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How Does Liposuction Work?

By Dr. Charles J. Galanis

How Does Liposuction Work

According to the American Society for Plastic Surgery, liposuction surgery is the third most common type of cosmetic surgery. It removes stubborn unwanted fat deposits from areas of your body such as upper arms, legs, buttocks, stomachs, or backs to improve body contouring.

At Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA, we help patients achieve their esthetic goals with cosmetic surgery procedures. Read on to find out how liposuction procedures work and whether it could be right for you.

What is Liposuction?

Traditional liposuction is a cosmetic procedure aimed to remove excess body fat. This procedure targets small, stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to traditional exercise and a balanced diet.

Typically, it is performed in areas of the body where fat tends to accumulate, like the buttocks, hips, thighs, and abdomen.  Liposuction can be used together with other surgeries such as a tummy tuck or brazilian butt lift.

Liposuction techniques are also used when addressing Gynecomastia, which is a condition of enlarged male breast tissue.

What are the different types of Liposuction techniques?

Tumescent liposuction, also known as fluid injection liposuction, represents the most prevalent form of liposuction procedure.  Tumescent liposuction utilizes tumescent anesthesia and microcannulae. These small cannulae create tunnels within the subcutaneous tissue, enabling a more efficient and less invasive fat removal process compared to larger cannulae.

Super-wet liposuction technique closely resembles the tumescent liposuction procedure. Superwet anesthesia is a local anesthesia technique employed in liposuction surgery. It involves the uniform and pressurized infusion of a solution until the tissue reaches a state of blanching and moderate tension

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) this liposuction procedure employs ultrasonic vibrations to transform fat cells into a liquid state. A substantial amount of tumescent fluid is used and employs either a metal probe or metal paddle to transmit ultrasonic energy and heat into the subcutaneous fat.

Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) is a liposuction procedure utilizing laser energy to liquify fat cells. The LAL technique involves the application of high-intensity laser light to break down fat cells, making it easier to remove them through a cannula.

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)  Power-assisted liposuction utilizes slender, high-frequency vibrating cannulas. These vibrating cannulas smoothly navigate through the tissues, gently dislodging fat cells from their attachments before they are removed with a gentle vacuum suction.

Does Liposuction Work?

Most people experience excellent results after lipoplasty. Traditional liposuction involves removing excess fat from the patient’s body with the help of a thin tube attached to a vacuum.

Because adult bodies can’t produce new fat cells, it’s unlikely that the patient will ever experience the same issue again. As long as they maintain their weight, their results remain in place.

Although lipo is extremely successful, it’s worth noting that this surgical procedure is not designed to help people lose large amounts of excess fat. Removing too much tissue from the body is dangerous, so we can only extract between six and eight pounds during the liposuction procedure.

Patients who are obese aren’t eligible until they have lost the majority of their excess weight.

Who Benefits the Most from this Treatment?

Only people who are dedicated to their weight loss journey are good candidates for lipoplasty. Patients who have already worked hard to achieve their goals but are struggling with excess tissue that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise are eligible.

We also treat those who are a healthy weight  but are worried about stubborn pockets of fat that have appeared due to the natural aging process.

If you’ve never tried any other weight loss methods, we might ask you to optimize your lifestyle before being treated. During your initial consultation, we check that you are committed to maintaining your results after treatment.

If you gain a lot of weight or eat unhealthy foods after the surgery, your results might be lost, so you have to come back for another operation.

You Are at Your Target Weight

Many people mistakenly believe that lipoplasty is a weight treatment. Unfortunately, it would be dangerous to remove fat more than eight pounds from a patient.

The safest and most sustainable way to lose large quantities of body weight is to make the necessary lifestyle changes to not gain weight and control unwanted fat. They include diet and exercise, reducing stress, and sleeping at least seven or eight hours per night.

Some patients have trouble shedding their extra pounds without medical intervention. Don’t hesitate to see a weight loss specialist. They might prescribe drugs or even suggest gastric bypass surgery.

Once you’ve achieved your target weight, you can come to see us at Galanis Plastic Surgery. We’ll help you to get rid of any remaining pockets of fat or excess skin that didn’t respond to regular weight loss measures.

