We are proud to offer patients our extensive experience and expertise in liposuction, the single most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. today. Liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat that has not responded to diet and exercise from the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. Liposuction not only offers the opportunity to slim and contour chubby areas of the body; by removing the fat cells, it also ensures that these areas will not accumulate fatty deposits in the future.
Dr. Alaiti knows that all patients are different, both in their body shapes and in what they wish to achieve with liposuction. We take as much time as necessary during every pre-operative consultation to learn what each patient wants liposuction to do for them, and to decide which technique is best. In this way, every one of our patients enjoys completely customized treatment designed with his or her specific goals in mind.
Definition of Liposuction
Liposuction is defined as the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow stainless steel tube (called a cannula) with the assistance of a powerful vacuum. Liposuction can be accomplished either with the use of general anesthesia, or with heavy IV sedation, or totally by local anesthesia. Tumescent liposuction refers to a technique that uses large volumes of very dilute local anesthesia that is injected into the fat causing the targeted areas to be come tumescent, or swollen and firm. Local anesthesia is widely regarded as the safest form of anesthesia. Because local anesthesia persists for many hours there is no need for narcotic pain medications after surgery. Virtually all of the liposuction cases performed at our center are performed using local anesthesia only, and utilizing microcannulas.
The Different Liposuction Techniques
There are many ways to do liposuction, for example liposuction can be accomplished painlessly either totally by local anesthesia or with general anesthesia. In the realm of liposuction, maximum speed and maximum volume of aspirate are not criteria for excellence. Ultimately, excellence is measured in terms of patient happiness which is a function of safety, patient comfort, finesse, and quality of results. The important distinction between liposuction surgeons who are board certified is the liposuction technique that they use. The surgeon's specialty is not as important as the surgeon's technique, experience and attitude toward safety.
Acutal patient. Individual results may vary.
Liposuction complications are often the direct result of lack of caution, poor judgment, over confidence, ignorance about pharmacology, or adherence to faulty dogma.
The "Art of Liposuction"
Liposuction is a medium of artistic expression that displays itself in (1) a practical application of scientific knowledge, (2) the production of what is beautiful, (3) a perfection of workmanship, (4) a perpetual quest for improvement in technique, and (5) a skill attained through clinical experience, and above all (6) making people feel happy about what they see in the mirror.
Risks of Liposuction
Risks of Liposuction must be well understood by all prospective liposuction patients. In order to minimize the risk of liposuction, the patient must be aware of the following facts:
- Too much liposuction is an excessive volume of aspirated fat, or an excessive number of areas treated. Excessive surgical trauma (excessive liposuction) is dangerous and is an important cause for serious liposuction complications.
- Unrelated surgical procedures on the same day as liposuction are unnecessary. Prolonged exposure to anesthesia is dangerous and is an important cause for serious liposuction complications.
- Disfiguring skin irregularities and depressions occur infrequently. The size of the liposuction cannula can influence the smoothness of the skin after liposuction. The use of large cannulas tend to create irregularities more commonly than microcannulas (outside diameter less than 3 millimeters). Surgeons who do total-body liposuction tend to use larger cannulas. At Miracle Mile Medical Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, we only utilize microcannulas.
Tumescent Technique is Safest
The tumescent technique for liposuction is unquestionably the safest form of liposuction. When tumescent liposuction is done correctly (not excessively), it is a very safe procedure. For example, there have been no reported deaths associated with tumescent liposuction totally by local anesthesia. Even when general anesthesia is combined with the tumescent technique, liposuction is quite safe provided the volume of fat removed and the number of areas treated during a single surgery is not excessive. The dilute epinephrine contained in the tumescent anesthetic solution profoundly shrinks capillaries and thus virtually eliminates surgical blood loss.
Smoother Cosmetic Results
The tumescent technique permits the use of microcannulas which in turn yields smoother cosmetic results. Traditional liposuction cannulas (stainless steel tubes) have a relatively large diameter and remove fat rather quickly. However, with the use of large cannulas (diameter greater than 3 millimeters) there is an increased risk of irregularities and depressions in the skin. Microcannulas with a diameter less than 3 millimeters, allow fat to be removed in a smoother and more uniform fashion. Some surgeons prefer larger cannulas because it allows liposuction to be done more quickly.
Recovery from Liposuction
After liposuction surgery, compression garments and antibiotics are needed to facilitate the healing process. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able, and many return to work within a few days. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
Results of Liposuction
Results are visible almost immediately, and improvement often continues as swelling subsides during the first three months. We make sure that scars from the liposuction cannula insertion points are small and inconspicuous.
Acutal patient. Individual results may vary.