Liposuction is a household name, but few people understand what contemporary liposuction really means, how it works, and what the full results entail. This popular surgery is largely for body contouring, specifically to target stubborn areas that won’t budge with exercise and diet alone. Every year, about 415,000 liposuction procedures are performed around the world. The maximum amount of fat loss from liposuction is around eight pounds.
The most reputable surgeons usually utilize liposuction as a complementary procedure to more intensive surgeries such as a tummy tuck, mommy makeover, breast augmentation, or body lift. Liposuction is rarely recommended as a solo procedure, though that does occur in some instances.
“Lipo” has been one of the most popular elective surgeries around the globe for decades, including in Oregon. While it’s not particularly a “fat loss” procedure, and certainly not a weight loss method, larger amounts of body fat can be removed compared to non-surgical alternatives such as CoolSculpting. The results are instant, although swelling can delay the appearance of full results by a few weeks.
Compared to many other elective surgeries, liposuction is minimally invasive. The entry points are barely scars and nearly invisible with today’s tiny liposuction vacuum heads used for fat removal. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for lipo. Schedule a consultation with Salem plastic surgeons Dr. Keith Neaman or Dr. Dustin Christiansen for a no-pressure meeting and discover if liposuction is the right procedure for you.
The perfect lipo candidate is usually within 30 percent of a healthy body weight, has elastic skin, and is a non-smoker. However, if you think you don’t fall into all of these categories, you may still be a lipo candidate and can learn more during a consultation.
Patients undergoing more than one liposuction procedure, or liposuction as part of a larger surgery such as a tummy tuck, might require more than one appointment. Liposuction almost always requires general anesthesia or “being under.” For patient safety, general anesthesia can only be used for a certain length of time. Liposuction time requirements will vary based on total procedures being performed, amount of fat being removed, the number of liposuction areas, and the total space of the body undergoing lipo. A potential side effect of poor liposuction is contouring issues, which is why a skilled lipo surgeon takes time and sometimes more than one appointment to ensure optimal results.
“FROM THE ORIGINAL CONSULTATION THROUGH ALL MY POST OP VISITS, DR. NEAMAN AND HIS STAFF MADE ME FEEL AT EASE AND COMFORTABLE. EVERYONE IS SO KIND AND CARING. I AM TOTALLY AMAZED AT THE RESULTS OF MY PROCEDURES AND RECOMMEND DR. NEAMAN TO ANYONE WANTING TO MAKE AWESOME IMPROVEMENTS IN THEIR LIVES. I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER.”
A popular surgical pairing is a body lift and abdominoplasty (liposuction of the abdominal area). Body lifts are the surgical removal of excess skin, not fat, often due to weight loss, childbirth, or simply aging and poor genetics. Body lifts often address multiple areas, and can encompass both the upper and lower body. A “body lift” to address just the abdominal area is a tummy tuck. Dr. Keith Neaman can tell patients more about tummy tuck/abdominoplasty and a body lift.
It’s no surprise that combining liposuction with a tummy tuck, the surgery to remove excess belly skin, is common. Liposuction can help maximize the results of a tummy tuck and create a natural harmony of bodily proportions. With lipo in the stomach, patients can enjoy a flatter, tighter, and more toned-looking core than ever before.
Double chins aren’t just a struggle for those who are overweight. The dreaded “turkey neck” can happen due to genetic fat distribution and aging. Kybella is a revolutionary technology designed specifically to remove fat from the under-chin area. Complementary procedures include the radiofrequency device Exilis, as well as a number of aesthetic non-surgical treatments such as laser skin resurfacing for skin tightening. More severe double chins might require a surgical neck lift in addition to chin liposuction.
Liposuction is often used interchangeably with the term tummy tuck. These two procedures are often paired, but they are not the same surgery. Dr. Dustin Christiansen can help patients understand the difference between the surgical contouring of liposuction and the removal of excess skin via a tummy tuck.
There are some general parameters of the “perfect candidate,” and that usually includes being within a reasonable range of your ideal body weight. A person with skin that “snaps back” well will achieve better results than someone who—due to age or genetics—doesn’t have as much collagen or elastin in their skin. Certain drugs and habits, including smoking, can put someone at too high of a risk to merit elective surgery. However, only a cosmetic surgeon specializing in lipo can tell you if liposuction and any complementary procedure is right for you.
Liposuction may be used on nearly any part of the body including the back, arms, and even the knees. It can be a stand-alone procedure, or more commonly part of larger body contouring procedures. Both men and women might be candidates for liposuction, and there are no age restrictions (although advanced age and related issues might put someone at too high of a risk if liposuction is performed).
It’s a mistake to put off liposuction until it’s “really needed.” The younger your skin and body is when undergoing an elective procedure, the quicker the healing process and the more likely the skin will snap back. For those who aren’t deemed good candidates for lipo, there are still options. Dr. Keith Neaman can recommend alternative procedures for excess skin and fat removal to enhance appearance and self-esteem.
Interested in learning more about liposuction? Contact Neaman Plastic Surgery for your consultation. Located in Salem, Oregon, we regularly serve patients in the greater Portland and Salem areas.
How Is Liposuction Done?
First, your surgeon will administer anesthesia. Depending on the location, they will either use local, general, or twilight anesthesia before making the incision. A cannula is then inserted through the incision to loosen up excess fat by going back and forth in a controlled manner. Once the excess fat is dislodged, a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula suctions it out of your body.
Are There Health Risks With Liposuction?
With an experienced surgeon, you shouldn’t experience any severe complications after your surgery. However, we recommend that candidates are in good physical health before undergoing liposuction since there are risks to liposuction like any other surgical procedures. These include:
● Anesthesia risks
● Persistent changes in skin sensation
● Damage to nerves, blood vessels, muscles, organs, etc.
● Fluid retention
● Rippling/loose skin
During your consultation, we will evaluate your risk factors for complications such as these and determine whether liposuction is right for you.
Does Liposuction Hurt?
During the procedure, you won’t feel any pain, as you will either be asleep or numbed locally. As you’re recovering, you may deal with swelling, bruising, and pain. You will be given a compression garment to promote healing, as well as pain medication to alleviate the pain.
Are You a Candidate for Submental Liposuction?
Candidates for submental liposuction must first have real excess fat under their chin, not just excess muscle or skin. For example, if you have a “weak” chin, it might look like you have excess submental fat even if you don’t. Additionally, if you have tried and failed to reduce submental fat via diet change and weight loss, you might be a good candidate for submental liposuction.
How Is Chin Liposuction Done?
Chin liposuction is done by inserting a small tube, a cannula, into the chin in various areas. Small amounts of fat are removed from certain areas using gentle suction. After that, you will get bandaging on your chin, usually including a special chin strap to support your chin during the recovery process.
Is Liposuction Right for You?
You should consider that you will have to take a break from going to the gym and work, so be sure to take the appropriate time off from work and activities so you have time to adequately recover. It is best if you are at a healthy weight and mental state before liposuction, with localized fat deposits that are resistant to changes in diet or exercise.
Keep in mind that liposuction is only meant to remove fat but is not effective for significant weight loss or the elimination of cellulite and loose skin. However, you can pair liposuction with procedures like a body lift or arm lift to improve the appearance of skin.
What Is Recovery Like After Liposuction?
During the first 48 hours, you will experience a mild to moderate amount of pain. You can deal with this by taking some Tylenol and the pain should decrease after 48 hours. It is optimal to wear a compression garment for 6 to 8 weeks during your recovery for best results. It is also important you move every two hours to prevent blood clots and swelling. We also recommend adequate rest and fluids for a speedier recovery.