Staying slim is a challenge, even if you exercise and maintain a healthy diet. Metabolism changes, genetics, and other factors can result in weight gain, especially in “problem areas” like the hips, thighs, stomach, and “love handles”. Even if you’re able to lose weight, these areas can be stubborn, creating lumps and bumps on your otherwise trim physique. If you’ve worked hard to keep a stable weight, problem areas can affect you psychologically. You might not feel comfortable wearing certain types of clothing, and you may have trouble feeling confident. Liposuction can be the perfect solution in these cases, since it is designed to contour the body and smooth out those troublesome problem areas. The team at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists in Newburgh, New York, understands these struggles and offers liposuction to help you regain your confidence and self-esteem.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a classic procedure for removing unwanted fat from the body. During the procedure, fat is broken up and suctioned out of the body through small incisions. A hollow tube known as a cannula is used to suction the fat, contouring and smoothing problem areas and creating a sleeker physique. The procedure has been around since the 1920’s, but more modern techniques began in 1974 with the invention of the cannula. Liposuction has gotten much gentler and more effective over the years, and today there are several different techniques that can be used to extract the fat and encourage the skin to contract over the new contours of the body.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
The Benefits of Liposuction
The biggest benefit of liposuction is the resolution of stubborn fat pockets that refuse to respond to diet and exercise. By removing these isolated areas of fat, patients will enjoy better body contour and a sleeker, slimmer physique. Only a small amount of fat needs to be removed for good results since the goal of the procedure is shaping the body. Most patients experience psychological benefits, feeling more confident once they have healed from the surgery.
Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of liposuction do not necessarily include weight loss. That’s because the goal of the procedure is to contour the body by removing isolated pockets of fat rather than removing larger amounts to aid in weight loss. This is because it is only safe to remove a certain amount of fat and patients would otherwise have trouble maintaining the results long term. Furthermore, the skin is an elastic organ that expands and contracts with weight gain or loss, but it has trouble contracting quickly when a large amount of fat is removed at once.
Who is a Candidate?
If you are thinking about liposuction for resolving your problem areas, then you’ll need to consider whether or not you are a realistic candidate for the procedure. Liposuction is appropriate for healthy adults who are at or near their goal weight but struggle with isolated problem areas that will not slim down with diet and exercise. Patients need to be realistic about the limitations of the surgery, and they should expect improvement rather than perfection. Liposuction candidates should not smoke, and they should be prepared to continue living a healthy, active lifestyle following treatment in order to maintain good results.
Your Liposuction Consultation
Before you schedule your liposuction surgery in Newburgh, NY, you will need to meet with our team and discuss your goals for liposuction. During this meeting, you will be evaluated to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure safely and to see if liposuction can help you reach your cosmetic goals. Remember, our surgeons only want the best for you and will advise you based on your unique needs. During the meeting, 3D imaging may be used to give you an approximation of the results that can be expected. It’s a good idea to come prepared with questions so that you remember to ask everything you might want to know before you make a decision about whether or not liposuction is right for you.
The Liposuction Procedure
The liposuction procedure will vary somewhat based on the type of liposuction being performed, but the basics of the procedure are relatively universal and straightforward. Prior to the procedure, you may need bloodwork, and you will be given instructions on preparing for the surgery and caring for yourself afterward.
On the day of the surgery, you will be given anesthesia (typically general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation) and the areas to be treated will be marked. Then, small incisions will be made and your surgeon will carefully break up the fat cells beneath the surface of the skin and gently suction them out. Different methods may be used to help break up the fat prior to its removal, including fluid injection or the application of laser or ultrasound energy.
Recovery from Surgery
Liposuction recovery can depend on the method used, but most patients are back to their normal activities quickly and the vast majority return to work within 7-10 days. A compression garment may be worn initially, and patients will be given prescription painkillers to reduce discomfort following surgery. The garment will help support the body and control swelling during recovery. Bruising and swelling are to be expected and will gradually subside as the tissues heal. Patients should follow all of their surgeon’s instructions during this time to help speed healing and optimize results. Exercise must be limited for several weeks.
The actual volume of fat removed during liposuction is often quite minimal. Patients generally see dramatic improvement and are surprised to learn that only a few pounds of fat at most are removed during a given procedure. The contouring effect of the procedure is more important than the amount of fat removed, and patients should not expect to see much difference when they hop on the scale after treatment.
As with any surgery, liposuction does carry some risk, though it’s much safer than it used to be. Anesthesia complications, bleeding, infection, excessive scarring, asymmetry and contour irregularities are all potential risks of liposuction, though these can be minimized by choosing the right plastic surgeon.
Once fat cells are removed with liposuction, they’re gone for good. However, this does not mean that you can never gain weight again. Remaining fat cells can still expand, which is why it is so important to maintain your lifestyle after surgery to avoid gaining weight.
With modern liposuction techniques, the skin will be encouraged to retract and should not sag or hang loosely after surgery. The larger the amount of fat, the greater the concern for residual skin laxity.
The best way to maintain results after liposuction is simply to maintain your weight and dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle. You don’t want to sabotage your results by eating junk food and gaining weight back, so prepare yourself for the maintenance that will be required to keep the results of your procedure looking great long-term.
There are several different techniques that are currently being used for liposuction, including laser-assisted SmartLipo and more traditional tumescent (fluid-assisted) liposuction. The best way to choose the technique that is best for your needs is to talk with a skilled plastic surgeon and discuss your options. Your surgeon will help you customize your treatment to suit your needs based on their extensive experience.
As many areas as your plastic surgeon feels is safe, which is often up to 3 or 4 areas in one session. Typically, one procedure is enough to produce the desired results, but this is something you will discuss during your consultation.
If the procedure is performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, there should be no need for touch-ups. Of course, patients will also need to do their part to maintain results and reduce the chance for future weight gain.
All surgery produces some scarring. However, using today’s techniques, the scars are generally very small and should fade quite well. Unless you point them out to someone, they are typically not very noticeable.
There will be no pain during the procedure, thanks to the anesthesia that will be used. After surgery, some discomfort can be expected, but your surgeon will give you instructions and medication to help reduce your post-op pain.
Explore Your Options
If you’re thinking about liposuction to melt away your problem areas, then it’s time to start exploring your options. Our expert plastic surgeons at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists in Newburgh, NY, can explain the options we offer and help you make a decision about your treatment. Call 845-863-1772 today to schedule your consultation.