Liposuction is a very common cosmetic surgical procedure used to remove unwanted fat and sculpt the body of the patient. In general, there are two types of liposuction available, the first is traditional liposuction, where the patient is under a general anesthetic and he second is tumescent liposuction or liposculpture, where the procedure is done under a local anesthesia in the doctor’s office. Liposculpture is typically used to remove unwanted fat deposits from the upper and lower abdomen, inner and outer thighs, hips; waist, back, neck and jowls and knees. Advantages of tumescent liposuction over traditional liposuction include faster recovery times, less bruising, less visible scarring and dramatic reduction in post-operative complications. In most cases, patients are able to return to work within 2-3 days of surgery!
Prior to the surgery, the doctor will take a series of photographs of the problematic area and make a series of markings on the patient’s body. The markings provide a “roadmap” for the surgeon, while the photos serve as a means to document the “before” view of the area being treated. Depending upon the areas being treated, most liposculpture surgeries last 2-3 hours, during which the patient will be comfortable. Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but patients usually take from 12-20 weeks to completely heal and realize the final results of the surgery.
As with any surgery, there are a number of risks, however by eliminating the use of general anesthesia, the risks are greatly reduced. One of the biggest risks is the management of the patient’s expectations of the results from the surgery. While a significant improvement in the problematic areas is possible, liposcupture is not an effective treatment for obesity, nor is it a cure all for cellulite, especially the “puckering” of the skin. However, tumescent liposuction can greatly improve a patient’s body when performed by a highly trained and skilled plastic surgeon!
Posted on behalf of Dr. John Kayal, Northwest Georgia Dermatology