Liposuction is a commonly-performed procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. However, it is helpful in removing areas of fat that don't respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. Age is a factor since older patients have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.
At your initial consultation, Dr. Bromley will perform a thorough examination in addition to taking your medical history. An evaluation will be made to assess those areas that should respond well to the liposuction. In some instances, a recommendation for additional weight loss prior to surgery may be made.
Liposuction is commonly performed on an outpatient basis. If the procedure is very large, or is combined with other plastic surgical procedures, an inpatient stay may be required. Local anesthesia, with sedation may be used in cases where a small amount of fat is being removed. For patients who require a larger volume of fat removal, a general anesthetic may be employed. This will be discussed during your initial consultation.
Liposuction is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to recontour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump or a large syringe.
Different techniques for this fat removal procedure will be discussed during your initial evaluation. Liposuction, like all surgery carries some risks and possible complications. Infection and bleeding are uncommon. In some cases, there may be imperfections in the final appearance. Areas of skin irregularity, asymmetry and numbness can occur. In some patients additional surgery may be required to "touch-up" areas of irregularity. Improvement will become apparent after about six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided.
After surgery, you may experience some drainage from the incisions. Occasionally a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control any fluid from accumulating and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you will be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for several weeks.
Most patients resume light activities several days after surgery. Depending upon the extent of surgery, you should be able to resume all usual daily activities one to two weeks after surgery. Strenuous activity and athletics will require about four to six weeks of recuperation.
It will take approximately six months to one year for the healing process to be completed. During this time, excess fluid that has accumulated will gradually resolve and the skin will contract to the new shape. Any additional treatments that may be needed will be discussed during this time.
If you have any questions regarding liposuction or any other plastic surgical procedure, please contact our office. Photo galleries, in addition to 3D animation of this procedure can be found at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.
5 East 84th St., New York, NY 10028 (212) 570-5443