Liposuction is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to remove localized areas of fat from the body through a small thin tube called a cannula. The fat from the targeted area is suctioned from the body through this tube to help patients achieve a slim and balanced appearance. This minimally invasive technique can dramatically improve the body contour. It is commonly used to treat the neck, breasts, abdomen, back, arms, flanks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and ankles. It is effective for both men and women. Dr. Haddock recommends liposuction to improve shape for problem areas but it is not intended as a method to achieve generalized weight reduction.
Fat removal by liposuction is permanent because the body does not manufacture new fat cells after puberty. Adults become thinner or fatter by altering the amount of fat in each cell. It is still possible to gain weight after liposuction. I n this case the fat is more evenly distributed throughout the body rather than selectively to the original treatment sites.
Results following liposuction are influenced by age, weight, and body build. Loose skin is characterized by poor elasticity and can be resistant to improvement without surgical excision. Liposuction improves body contour but not skin quality. Cellulite is a poorly understood superficial dimpling of the skin that is frequently seen in the thighs and buttocks. It tends to increase with age. Unfortunately, cellulite is not improved by liposuction. Those who are significantly overweight will not achieve as good a result as those who are close to their ideal weight. Liposuction will have less overall impact in the presence of wide pelvic bones or short thighs. In the case of the abdomen, liposuction will not adequately flatten the contour if the problem is due more to loose skin and weak muscles. These patients often benefit more from an abdominoplasty with liposuction.
One of the attractive features of liposuction is that very small incisions are needed for each area treated. These typically measure one-quarter inch in length and frequently can be concealed in natural body creases. Although the scars are permanent, they are usually very small and relatively well concealed.
A support garment is placed at the time of surgery and is worn for approximately two to four weeks. After surgery there is soreness in the treated areas that lasts for a few days. Walking is encouraged beginning the day after surgery. Generalized stiffness lasts for as long as one week. Return to work is usually possible after one week or sooner depending on the treatment area. Vigorous exercise involving the treated areas should generally be avoided for a few weeks. Swelling and bruising usually lasts for a few weeks although complete resolution can take a month. Occasionally there may be a particular area that takes longer. Reduced sensation in the treated areas is typical and generally lasts for a few months.
Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures. There are some potential risks that may include infection, scarring, allergic reactions, hematoma or unsatisfactory results.
Dr. Haddock has a great deal of experience with liposuction performing this minimally invasive technique on a nearly daily basis.