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Liposuction

Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure in the US. It is used to remove localized areas of fat to help improve body contour. It is not used to correct obesity or as a weight loss technique. If you have tried diet and exercise but continued to have stubborn areas of excess fat then liposuction might be the solution. Occasionally genetic disposition can also cause excess bulges that can be corrected with liposuction. Areas commonly benefit from liposuction include chin, neck, arms, abdomen, back, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves and ankles. The deeper layer of fat is removed during liposuction while preserving the superficial layer to prevent waviness and skin lost. You should be on an appropriate diet and exercise regiment post surgery to maintain the results. Once the fat cells are removed they do not repopulate;however, the remaining fat cells can increase in size if caloric intake exceeds caloric burned. Typically the body shape is permanently changed with liposuction. Improving shape and proportion will also help your self esteem and image. For a complimentary consultation, please contact Dr Vu.

To view Dr. Vu’s liposuction photo gallery, click here.

Choosing to have Liposuction

The best candidate for liposuction is a patient with localized areas of fat and excellent skin elasticity. Liposuction is a reshaping procedure which is best for individuals with stubborn fat deposits on their body disproportionately with their body shape that will not go away with diet and exercise. It is used to treated above mentioned areas as well as in conjunction with other surgical procedures such as facelift, breast reduction or tummy tuck. During the consultation, Dr. Vu will discuss areas that bother you, analyze your skin elasticity and your fat location to determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction. Dr. Vu will help to you understand the procedure risks so that you can make an informed decision.

The Procedure

Liposuction can be done under local, IV sedation or general anesthesia depending upon extent of surgery in our AAAASF certified surgical suite. If multiple areas are being treated, general anesthesia is recommended for your comfort and allows for Dr Vu to completely remove the appropriate areas of fat. The areas to be treated are marked topographically while you are standing since lying down will change position of the fat. Prior to beginning the procedure, small stab incisions are made in appropriate location and a tumescent solution is used to inject into areas to be liposuctioned. It consists of sterile saline fluid, lidocaine and epinephrine. This will help with loosening the fat, anesthetize the area and minimize bleeding. After allowing the solution to work, a hollow stainless-steel tube (a cannula) is inserted through the incision into the deep fat layers of the targeted area. In a controlled, rapid back and forth motion, fat cells are loosened and suctioned out using a vacuum device attached to the cannula. Once finished, a compression garment is worn to shape new contour and minimize fluid collection.

High volume liposuction greater than 5-6 liters might need overnight observation and fluid replacement to prevent complications.

Recovery

Liposuction is typically done on an outpatient basis. The compression garment generally is worn about 4-6 weeks. Dr Vu will send you home with specific instructions on postoperative care. Immediate contour changes are noted but with normal postop swelling it will take several weeks to resolve. The final result will be seen in about 3-6 months which allow time for the skin to contract around the new shape.

You may experience pain, soreness or burning around the treated areas. Swelling and bruising will gradually subside down between about four to six weeks, and you will begin to notice your new contours. To maintain the results of your liposuction, it is important that you stay on a healthy diet and exercise regiment . While liposuction is permanent, it cannot erase or prevent obesity. If additional weight is gained following liposuction, fat will tend to appear more in other areas of the body.

Useful Resources

www.plasticsurgery.org
www.mayoclinic.com
www.webmd.com