Liposuction or body sculpting, as it is sometimes called, is a frequently performed and requested procedure and gives excellent results when designed with specific treatment areas in mind. The technique remove unwanted fat deposit from areas of the body that are resistant to moderate exercise and appropriate diet. Many of us have spot areas that have always been a problem, even at or near our ideal weight. This is probably determined to a great extent by our genetics, and most commonly involves the abdomen, hips, thighs, and knees for women, and the “lovehandle” area, abdomen, and chest for men. Other areas that respond nicely are the region under the chin, and sometimes the upper arm region. Multiple areas may be treated at the same setting.
One of the remarkable things about liposuction is that the fat cells that are removed cannot regenerate, so the treated areas are permanently recontoured. Generalized weight gain could still occur with a drastic change in diet or exercise but patients do not complain of the stubborn bulges recurring. In my practice this procedure seems to be a motivating force to stay fit and healthy because the real problem areas have been dramatically improved.
In our center, we use the tumescent technique which allows the safe removal of fat with minimal blood loss. This technique involves the placement of fluid that constricts blood vessels and allows a customized small tube or cannula to move through the tissues with less resistance and much less trauma. Small incisions are closed with a single stitch, and a compression garment is worn for 3 to 4 weeks. Some swelling and bruising occurs but early contour improvements are noticeable after that time.
Also available is ultrasound-assisted liposuction, which uses sound waves to disrupt the fat cell wall, making it easier to remove fat in some particularly fibrous areas. It is most useful for male patients with gynecomastia, or for areas that have previously been treated, and does add to the cost of the procedure.