Liposuction is often called lipoplasty. Liposuction describes a group of procedures that are utilized as a component of “body contouring.” Specifically, liposuction involves the removal of fat from underneath the skin to shape an area, but this method typically is not utilized as a weight loss technique. It targets specific troublesome areas that you may have to help shape your appearance.
When you see our plastic surgeon, Dr. David L. Durst, about a liposuction procedure, he will examine and interview you to find out what specific areas are of concern. Generally, these are areas that you have not been able to shape up with dieting and exercise. Many of these troublesome areas are genetically determined and simply cannot be improved despite your hard work. In that situation, liposuction can be very helpful for you. After examining you, he will suggest which areas would benefit the most from the liposuction procedure. Sometimes areas that you did not really notice should be considered to achieve balance. Liposuction can be performed on the abdomen, thighs, calves, arms, chin, and posterior (back) waist. Many patients may only need one area done and others may need more. Additionally, liposuction often can be accomplished in combination with a tummy tuck or facelift.
After Dr. Durst has outlined a plan for you, he will detail the specifics of your surgical procedure. Some liposuction treatments can be accomplished under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, but these usually are fairly small areas. Most liposuction procedures will be performed under general anesthesia so the fat can be comprehensively contoured. The procedures typically will be on an outpatient basis and involve very small incisions through which the fat is suctioned away. Dr. Durst utilizes a particular type of liposuction called VASER® ultrasound assisted liposuction. This technique utilizes ultrasonic energy to help break up the fat so that it can be more smoothly removed. Dr. Durst believes that this generally results in less bruising and discomfort for the patient as well as a more “even” removal of the fat. Afterward, you will wear a special compression garment for several weeks to help with swelling. Most patients are up and about on the day of their surgery, and discomfort can be controlled with prescriptions that Dr. Durst will provide. Generally, patients return to work after about one week. Early on, the results are difficult to see due to swelling. Most patients should start to see an improvement after a couple of weeks, and then by six weeks after surgery the results often will be quite dramatic. Light exercising by walking can be begun a couple of weeks after the procedure, and then heavier exercise can be started after several weeks. To preserve results long term, it is important to maintain one’s physical fitness and body weight.
Patients often ask Dr. Durst if the results from liposuction are permanent. In general, the answer is yes. If a patient keeps their weight fairly stable and maintains good general fitness, the results will last many, many years. When patients do gain or lose weight in the future, the changes generally are proportional with the rest of their body, and so it does not seem that the fat is coming back “in the area that was previously treated.”
Dr. Durst has found that patients are extremely happy with liposuction procedures. If you are frustrated with the results of your diet and exercise program and think that liposuction may be what you need, please call Dr. Durst for a consultation and examination.