Removal of excess fat deposits is done by liposuction (also called suction lipectomy, liposculpture, or simply “lipo”). Liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgery done nationally, and is appropriate for both women and men with fat deposits that haven’t responded to diet and exercise. Good candidates for the procedure may be at ideal body weight or mildly overweight, but should otherwise be in good health. For the best results, if you are considering losing a significant amount of weight, you should do so prior to undergoing liposuction. Loose skin or sagging fat will make it more difficult to achieve smooth results with liposuction, and alternative body contouring procedures may be discussed.
Dr. Graham typically uses a technique known as super wet or tumescent liposuction. This is done in conjunction with general anesthesia for most patients. The areas to be treated are filled with fluid that shrinks blood vessels, provides partial numbness, and eases the removal of fat particles. Incisions are about 3/8ths inch long and placed in areas to minimize visibility (most within bikini or tan lines).
The most common areas treated are the abdomen in men or women, the flanks, hips, inner and outer thighs in women, and the love handles and fatty chest/breast area in men. Liposuction may be combined with other body contouring procedures such as breast lift, tummy tuck, or male breast reduction at our facilities in Greenville, South Carolina.
The surgery is done as an out-patient procedure. Depending on the amount of fat and the number of areas treated, liposuction can be scheduled for 1-4 hours. Safety is considered in planning and sometimes two stages are suggested. Post-operative compression garments are provided and worn for several weeks, and you are given suggestions about retail garments for later use. Results become more easily visible over the first several weeks after treatment, at which time you’ll notice clothes fitting differently. Most patients are able to return to work within one to two weeks. The final results can take months to appear.
Risks are listed and discussed prior to surgery, and careful instructions are given. Pain levels vary, so appropriate medication is provided. You should avoid being sedentary during your recovery, but don’t exert too much. Permanent removal of localized fat is achieved, but results must be maintained with diet and exercise. For additional information on liposuction, please contact our body contouring practice in Greenville today.
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