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Liposuction

Liposuction Santa Barbara

Liposuction is a type of surgery that is designed to remove fat from any particular part of the body.  It is best used in areas of the body that have localized accumulations of fat that is unresponsive to dieting and exercising.  It is not meant to be a weight loss procedure.   The procedure can be  performed on multiple areas of the body during a single operation.  Typical areas that are helped by liposuction include love handles, saddlebags, double-chin, abdomen/waistline, lower back, thighs and underarms.  The overlying skin needs to retract to complete the effect.  The better the skin quality, the better the result.  If the skin is stretched out excisional surgeries (tummy tuck or body lift) may be required.  When done on the right patients, liposuction results in a slimmer more well proportioned body that looks great in clothing, bathing suits, and unclothed.

Depending on the amount of liposuction planned and the parts of the body addressed, the procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia.  Tiny incisions are made a  tube or “cannula” is inserted.  The cannula has a blunt tip and has holes on the side, so as it is advanced structures such as nerves and blood vessels are preserved.  Vacuum suction is applied so the fatty tissue beneath the skin is withdrawn.  The surgeon determines the amount of fat to be removed by careful intra-operative examination much like sculpting.  After eliminating the excess fat, the incisions are closed and a compression dressing or garment is applied to the area in order to reduce swelling and help the overlying skin to retract.

 

There are several different types of liposuction.  Traditional, tumescent, ultrasonic and even laser.  Most patients benefit most from the tumescent technique.  The surgeon can discuss which method(s) are best for each individual patient during the initial consultation visit.
Their is some pain associated with the recovery but it is not excruciating.  Most patients require some oral pain medication initially.  You can expect to be back to normal routine in 7-10 days.  The compressive garments are worn from 2 to 4 weeks.  All bruising and swelling can take several weeks to resolve.
Complications are unusual and can be limited by carefully following pre and post operative instructions.

 

It is important to remember that liposuction is not a substitution for diet and exercise.  However, problem areas that do not respond to traditional weight loss respond well to liposuction and patients are very happy with their results.