You’re Dedicated to Maintaining Your Results

Lipoplasty is designed as a one-off treatment. Once you’ve undergone this cosmetic surgery, you don’t have to come back to the clinic for maintenance treatments because your liposuction results are permanent.

However, you might not look slim for the rest of your life if you fail to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although you have fewer fat cells in the treatment area, you can still gain weight, and the remaining cells can expand.

That’s why we always make sure that our patients are dedicated to maintaining their excellent results. We speak about their lifestyles to determine whether they are at risk of gaining more weight.

Some of the factors we consider are the patient’s diet, exercise routine, and weight loss history. Someone who has lost a lot of weight is likely to stick to the program because they have spent many months building up healthy habits.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Not everyone who has stubborn pockets of fat is a good candidate for lipoplasty. Some people aren’t eligible because they are still overweight or because they are unlikely to maintain their results.

We can’t treat people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Smokers have to quit for at least a month before they can be considered.

Sometimes, we can’t treat patients because they have a medical condition that makes lipoplasty unsafe for them. People with heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, or other long-term diseases might not be good candidates.

Fortunately, we also offer minimally invasive liposuction treatments at the clinic. If you can’t take part in liposuction procedure, you might be eligible for one of our injectables.

How Does the Treatment Work?

The treatment process always begins with an initial consultation. If we determine that you’re eligible, we’ll book you in for the surgery. You’ll have to take some time off work afterward. The results are instantaneous, but it takes your body some time to adjust to them.

The Initial Consultation

The first appointment gives us a chance to meet you and find out more about your cosmetic concerns. Bring your health history, information about your allergies, and details of past treatments you have taken part in.

The more information you provide, the better we can tailor your treatment plan to your individual needs.

If you’re a good candidate for lipoplasty, we’ll schedule the operation. There are several things you can’t do before surgery. Stop drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and smoking at least a month ahead of time. Don’t take blood-thinning medication, and follow our pre-treatment guidelines.

The Surgery

Depending on the treatment area and the amount of fat that is being removed, general anesthesia might be necessary. Sometimes, we perform this operation with the help of general anesthesia via IV sedation, so the patient is conscious.

Once the tissues in the treatment area are numb, small incisions are made, and a tumescent solution is injected.

Then, the suction cannulas are inserted, and the fat is removed from the patient’s body. We might use ultrasound assisted liposuction or laser assisted liposuction technology to make the process easier and safer.

Lipoplasty takes between one and three hours. Most patients can return home on the same day that the surgical procedure is performed. However, they won’t be able to resume their regular activities right away.


The Recovery

People need to take around two to three weeks off work after lipoplasty, but those who have a physically demanding job might not be able to return for over a month. Initially, patients have to rest and avoid moving around or touching their treatment site.

After a few days, they can start walking and performing gentle stretches again. It’s important to wear a compression garment every day because it allows the tissues to heal and assume the desired shape.

Swelling and fluid retention is normal and there can be slightly more if you combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures.

Between Weeks 3 and 5, patients can start doing light to moderate workouts. In many cases, it’s still better to avoid lifting and participating in strength training. At that point, the results of lipoplasty begin to become evident, and the compression garment doesn’t have to be worn so much anymore.

By Week 6, most patients can resume more strenuous workouts. There are very few restrictions, and the compression garment is no longer needed.

Does Liposuction Work

The Results

During the initial consultation, we’ll discuss the kinds of results you can expect. Although the excess tissue is removed from your body during the surgery, you won’t instantly experience excellent results.

Your body needs a few weeks to adjust to the new situation, so you might not see your final results for several weeks or even months.

It’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle and follow the exercise recommendations after the surgery. If you don’t stick to the guidelines, your results might be affected.

Follow-Up Appointments and Treatments

We might ask you to come back to the clinic several times after your cosmetic procedure. During these follow-up appointments, we check that your body is recovering from the surgery and that you’re experiencing the desired outcome. If you have other cosmetic concerns, we can suggest appropriate treatment methods.

Achieve Your Desired Body Shape Now

Liposuction is one of the most successful types of plastic surgery. It isn’t designed as a weight loss treatment, and it’s only suitable for patients who are very close to their weight loss goals.

The purpose of lipoplasty is to help patients get rid of stubborn pockets of excess fat that don’t respond to lifestyle changes. Give us a call at Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA to book your consultation and find out whether you’re a good candidate.



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