What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure that uses a tube and vacuum device to remove unwanted fat deposits and enhance body shape. Liposuction is not performed to reduce body weight, but rather to reshape areas of the body that do not adequately respond to diet and exercise. These areas typically consist of the thighs, hips, waist, and back, but liposuction can also be performed on the upper arms, legs, buttocks, neck, face, and abdomen. Here at Boulder Plastic Surgery, we offer Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL) and Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction to help patients achieve their desired results.
- Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL): During this procedure, which is considered traditional liposuction, fat is removed from the body using suction with small and narrow blunt-tipped tubes. These tubes are inserted through tiny incisions made in the skin. The doctor targets certain fat deposits by moving the tubes underneath the skin.
- Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL): With UAL, ultrasonic energy created at the tip of a special probe or cannula melts the fat found in body tissue so that traditional liposuction can be used to eliminate the liquefied fat. This method, which is used in conjunction with SAL, can minimize pain, bruising, and swelling.
- Tumescent Liposuction: Tumescent liposuction is not a different method of liposuction—it is simply an added process. During this process, a local anesthetic mixed with saline solution and adrenaline is used to numb the part of the body being treated and to fill the fat layer and distend the layer, so the fat removal can be smoother and less traumatic.
Body Contouring Procedures
Liposuction is not intended to be a substitute for healthy weight loss or exercise, and it is not used to treat obesity. However, liposuction is beneficial for those looking to remove excess fat deposits when diet and exercise are not working on certain areas. Liposuction can also be performed in conjunction with other cosmetic surgical procedures such as tummy tucks, breast lifts, thigh lifts, and more to give patients the overall look they desire, and as an adjunct to overall improve results. For the skin to be able to contract and recontour following liposuction, the skin must retain some youthful qualities. Skin that is excessively loose and lax does not typically produce good results. The elasticity of the skin determines how much fat can be safely removed. There is no definite age limit for this procedure, and all decisions relating to the pliability of the skin must be evaluated on an individual basis. Elimination of excess skin may be required to achieve good cosmetic results. Plastic surgery is not an exact science, but it can be used to produce dramatic results. All cosmetic surgical procedures come with some rare risks, which will be thoroughly discussed during your consultation.
About The Procedure
- Length: 1 to 2 hours or more depending on extent of surgeries.
- Anesthesia: General. Usually outpatient surgery.
- Side Effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation.
- Risks: Possible infection, excessive fluid loss, fluid accumulation, skin injury, asymmetry, fat clots or blood clots, contour irregularities, and pigmentation changes (may become permanent if exposed to sun).
- Duration of Results: Permanent, with sensible diet and exercise.
- Office Visits: First visit 3 to 5 days after, and second visit 10 days after. 3 to 5 visits total in first 3 months, then 1 visit yearly.
- Pain Meds: Ibuprofen or Narcotics as needed.
At Your Initial Consultation
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history as well as discuss your goals regarding liposuction. If you have any questions or concerns, we will be happy to address them for you. Once you decide to undergo liposuction, preoperative photographs will be taken. Surgical fees will also be discussed, which can vary based on the nature and extent of the procedure.
Before Your Liposuction
It is the responsibility of our nurse and office manager to make all arrangements regarding the scheduling of your liposuction. We will make every possible attempt to accommodate your requests, and we will give you specific instructions over the phone or by letter. To minimize the risk of complications and to promote a rapid recovery, good general health is a necessity. Since certain supplements can cause adverse effects during surgery, it is important to notify us about all of the supplements and medications you are currently taking. To help you recover more quickly, we have developed a three stage healing program, which you will begin approximately one week prior to surgery.
- You will remove anything from your body that could increase bleeding or interfere with the anesthesia in addition to boosting your immune system.
- You will be given nutrients that help reduce pain and inflammation as well as detoxify medications and the anesthesia immediately following your procedure.
- Finally, you will incorporate healing nutrients that support a proper recovery.
For at least two weeks before your surgery, do not take aspirin or any other drug that contains aspirin. Do not eat or drink anything eight hours before your surgery is scheduled to take place.
The Day of Surgery
Before you are brought into the operating room, you will likely be prescribed sedation or pre-medication. You will also be asked to stand so that we can mark your surgical site as a guideline during the procedure. Liposuction is performed using a general anesthetic, and once it has been introduced, incisions will be made based on the areas that have been marked. Fat will be removed in small increments until the desired contour is achieved. The incisions will be closed, and pressure dressings or garments will be applied to the areas that have been treated.
Once the procedure is complete, you will be transferred to a recovery area where you will be observed for a couple of hours. Following appropriate observation, you will be released with someone who is able to drive you home and remain with you the evening of the surgery.
- Depending on the size of the area treated, you will need to wear dressings or a pressure garment for 3 to 5 days following your surgery. It is recommended that you wear some form of support dressing for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
- Approximately one week after your surgery, you will begin massage activities. This will consist of massaging areas that will assist in creating a smoother contour.
- You will also experience some bruising and discoloration in addition to irregularities in texture that can last two weeks or more.
During your liposuction recovery, you should be able to return to normal daily living tasks right away. Resuming these activities can help speed the recovery process as well as reduce pain. Only limit yourself if you feel significant pain. Postoperative pain is most noticeable during the first 24 hours and tends to regress quite rapidly after the first day. A majority of patients are able to return to light work within 5 to 7 days. Three weeks after your surgery, you can resume light exercise. Return to low impact activities following this schedule:
- 1/3 duration, pulse rate, repetitions, and amount of weight at 3 weeks.
- 2/3 duration, pulse rate, repetitions, and amount of weight at 6 weeks.
- Full intensity at 8 weeks.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
Including the surgeon, operating room, and anesthesia:
- $4,000 per single or paired area
- Add $2,500 for each additional single or paired area(s)
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are looking to improve contour defects caused by localized fat deposits, liposuction is an excellent option. Although the procedure does have limitations and risks, most patients see significant results with minimal scarring. At your office consultation, you will be given more detailed information as well as the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
“Thank you for all your care and for helping me become two liters lighter! JSI would come across the world to have services performed by Boulder Plastic Surgery.” – KG