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Liposuction:

Many men and women find themselves struggling to get rid of stubborn pockets of unwanted fat. Even with exercise and a healthy diet, some areas of fat remain. If you have problem areas caused by stubborn fat and would like a smoother body contour, liposuction may offer the enhancement you seek. Liposuction (lipoplasty) removes problem deposits of fat from specific areas of the body, face or neck. It can be used to contour the thighs and hips, smooth the abdomen, shape the calves, or eliminate a double chin.

What is liposuction plastic surgery?

Liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy, remains one of the most common and sought-after cosmetic procedures in the USA. The procedure is done to remove or minimize pockets of fat throughout the body. It is not a procedure to be used for weight loss. The areas that are typically treated are the abdomen, hips, waist, back, inner thighs, outer thighs, inner knees, upper arms, and neck.

Both male and female's breasts can also be suctioned if they are larger than desired. The technique involves making very small incisions, injecting the area with a fluid that contains anesthetic and epinephrine (to minimize bleeding), and then the introduction of a hollow metal cannula for the suctioning. This cannula has one or more holes at the end of it and is attached at the other end to a vacuum that literally sucks out the fat after it has been broken up by the tip of the cannula. The goal of the procedure is not to remove all the fat, but to contour the body to give it a more aesthetic shape.

How does liposuction cosmetic surgery work?

There are several different types of liposuction procedures, but the common denominator is basically a thin hollow metal instrument (called a cannula) that is inserted into the area to loosen the fat cells which are then suctioned out.

The most popular technique is the tumescent technique, which involves pumping salt water, which is mixed with a numbing medicine and epinephrine (to minimize bleeding,) into the area first to break up the fat, make it easier to suction out, and cause less pain.

Ultrasonic liposuction essentially does the same thing but liquefies the fat with ultrasonic waves before being suctioned out.

What are the benefits of liposuction cosmetic surgery (lipoplasty)?

Liposuction is an art of body sculpting designed to artfully and permanently contour the body and eliminate unwanted localized areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise, while improving body/facial contour into a more proportionate, smoother shape. Liposuction/liposculpting can also enhance abdominal muscles ("six-pack") with the technique of etching to enhance their appearance.

Is liposuction a good way to lose weight?

No, and it is not a substitute for a healthy diet or exercise. Liposuction is a contour shaper and a way to remove fat from areas that are resistant to exercise. The best candidates are those who are healthy and merely 10-15 pounds over their ideal weight. It is also much less effective for people who are obese. It should not be performed on patients with high health risks.

How much does liposuction cost? Is lipoplasty covered under insurance?

Liposuction is not covered by any insurance companies. The total cost for a liposuction procedure will depend on the amount of fat to be removed and the number of areas that you need to have treated. At CCRS we offer financing through several lenders to help make liposuction and other cosmetic surgery procedures more affordable for our patients.

Is liposuction plastic surgery permanent?

No. Technically, once the fat is gone, it's gone when you have liposuction. After liposuction, the treated area does have fewer fat cells left to accumulate fat and gain. Still, if you gain the weight back the fat will naturally return to those remaining fat cells.

Does liposuction work for everyone?

Yes, but some people are better candidates than others for the procedure. The best candidates are those who are in shape with a specific area or two of excess fat in, for instance, the hip or "saddle bag" area. It also works very well for "love handles” and the chest area in men. It is best to be close to your ideal body weight and to not treat liposuction as a weight loss method.

Does liposuction plastic surgery affect pregnancy?

Pregnancy is unaffected by liposuction. Many women also have liposuction post-partum to remove some of their pregnancy fat. Women who plan to get pregnant post-liposuction surgery occasionally worry if the results will be negated by the pregnancy weight gain, but the opposite can be true. Because fat cells are removed during liposuction, it may actually limit weight gain in those areas. Once the baby weight is lost, the original contour from the liposuction will maintain its shape.

What should I ask my liposuction surgeon during my private consultation?

  1. Can I check liposuction patients’ feedback, testimonials and comments.
  2. Which doctors are able to perform liposuction surgery?
  3. Who is a certified liposuction surgeon?
  4. What are the risks and side effects of liposuction surgery?
  5. What does the liposuction surgery cost?
  6. How long does a liposuction operation take?
  7. Can you perform my liposuction procedure at the hospital?
  8. Can I see “before” and “after” liposuction surgery photos.

