Abdominal Etching: This specialized form of liposuction is designed to enhance the abdominal muscles and give patients a desirable set of "six-pack abs." The surgeon will first outline the muscles and then the thin layer of fat that can obscure these muscles. He or she may use traditional, ultrasound, or laser assisted techniques to perform this minimal recovery treatment.
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Certain health conditions may prevent patients from being suitable liposuction candidates. People with chronic ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure are more likely to achieve less-than-desirable aesthetic results. Individuals who have compromised immune systems and those who suffer from diabetes, poor blood circulation, heart disease, or lung disease should not undergo liposuction, as they could suffer serious health complications. If patients have recently had another surgery in the area they would like to treat, they should wait until the area has healed before considering liposuction.
When skin is damaged, the body repairs it by creating new collagen fibers, which gives the healing area a different look and texture: a scar. The “mended” skin will be less flexible than the skin around it, and it may have no hair follicles. The scarred skin might be a different color than surrounding skin and the color will change as healing progresses. This is completely natural.
A technique called "tumescent liposuction" is the most common method for removing fat around the stomach, buttocks, thighs and ankles. It's also considered the safest. "Tumescent" means that large amounts of buffered salt water are injected into fatty tissue beneath the skin. The doctor makes a cut in the fatty area to be treated, then inserts beneath the flesh a strawlike tube called a cannula that is attached to a vacuum. At the end of the cannula is a stiff wand. The doctor moves it back and forth in rapid motions to loosen fat. The procedure takes 45 minutes to two hours, with a recovery time of up to two weeks. The full effect of liposuction is seen six to 12 weeks after the procedure is performed. After the procedure, the area is bandaged and the patient must wear a compression garment for one to two weeks. Pain and bruising may last up to two weeks, and swelling may last for two weeks to two months.
There is a basic principle that applies to most cash-pay health care procedures: the more reputable the surgeon, the more surgery will likely cost. A surgeon with considerable experience and recognition in the field of body sculpture can understandably command a higher fee. When you add advanced technology used for the benefit of the patients, this can also drive a price higher. Using lasers and radiofrequency in liposuction has been proven to provide even better results, but this equipment is expensive, and requires special training.
Following liposuction, patients often experience some soreness and tenderness in the treatment area. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication, and a physician may prescribe stronger medication, if needed. However, this discomfort is typically minimal, and patients can typically return to work about two days after their procedures. If they experience severe discomfort or if the soreness gets worse after several days, patients should alert their doctors.
Problem areas that are resistant to diet and exercise can often be dramatically improved through liposuction. The body smoothing and contouring possible with liposuction can make an individual look and feel better simply because their clothes fit better. More importantly, their entire figure could be rejuvenated and enhanced after this procedure. Plastic surgery patients who undergo liposuction may even find unexpected benefits of the procedure as they begin to partake in activities that they had previously shied away from because they were unhappy with their appearance.
A Bra Lift with Laser (Laser Bra Lift): Some doctors will want to use a laser bra lift as an insurance policy that your breasts won’t sag. It’s actually not really an alternative to breast lift surgery as it is an extra procedure. In the laser bra surgery, the laser is used to create a bra-like effect that protects the surgical results of the breast lift. Laser energy will always stimulate the production of new collagen fibers, which give you more support of any tissues. Always look at the before and after pictures to see whether or not you think there is enough improvement.
The expected time and effort that is required to accomplish a liposuction surgery is the most important factor in determining the cost of liposuction. Factors that typically affect the surgeon’s time and effort include 1) Number of areas being treated, 2) Size of the patient, 3) Anticipated degree of difficulty. Thus, cost of liposuction of the abdomen alone is less than the cost of doing liposuction on both the abdomen as well as the inner thighs and knees. Similarly, the cost for abdominal liposuction on a patient who weighs 80 kilograms (176 pounds) might be more than the cost for liposuction of the abdomen of a patient who has never weighed more than 60 kilograms (132 pounds). Liposuction is more difficult and requires more time if the patient has previously gained and then lost a significant amount of weight. In any area previously treated with liposuction, the fat often contains scar tissue which makes liposuction in the same area more difficult.
