Liposuction, also known as lipo or liposcuplture is the science and art of using various surgical techniques to remove fat and help slim, shape and contour specific areas of the body. Surgeons use a specialized suction technique to permanently remove deposits of fat cells in order to give you a slimmer or more proportionate figure. The term “Liposculpture” is often preferred to “Liposuction” because it implies shaping in addition to simply removing fat. Thus, Liposculpture is not just a fat removal procedure, but also a body contouring procedure. In addition, Dr. Salemy uses various techniques such as ultrasound energy to help tighten the overlying skin, which enhances the final result.
This treatment is not the same as other “body contouring” procedures, nor is it intended to be used as a weight loss method. While patients can see dramatic results, the truth is that this is not intended to be an alternative to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery.
Understanding what it can help achieve and determining which body area is right for liposuction can be made easier when armed with the right information.
If you go into a liposuction surgery with realistic expectations and an understanding of what can and cannot be treated, you are much more likely to be pleased with the end results.
Liposuction is an extremely versatile surgery. Liposuction can be performed on almost any troublesome area of your body and it can even be combined with other surgical procedures like tummy tucks. Dr. Salemy can utilize liposuction on the tummy, hips, arms, legs, buttocks, and under the neck to remove excess fat, tighten the skin, and create a result that is in balance with the rest of your body. At your consultation in our Seattle office, Dr. Salemy will sit down with you and carefully review your goals. He’ll then examine you and provide you a comprehensive plan for how to best achieve the results you desire.
Here are Some of the Most Popular Places for Patients to Get Liposuction.
Inner and Outer Thighs
It is incredibly common for patients to request liposuction on the thigh and buttock areas. These are often ideal places for the procedure because they are both areas where localized fat deposits tend to be most stubborn. Liposuction can smooth and slim these areas.
Even if you regularly work out, upper arm fat can be difficult to get rid of. Liposuction can eliminate the jiggle and leave you with smoother, more sculpted arms.
Abdomen and Hips
The torso is a very popular area for liposuction. Whether a patient feels that her breasts are overwhelming the rest of her body, or she has a stubborn layer of belly fat, liposuction is a reliable way to restore a sleeker, more proportionate figure.
Face and Neck
Despite the number of other cosmetic procedures available for facial rejuvenation, liposuction is still quite popular for eliminating double chins and slimming neck contours. It can be performed alongside a full facelift.
During your consultation, Dr. Salemy will discuss with you whether or not he feels you are a good candidate for the procedure, but in general, ideal candidates for liposuction:
If you have a chronic illness or a medical condition that could slow the healing process, liposuction may not be the best treatment option for you. However, you can discuss this and more suitable treatments with Dr. Salemy during your consultation.
Preparation prior to your surgery date can make a big difference in the success of your treatment as well as the recovery time necessary.
Once you and Dr. Salemy have decided on a date, he may give you recommendations about lifestyle changes to make in the time leading up to your surgery. Following these recommendations will make your surgery go more smoothly and also help you to feel better sooner.
In addition, it is always helpful to make a conscious effort to keep yourself hydrated and well-rested before and after surgery. If possible, you should also have an established exercise routine and a healthy diet so that your body is in the best possible shape.
You’ll also want to tell Dr. Salemy about all of the medications and supplements that you are taking, including herbs and over-the-counter drugs. Certain medications may need to be paused prior to surgery because they can interfere with anesthesia or make surgery more difficult.
Another important preparation step that many people do not think about is getting set up for your post-op recovery. Be sure that you have a trusted friend or significant other who is able drive you to and from surgery and possibly help you in the first few days following your procedure. You may will likely be feeling some pain and discomfort, so preparing your meals and having all of your recovery staples like compression garments and prescriptions ahead of time will allow you to rest more fully.
Liposuction is in most cases an outpatient procedure (you will not need to stay in a hospital) and lasts around 2-3 hours, depending on the area of the body that is targeted. It is performed with local anesthetic and gentle sedation that is administered by a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist. Several tiny incisions, each 3-4 mm in length, are utilized for the procedure, which are almost imperceptible when fully healed. You will wake up wearing a surgical garment and be able to go home within a couple of hours.
Dr. Salemy provides “traditional” or tumescent liposuction, the gold standard of liposuction methods because it is the most common, and widely considered to be the safest and most effective liposuction method.
Tumescent liposuction involves injecting a pre-mixed solution into the treatment areas. This solution is usually a mixture of epinephrine, which constricts blood vessels to help with swelling and bleeding, saline and a numbing agent. The solution causes the fat cells to swell and harden, which helps the surgeon suction it out more easily.
The basic steps of traditional tumescent liposuction surgery are outlined below:
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, so you will be allowed to go home once you have recovered from anesthesia and are discharged by the surgeon.
Recovery varies depending on the extent of the procedure and the individual, but in general Dr. Salemy recommends setting aside 7-10 days after your procedure to recover at home. Dr. Salemy will see you in our Seattle office at regular intervals to monitor your progress, and you can expect your bruising to resolve within 2-3 weeks and most of your swelling to resolve by 4-6 weeks. Learn more about what to expect during your liposuction recovery.
It can take several weeks for the swelling to completely disappear, so it is normal to only see partial results for several weeks following surgery. You will have minimal scarring from the incisions, and it may take some time for your skin to tighten to your new contours. After liposuction you can expect your clothes to fit better, and your overall figure to be smoother and tighter than before your procedure.
Learn more about the results you can expect to achieve from Liposuction here.
While this is something that your surgeon should ultimately decide, generally speaking, it is not uncommon for patients to have other procedures done alongside their liposuction treatment. For example, a “mommy makeover” often combines liposuction with a tummy tuck and/or breast lift in order to help women achieve their desired results more quickly.
When you discuss your goals with a plastic surgeon, he or she will be able to tell you if you could benefit from additional procedures. You will be able to discuss the best way to receive multiple treatments during your consultation.
As with any other medical decision, patients should thoroughly research the plastic surgeons in their area before choosing one to perform liposuction.
Narrowing down your list of prospective practices can be daunting, however using the criteria below can help you navigate the decision-making process as you choose the best surgeon for your situation.
During your consultation, Dr. Salemy will ask a number of questions about your aesthetic goals, expectations and medical history, and will examine the areas you wish to have treated. Dr. Salemy will then make recommendations about whether or not liposuction is the right procedure to help you achieve your goals. If it is not, he will explain why and offer alternative solutions that are better suited to your expectations.
This is also the time to ask questions, review before and after liposuction photos and discuss any concerns you may have. You should also discuss cost, financing, scheduling availability and post-op care.
Here are some great questions to ask when considering liposuction.
When a surgical facility is accepted by an accrediting agency that is recognized on a state or national level, this means that it has undergone rigorous inspection for things like safety, patient comfort and compliance with all state and federal regulations.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery says to look for the following accreditation seals:
There are other acceptable accreditation agencies that are state-specific or regional, but the ones listed above are commonly known and accepted.
You should never allow your surgery to be performed in a facility that is not accredited, and if your surgeon is not readily forthcoming with information about his or her credentials and accreditations, that could be a red flag.
There are many things that liposuction can do to enhance your figure. If this procedure is right for you, it can help transform your entire body and give you the confidence you’ve always wanted.