Liposuction is a surgical procedure involving the removal of fat from any area of the body: the upper thighs, butt, stomach, waist, or chin. The ideal candidate is a patient with isolated fat that is out of proportion to the rest of his or her figure, or has fat that is not evenly distributed.
Liposuction is not a substitute for diet and exercise, and though not everyone having liposuction is at his or her ideal weight, the best results are obtained when the patient is closest to it. Tulsa plastic surgeon Dr. Kent often performs liposuction in conjunction with other body procedures such as abdominoplasty, breast lift, face lift and the Mommy Makeover.
Reasons for Considering Liposuction:
- To correct a disproportional figure
- To remove excess fat from any of the following areas:
- Chin & Neck
- Upper Arms
- Waist & Stomach
- Hips & Buttocks
- Thighs & Knees
- Calves & Ankles
Traditional liposuction is performed under general anesthesia at a surgery center, and involves the suctioning out of fat with a hollow metal cannula through small incisions. Dr. Kent uses the tumescent technique, which involves infiltrating the fat areas with fluid before treatment to literally plump up the fat, making it easier to remove and to decrease blood loss.
In certain areas where the fat is typically tough and fibrous, such as the back and the male abdomen and chest, Dr. Kent uses ultrasonic liposuction in which the tip of the cannula emits ultrasonic energy, helping liquefy the fat so that it can more easily pass through the cannula.
Although liposuction is an outpatient procedure, it is advisable to have someone stay with you for the first night. Since blood and fluids are lost during liposuction in Tulsa, it is important to keep yourself well hydrated for the first couple of days following surgery. A compression garment will need to be worn for about three weeks, although any sutures will be removed after one. Patients can expect bruising and swelling, but typically begin to see results in about three weeks, although it can take up to six months for your final form to emerge.
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Liposuction in Tulsa FAQ
Do I have to wear a compression garment after surgery?
Yes. You will be measured for a formal surgical garment before treatment which I usually have my patients wear for 3 weeks following surgery. It may be removed to shower, but otherwise, it is worn at all times. This is done to not only decrease bleeding and bruising, but swelling as well.
Is liposuction painful?
From my observation, liposuction is not a particularly painful procedure to recover from. Most patients are up and around in the first couple of days, but, like any procedure, recovery time really depends on the patient.
Does liposuction remove my cellulite?
No. There is no technique that can consistently erase stretch marks or cellulite. In fact, the more fat you suction from an area, the more risk there is of having surface irregularities that resemble cellulite. In order to avoid this, I’m both careful about the amount of fat that I remove, and use cannulas that are very small in diameter.
Is liposuction dangerous?
As long as the patient is a good candidate for liposuction, and the surgeon is qualified, the treatment isn’t dangerous. The procedure can become risky, however, if the patient is very overweight, and the surgeon is removing excessive volumes of fat. Although I do liposuction both the flanks, and pubic area in conjunction with a tummy tuck, I am usually hesitant to treat large areas of the body at the same time.
What kind of anesthesia do you use?
Although there are surgeons who do major liposuction under local anesthesia with the patient awake, I usually do my liposuction cases under general anesthesia with the patient asleep. I feel that this approach is the safest, and results in a much better experience for the patient.
Are the results of liposuction permanent?
Fat cells will not grow back after liposuction so if a patient gains weight, there will be less tendency for fat to accumulate in the treated areas. There is, however, still fat present in the areas surrounding those that have been treated so patients who maintain a steady weight have the most stable results.
Aren’t there non-invasive techniques available to remove fat?
Yes, there are several techniques available that use different modalities, such as ultrasound, cold, radio frequency and light energy to treat fat through the skin without surgery. Usually, multiple treatments are needed so they tend to be costly. Some patients do see improvement over time, and although I think the development of these technologies is exciting, I’m waiting for their effectiveness to be more clearly defined before I can recommend them.
What technique do you use for liposuction?
I use the tumescent technique, in which a diluted solution of epinephrine is infiltrated into the areas for suctioning to decrease blood loss and make fat removal easier because I find it simple, safe and it’s always produced good results for me. I will occasionally use ultrasonic liposuction for areas of fibrous fat, and although other techniques, such as those using laser technology, have been touted in the media, there’s no data that shows any one technique better than another so it really comes down to personal preference.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are patients with only localized areas of excess subcutaneous fat, and who are already close to their ideal weight with little excess skin in their problem areas.