Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to sculpt and remove localized fat in areas that appear to be resistant to diet and exercise. Very often, because of the aging process, fat redistributes to locations that were previously never a problem. Liposuction targets these areas permanently. The possibility to gain weight still exists, so fat redistribution may occur with a large weight gain. Liposuction may be performed on the neck, the arms, abdomen, hips, back bulges, buttocks, thighs and knees. An appropriate candidate for liposuction is in good health and usually is of average weight with healthy, elastic skin. Some individuals have bulges in the neck or thighs that have been apparent since puberty, changing little with weight loss. Others, particularly when entering the 40’s, will see increased fat in the abdomen and back that does not change with diet or exercise. Often, genetically inherited fat accumulations can be altered positively. Small amounts of fat, removed from isolated areas, often create amazing results in the body’s contour.
Dr. Hand performs liposuction at our accredited Marin County outpatient surgical facility. General anesthesia is required in order to ensure total patient comfort during the surgical procedure. Dr. Hand is then provided an enhanced ability to sculpt and refine the targeted areas completely with no discomfort.
Dr. Hand utilizes Vaser liposelection, an internal ultrasonic instrument that is tissue-selective in that it targets unwanted fat while preserving other surrounding tissues. This technique also promotes smoother contours, decreased healing time and bruising. It is much more precise than older methods that used large cannulas and were not selective of the tissues that were disrupted. The ultrasonic waves produced by a special cannula tip, essentially rupture and emulsify the targeted fat cells, making them easier to aspirate with smaller cannulas. During the procedure, tiny incisions are placed in discreet locations. An infusion fluid is injected into the fatty layer under the skin and the ultrasonic sound waves are applied via the cannula. After the fat has been treated, a small suction cannula is inserted and the area is carefully sculpted so that the body contour is refined and the treated area is proportionate to the rest of the body. The incision sites are sutured and a compressive garment applied.
Recuperation and Healing
Immediately after surgery is completed, the treated surgical areas can be very uncomfortable for a few hours. The discomfort is usually easily managed with oral pain medications and rest. A few hours later, the bulk of the discomfort has quieted and the area will usually only be sore for a few days. A small amount of drainage from the incision sites is normal and may persist for 24 hours. The liposuction garment is to be left in place continuously for 5 to 7 days following surgery. Its purpose is to control swelling and fluid collection in the treated areas and to assist in skin contraction. Removing the garment prematurely may increase the healing time and general discomfort. The patient may shower with the garment gone and are dry with a hairdryer at a low temperature. After the 1st week, the garment may be removed to launder but should be reapplied and worn continuously for another 2 weeks. Most patients can return to non-strenuous work in 3 to 5 days after surgery. Most exercise maybe resumed in 2 to 3 weeks. Some swelling and discoloration may persist for 3 weeks but a dramatic difference in contour is often seen immediately. The final result of liposuction can take 4 to 6 months during which time the skin tightens over the treated areas.