Liposuction is very effective for shaping the abdominal area in men and women. The lower abdomen in particular tends to be resistant to diet and exercise, making even the most fit and active individuals insecure about their appearance. Pregnancy and cesarean births can have a disfiguring effect on the lower abdomen, which diet and exercise cannot correct. Most abdominal fat is located directly beneath the skin and can easily be removed through liposuction procedures. However, fat that is located deep in the abdomen (between the intestines) cannot be removed with liposuction because of the increased risk of severe complications. Abdominal liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck.
Some patients report pain the day after their liposuction surgery. Usually, this discomfort is minor and can be relieved with pain medication and moderate walking. In less than a week after liposuction, most patients are able to move and walk normally, even returning to work with minimal discomfort. Patients should take showers instead of baths for about a week after liposuction. During this time, swelling, bruising, and numbness will begin to go away.
Dr. Kao believes that the best results are achieved when the correct procedure is performed on the right patient. The Alexandra Breast Lift can be performed with or without implants and can provide beautiful results on specific patients. However, if you aren’t the right patient for this technique, Dr. Kao will evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan that works for you. Stay tuned for our next blog on breast lift candidates and the consultation process.
LipoSelection® : This specialized form of liposuction, developed by VASER®, emulsifies fat cells with ultrasound and breaks them up even further with the LipoSelection probe. The doctor can then easily remove the fat with liposuction tubes, leaving the surrounding blood vessels, nerves and other tissue virtually unaffected. This technique involves less discomfort and bruising than most other types of liposuction, but it does cost a bit more than other forms of manual liposuction.
Next, your surgeon will insert a thin vacuum tube, called a cannula, through the incision and into the deep fat layer. Your surgeon will move the cannula back and forth to break up the fat cells, and, with the help of an attached syringe or vacuum pump, suction them out. Because a significant amount of blood and other bodily fluids are removed along with the fat, you will receive replacement fluids intravenously during and after the liposuction procedure. Of course, this part of the procedure can vary somewhat, depending on the type of liposuction you select.
Liposuction will cause some swelling afterwards, although some techniques cause less than others. During follow-up visits with a doctor, it is important for a patient to inform the doctor of any changes in the amount of post-liposuction swelling. Significant increases in swelling can be a warning sign of other complications. Swelling in the ankles and treated areas is common, along with a temporary lumpy appearance that will typically fade within six months. If the thighs are treated, inflammation of the veins may occur, but this should also go away after a few weeks.
Liposuction patients should continue to monitor their incision sites in case of infection, and they should schedule check-up appointments with their surgeons to monitor healing. Excessive swelling can sometimes be a sign of other risks or side-effects, so it's important for individuals to communicate with their doctors to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Severe complications associated with liposuction are extremely rare, but should be taken into consideration when deciding whether liposuction is right for you. These complications include adverse reactions to anesthesia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmia, internal blood clots, excessive bleeding, severe drug interactions, allergic reactions to medication, permanent nerve damage, seizures, and brain damage from anesthesia.
If you are looking for the best looking scar, or the smallest scar, that would be the Benelli. This is eventually a ‘hidden scar’ as it will eventually fade into the nipple line. Most patients are also happy with the Vertical Scar as the scar is on the underside of the breast, and not exposed horizontally on the chest wall. In my opinion, the least attractive scar is the Inverted T technique (Wise Pattern), which is really two scars.
If you have a significant amount of loose skin around your midsection, or if pregnancy, weight loss, and/or age has weakened your abdominal muscles, you may want to consider a tummy tuck. However, if you have healthy skin that adheres to the natural contours of your body, you are probably a better candidate for liposuction. Ultimately, the only way to determine the right procedure for you is to schedule an appointment with an experienced cosmetic surgeon.