Unwanted fat and fat deposits are a very common issue with most people. Even at or near ideal body weight, localized fat deposits often fail to respond to even the most disciplined dietary and exercise plans. Plastic surgeon Steven H. Turkeltaub, MD offers liposuction to patients who want to address this problem surgically. It is important to remember that liposuction is not a weight loss solution nor is it a treatment for the widespread removal of fat. The best results can be obtained with more localized fat deposits allowing for precise sculpting of various areas of the body.
Common areas of treatment in women include the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, flanks, hips, knees, back and neck. In men, the usual areas are the abdomen, love handles, breasts and neck.
- Liposuction vs. Weight Loss Surgery
- The Liposuction Procedure
- How Many Areas Can Be Treated During One Liposuction Procedure?
- Recovery from Liposuction Surgery
- How Long Liposuction Results Will Last
- Potential Risks and Side Effects of Liposuction
- Liposuction Before-and-After Photos
Liposuction vs. Weight Loss Surgery
Despite the fact that liposuction removes fat to help patients achieve a more toned and slimmer physique, it should never be thought of as a surgical technique for weight loss. Bariatric surgery is intended to help men and women lose a significant amount of weight as part of a commitment to an overall healthier lifestyle. While liposuction can certainly complement one’s weight loss and self-betterment efforts, it is designed for individuals who are already at or somewhat close to their desired weight and need help eliminating fat that proves resistant to diet and exercise.
The Liposuction Procedure
Dr. Turkeltaub offers his patients a variety of liposuction techniques which can be selectively used depending upon a variety of factors. More than one technique is often employed during surgery. One of these, ultrasonic assisted liposuction, utilizes ultrasound waves to disrupt the fat, allowing for easier, more even fat removal. This approach can provide an increased margin of safety. Its use can also lead to superior results with more thorough and even fat removal than could be obtained in the past with standard liposuction alone.
Tumescent liposuction involves injecting fluid containing an anesthetic and vasoconstrictor into the fat prior to beginning liposuction. This approach minimizes blood loss during surgery and results in decreased discomfort and bruising post-operatively. It is always used with ultrasonic assisted liposuction.
The incisions needed for liposuction are very small and usually leave fairly inconspicuous scars. Through these tiny openings, Dr. Turkeltaub will insert a suction tube known as a cannula which is used to break up and eliminate the fat cells from the targeted area.
Liposuction is typically performed under general anesthesia due to the far superior comfort level and overall experience. Unless very large amounts of fat are removed (generally 5 liters or more), the procedure is usually done as an outpatient.
How Many Areas Can Be Treated During One Liposuction Procedure?
The number of areas treated during a single liposuction procedure is not as directly important as the total quantity of fat to be extracted. Based on clinical studies regarding patient safety, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recommends that the combined amount of fat removed during one liposuction session be no greater than five liters, regardless of how many areas of the body this fat was obtained from. The rationale behind this recommendation is not that removing more than five liters of fat is automatically dangerous but rather that the risk of any potential medical issues or other complications tends to increase when quantities larger than five liters are extracted in a single session.
With this in mind, the exact number of areas that can be treated during one liposuction procedure will depend upon each individual’s specific needs and goals.
Recovery from Liposuction
Discomfort for a majority of patients following surgery is fairly mild and quite tolerable, some taking little or no pain medication. Many are already physically active within the first 24 to 48 hours. Returning to work or school can be as soon as a few days.
A compressive garment, which is worn for a variable period of time postoperatively, provides comfort and can minimize swelling and bruising. Most of the swelling resolves within a few months though it can take six months to a year to see the “final” long-term result.
To learn more about liposuction surgery, please visit our liposuction FAQs (frequently asked questions) section.
How Long Liposuction Results Will Last
The contouring effects of liposuction are generally noticeable immediately after surgery and should gradually become more apparent as normal postoperative swelling resolves. If a stable weight is maintained, most patients can expect long-lasting, if not permanent, results due to the fact that the fat cells removed during treatment are permanently eliminated. However, there are still some fat cells left in the targeted area that can grow in size if a significant amount of weight is gained at any point after surgery. Therefore, by keeping a steady weight via diet and exercise patients can maximize the longevity of their liposuction results.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of Liposuction
When performed appropriately by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is highly trained, skilled and experienced in this body contouring treatment, the risk of serious complications resulting from liposuction is minimal. In spite of this, there is always the potential for certain issues and unforeseen outcomes to occur when a surgical procedure is conducted, so comprehensively understanding all aspects of liposuction before moving forward with treatment is very important.
The most common side effects experienced by liposuction patients include some minor to moderate bruising, swelling and/or numbness in the treated area(s). These symptoms are not generally permanent and should gradually resolve over time.
When they do occur, some of the more notable risks of liposuction include:
- Uneven body contours
- Over- or under-treatment of the targeted area(s)
- Fluid accumulation deep in the skin (seroma)
- Hematoma – an accumulation of blood deep to the skin
- Thick and/or wide scars
In extremely rare situations, blood clots can form in the legs and even travel to the lungs.
As previously mentioned, the risk of encountering any issues or long-term side effects is greatly diminished when liposuction is performed by a well-trained, experienced and highly skilled board-certified plastic surgeon.
Liposuction Before-and-After Photos*
Dr. Turkeltaub has helped many patients achieve the slimmer and firmer body shape they desire through his advanced liposuction procedures. Below are some examples of his work.
*Individual Results May Vary
Discover What Liposuction Surgery Can Do For You
Both ultrasonic and tumescent liposuction offer many benefits over the traditional liposuction procedure. Please contact The Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery today to learn more about the operation or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub.