat
- Individuals with poor skin tone
Poor skin tone may be due to weight loss, stretch marks, or aging and will result in sub par results. For these individuals, the skin will not conform to your new contours and additional surgical techniques may be required to tighten excess skin.
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How is liposuction performed?
At our practice, several liposuction techniques are available. However, Dr. Charles Perry, our board-certified plastic surgeon, prefers the tumescent liposuction technique. In this method, the targeted areas of fatty tissue are injected with a tumescing fluid, which contains epinephrine (adrenaline) and dilute local anesthetic. This fluid causes the fat cells to “tumesce” making them swell and become firm, thus simplifying the removal of stubborn deposits. When compared to other liposuction techniques, tumescent liposuction is associated with less discomfort during the procedure, as well as an easier recovery period characterized by less bruising and pain.
Things to Consider Before Undergoing Liposuction
Fees for liposuction are not covered by health insurance and include the cost of anesthesia, lab tests, medications, cost of surgical supplies, surgery center charges, and more. If complications develop, you will incur additional charges. However, if the complication poses a health risk, your health plan will cover hospitalization, anesthesia, and/or secondary surgery.
Liposuction cannot replace weight loss, diet, and exercise
At our Sacramento practice, we consider good candidates for liposuction to be those who are of a normal weight, healthy, and active both before and after their procedure.
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Risks of Liposuction
Just like any surgical procedure, liposuction carries certain risks. While these risks are rare, those considering liposuction should educate themselves before making their decision to undergo this procedure. Below is an introduction to liposuction’s risks; for more information, schedule your consultation to speak with Dr. Perry about liposuction.
Bleeding and seroma (fluid accumulation)
It’s unusual, but possible, to have a bleeding episode during or after liposuction. If significant postoperative bleeding occurs, you may require emergency treatment to drain the blood. In addition, it is possible for fluid accumulation to occur in areas sculpted with liposuction. The draining of this fluid, as well as additional surgery, may be necessary.
Like tummy tuck or any other surgery we offer at our Sacramento practice, infection after liposuction surgery is unusual. However, the rare development of an infection would require treatment using antibiotics or additional surgery.
Change in skin sensation
It’s possible to experience a temporary loss of skin sensation after liposuction, but sensation will return over time. In rare cases, diminished or complete loss of sensation does not completely resolve.
Commonly, skin discoloration and swelling is experienced after liposuction. It’s rare for swelling and discoloration to persist for a long time, and permanent skin discoloration is also unusual.
Irregular skin contour
Irregularities such as dimpling, wrinkling, and skin depressions may follow liposuction, possibly requiring additional treatments, including surgery, to correct.
Normal pre-surgery asymmetry in the body’s features is affected by skin, muscle tone, and bone prominence. Just as the body is not symmetrical before liposuction, it will not be symmetrical afterward.
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Despite realistic expectations about the results of liposuction, some patients are disappointed with the outcome. In rare cases, a patient’s results are improved through additional surgery.
Especially when multiple or extensive areas are treated with liposuction, the procedure can cause severe trauma, including infections or excessive fluid loss that can cause severe illness or even death. For this reason, patients planning large volume liposuction (greater than 5000 cc’s) may be advised to be monitored post-operatively and remain overnight in the hospital.
Long-term alterations in body contour
These can occur over time because of many circumstances unrelated to liposuction, such as aging, pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain, or other factors.
Skin loss or chronic pain
Skin loss and chronic pain after liposuction are extremely rare conditions, but can occur.
In very rare cases, fat embolism syndrome — when the lungs trap fat droplets — can occur, and is sometimes deadly. This complication necessitates hospitalization and additional treatment.
Need for additional surgery
Complications from liposuction are rare but cannot be predicted. In some cases, complications will create a need for additional surgery or other treatments.
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Complete Pre- and Post-operative Instructions for Liposuction Patients
To make your liposuction experience a positive one, we have prepared this comprehensive list of guidelines. We recommend that you read them over as soon as your surgery day is scheduled. On your surgery day, print out the instructions and bring them with you.
Liposuction Instructions (printer-friendly)
If diet and exercise have left you disappointed, consider liposuction as a way to attain the beautiful body you deserve! Our practice offers state-of-the-art liposuction techniques, as well as a surgeon skilled in safely giving you the body contour you desire. Contact our practice today to learn more about liposuction, or to schedule a consultation.
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*Individual Results May Vary