The Basics of Lipo
From the internet to network news, you see that liposuction is described in mostly extreme terms. There are advertisements promising everything under the sun. Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures now performed by so many different types of doctors that we don't really even know how many operations are performed every year anymore. As you take all this in, you might wonder: "Should I do this?"
Of course the answer to this question may depend upon exactly what you are trying to accomplish and how you prefer it be done. You have choices.
Liposuction is a relatively simple operation that pretty much addresses fat alone. As long as fat for the most part is your primary problem, liposuction will probably perform well for you. Liposuction does not treat the skin over the fat or the muscle below it. Recovery tends to be mild (on the order of days).
Results, recovery and level of discomfort depend upon how the operation is performed. The surgeon's exact technique is extremely important in the recovery, comfort and results.
Technique makes a difference and there are alot of techniques. The basic tumescent technique offers the ability for the surgeon to manually sculpt your fat. Laser and ultrasound-assisted techniques can improve fat removal and in some cases help smooth the results out a bit. They can also assist in the removal of "too much fat" leaving patients looking "dented." Increased technology comes with increased cost and this does not necessarily translate into better results.
Anesthesia can make a difference as well. There is the choice of local versus more involved anesthesia. Tumescent anesthesia is the standard base for anesthesia for liposuction in this practice. Tumescent anesthesia is a modified "numbing solution" that is put into the fatty tissues to be treated before the removal begins. It makes the areas to be treated numb although the patient is able to feel the sensation of the removal instrument (the cannula) moving beneath the skin.
Some patients choose to add additional anesthesia along with the basic tumescent technique for increased comfort. The choices here include sedation or general anesthesia. Both involve adding an anesthesiologist to the procedure. The most important question on anesthesia choice is how aware does the patient want to be of what is happening during surgery versus how concerned is the patient with anesthesia overall. Some patients want to be "out" and others would rather not have to recover from much more than local anesthesia. This is a patient choice item usually with which the doctor can help you.
The patient's choice of Surgeon can make a difference as well in limiting the possibility of irregularities in the skin. Dr Di Saia is board certified in plastic surgery and specializes in breast and body contouring. Believe it or not some of Dr D's competitiors in the marketplace have no formal training is plastic surgery at all.
The Bottom Line:
Liposuction offers a low impact reduction in body fat that is more effective in certain areas than others. Patients with relatively little loose skin in the areas to be treated can achive nice reductions with little downtime. Choosing an expert in plastic surgery and having realistic expectations can make this operation one of the best choices you have ever made.
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© John Di Saia, MD... an Orange County
California Plastic Surgeon
Serving Southern California since 1997 * (949) 369-5932