Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. During the past decade, liposuction. Today, Dr. Bolitho has a number of new techniques at his disposal, including ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), and the tumescent technique. These options provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don't respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
To be a good candidate for liposuction, you must have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. It's important to understand that liposuction can enhance your appearance and self confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas.
You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations. Your age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin. Liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with medical problems such as diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions. First, sterile liquid solution is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through these incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
Liposuction using the tumescent technique is a relatively new method that reduces post operative bruising, swelling and pain. In the tumescent technique, areas of excess fat are injected with a large amount of anesthetic liquid before liposuction is performed. The liquid causes the compartments of fat to become swollen and firm or "tumesced." The expanded fat compartments allow the liposuction cannula to travel smoothly beneath the skin as the fat is removed.
Any person who is a candidate for traditional liposuction is also a good candidate for the tumescent technique. Although the technique can be used on any area of the body, it is commonly used on areas that require enhanced precision, such as the face, neck, arms, calves and ankles.
Individuals who have large areas of excess fat may also be good candidates for tumescent liposuction.
Although the anesthesia requirements are lessened and blood loss is minimized with tumescent liposuction, patients undergoing the procedure still face the same risks and cosmetic complications associated with traditional liposuction surgery.
For many patients, general anesthesia is the best option. For others, the anesthetic contained in the solution combined with sedation may provide sufficient comfort during the procedure. In tumescent liposuction, the warmed tumescent liquid -- a dilute solution containing lidocaine, epinephrine and intravenous fluid -- is injected into the area to be treated. As the liquid enters the fat, it becomes swollen, firm and blanched. Liposuction is then performed on the tumesced areas.
The long-acting effects of the anesthetic solution help to provide pain relief after the procedure and decrease the need for additional pain medication.
For the first day or two after surgery, most patients experience swelling in the treated areas, as well as some fluid drainage from the incision sites.
Light activity is usually resumed within the first few days after tumescent liposuction; normal activity can be resumed within a few weeks.
Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside. With continued practices of healthy diet and fitness, the loss of excess fatty tissue should be permanently maintained. However, substantial weight gain can alter an otherwise permanent result.
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