Does it matter what kind of doctor I go to for this type of surgery?

It is very important to go to a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with liposuction and who has been trained at a reputable medical center. There are physicians of many different specialties who have started to do liposuction in the last few years, even though they were not formally trained in the technique. This includes some dermatologists, gynecologists, general surgeons, and even internal medicine and family doctors. The potential dangers of liposuction are very real, and the procedure should not be taken lightly simply because it is so common. A weekend training course does not provide enough training for a physician to be competent in the technique.

Which liposuction technique should I choose?

The most effective technique to date is the use of the tumescent technique. The word tumescent means swollen and firm. The fat layers are injected with a large volume of very dilute lidocaine (which is a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (which minimizes bleeding by constricting the capillaries). This can facilitate the suctioning of a large amount of fat without much bleeding. Liposuction is done through small incisions which are barely visible once healed. These days liposuction is done with smaller cannulas to reduce the risk of irregularities on the skin.

Does liposuction require general anesthesia?

I prefer to have a patient under general anesthesia so that you are not aware of your surroundings during the liposuction, and you are able to go home later that same day. Some doctors do it in their office setting, which can be dangerous.

How long is the recovery after liposuction surgery (lipoplasty)?

Depending on the surgical sites, the recovery varies, but the majority of patients can return to light duty work after 3-5 days. All patients need to wear a compression garment to promote good skin tone. Candidates for this procedure should be within 30-40 pounds of their ideal body weight and have good skin tone. It is important to have realistic expectations about their results.

Does liposuction surgery hurt?

Yes, but it is pretty hard to generalize with something as subjective as feeling pain. It is not necessarily excruciating pain, but it is surgery - meaning your body has been cut open and undergone some form of trauma - so some pain is to be expected. During the surgery, patients are under general anesthesia and so will feel no pain or discomfort.

After surgery swelling and bruising are common, but after a week or so you should be mostly pain free (depending on the size of the area treated and your general activity). You will also be given pain killers by your doctor to help with any pain for the first few days after surgery.

Does liposuction leave a scar?

Because of advances in technology, smaller cannulas are used which require a smaller incision and therefore scars are very small. Once they are healed they will leave a small visible trace. The length of each scar is less than 5 mm, which is less than half of an inch.

Does liposuction surgery get rid of cellulite?

No, liposuction generally does not help get rid of cellulite.

What are the risks & side effects of Liposuction operation?

In practice, the following side effects happen quite rarely, and Dr. Fara Movagharnia will exam you thoroughly to minimize risks and avoid side effects:

  • Swelling and discoloration
  • Bleeding and hematoma
  • Seroma
  • Infection and/or abscess
  • Dehiscence (wound breakdown)
  • Bad scars
  • Pain (early, late, neuroma)

Does liposuction cosmetic surgery leave loose skin?

If you are young, healthy, have very elastic skin and are only having very small fat pockets removed, the answer is no. If you're older, have looser skin and are having large pockets of fat removed, you may have some looseness.

Most women who have liposuction of the abdomen post-pregnancy also have an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), which removes excess skin from the lower abdomen.

Can any doctor perform liposuction?

The answer to this question is BIG NO, but there are many physicians with different board certifications such as Ob/Gyn, Family medicine, Emergency room, Dermatologist and many other specialties who are performing liposuction in their offices. Unfortunately, they have had many fatalities post liposuction, and these physicians are the ones who have had liposuction training during a seminar (perhaps on a weekend), then purchased an expensive liposuction machine, and they are performing liposuction just to supplement their income. It is like a family doctor deciding that he or she wants to do brain surgery starting next week after a seminar that he attended. There are many physicians in metro Atlanta that are advertising as board-certified physicians, but their board certification is in a specialty other than in “Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery".

When you are looking for the best surgeon to perform your surgery, ask questions and ask if your surgery can be performed at the hospital or certified outpatient surgery center? If the doctor is not board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, he or she cannot perform liposuction at the hospital and as a result, the procedures are painful. When too much Xylocaine/lidocaine is given for local anesthesia, too much of that medicine (Xylocaine) can cause cardiac arrhythmia and a heart attack causing death.

For more information about liposuction, please contact CCRS at 770 951 75950.

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