Liposuction is sometimes called lipoplasty or even liposculpture. This body contouring procedure is intended for both men and women and improves various shapes and proportions by removing undesirable fat deposits. For optimal results, treated areas should blend with adjacent tissues. While liposuction can dramatically enhance contours in areas that do not respond to diet and exercise, it is not a treatment for obesity. In fact, liposuction is most successful in patients with good skin tone who are at or near their ideal body weight. Common treatment areas include the hips, thighs, abdomen, waist, arms, neck, back, chest, calves, and even knees. Because of this wide application, liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Various liposuction technologies exist today and board certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Braithwaite and Dr. Cobbins are most qualified to examine these options and deliver the safest treatment.
During your consultation, your doctor will review with you several different liposuction techniques that are in use today. Essentially all liposuction procedures involve the injection of salt water and local anesthetic to the treatment areas. Known as tumescent fluid, this injected solution minimizes bruising and blood loss and also helps control postoperative pain. Liposuction performed with this solution is often called tumescent liposuction. In addition, liposuction is also characterized by the technology that disrupts fat. Traditional liposuction, often referred to as suction-assisted liposuction or SAL, involves removing fat with a cannula attached to a suction apparatus. Power-assisted liposuction, or PAL, is similar except that the cannula vibrates to increase efficiency. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction, or UAL, incorporates sound wave technology to disrupt fat and can be helpful in dense, fibrous tissue. Laser-assisted liposuction is a more recent technique and utilizes laser energy to liquefy fat. Despite these unique properties, all liposuction techniques require several very small incisions to insert the associated cannula. Our doctors will outline the advantages and disadvantages of these different techniques as they relate to your treatment goals.
To determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction, we will review your health history and perform an examination during your consultation. Our doctors will assess skin laxity, fat deposits, and existing contours. We will also take preoperative photos during your visit. During the consultation, Dr. Braithwaite and Dr. Cobbins will understand your goals and desires and they will review available options and techniques. We usually perform liposuction as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, depending on the extent of treatment. We instruct all liposuction patients to wear a compression garment after surgery to reduce swelling. Bruising and numbness are variable but always temporary. Light exercise is encouraged soon after surgery but strenuous activity is limited for at least several weeks. Patients may drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medicine.
For more information about liposuction/liposculpture or to schedule a consultation at our Chicago plastic surgery practice, please contact us via email or call (312) 361-8108 today.