Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso – Body Contouring / Liposuction

Liposuction body contouring (also known as lipoplasty or suction-assisted lipectomy) has become one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed today. Liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods, or it can simply address problem areas you have issues with.

Proven safety, minimal scarring and outstanding results have made lipoplasty the preferred method for removing fat and sculpting the body.

What Areas Can Be Treated With Liposuction?

Liposuction can remove stubborn fat from almost any area of the face and body. These areas include the following:

  • Abdomen/midriff
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Knees
  • Upper arms
  • Chin
  • Cheeks
  • Neck

What Types of Liposuction Are Available?

During the past decade, lipoplasty has benefited from several new refinements. Today, a number of techniques for full body liposuction include:

  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
  • Tumescent liposuction
  • Super-wet liposuction

These liposuction options allow Dr. Jabor, Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Aburto to provide qualified patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times.

What Is Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction?

An emerging tool in body contouring, ultrasonic liposuction (also known as ultrasonic-assisted liposuction or UAL) uses sound waves to disrupt fat cells and offers an effective solution to excessive fat. The ultrasound waves essentially liquefy (melt) fat cells in a given area, making the liquid fat easier to remove via suction. Because it causes minimal blood loss and little bruising, the UAL procedure is the preferred method for removing fat from areas such as the neck, stomach, “love handles,” ankles and chin.

Ultrasonic lipoplasty is combined with conventional suction-assisted lipectomy to obtain maximum results in certain areas. The UAL procedure is also often used in conjunction with tumescent liposuction to achieve optimal results.

What Is Tumescent Liposuction?

Tumescent liposuction, also known as wet liposuction, is a technique that can reduce some of the problems associated with the traditional methods of this procedure, including swelling, soreness and post-operative bruising. This technique involves injecting a large amount of anesthetic liquid (known as a tumescent solution) into the target pockets of excess fat at the start of the liposuction process.

The tumescent solution numbs the area and causes the fat pockets to swell, which allows the liposuction cannula to travel smoothly under the skin during the removal of the fat.

What Is Tumescent Solution Made Of?

This fluid is comprised of lidocaine, sodium bicarbonate and epinephrine added to a saltwater solution. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that prevents pain, and sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the pH of the lidocaine to make its administration more comfortable. The epinephrine increases how long the anesthetic lasts by slowing the rate of lidocaine absorption, and it also constricts the blood vessels and helps blood clot faster to reduce bleeding.

When used at the beginning of a liposuction procedure, tumescent solution greatly minimizes blood loss, reducing the possibility of a need for a blood transfusion.

What Is Super-Wet Liposuction?

Super-wet liposuction is similar to tumescent/wet lipoplasty, but it involves injecting more of the tumescent solution into the treatment area at the start of the procedure. The solution may also have more anesthetic in it.

This liposuction option is ideal if you want to remove a large amount of fat while reducing blood loss. The benefits of super-wet liposuction are similar to those of tumescent liposuction, which include reduced bleeding, bruising and swelling as well as easier fat removal, less post-operative pain and an easier recovery.

What Will Happen During My Liposuction Consultation?

Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Jabor or Dr. Aburto will meet with you during a pre-surgery consultation to discuss your desires for body contouring. Using their knowledge and expertise as plastic surgeons, they will review your liposuction technique options and help you choose the best one(s) for your needs. They will also develop a plan using the latest in computer simulation to show you what you can expect from your surgery.

What to Expect During the Liposuction Procedure in El Paso

Where Is Liposuction Surgery Done?

Suction-assisted lipectomy (liposuction) is performed in an outpatient surgery suite. Our surgical suite meets the highest standards for outpatient facilities, including a clean and sterilized surgical environment and a commitment to patient safety.

What Kind of Anesthesia Is Used for Liposuction?

You have the option of being put under general or local anesthesia for your procedure. If you are having a large amount of fat removed or have multiple treatment areas, general anesthesia may be recommended. Regardless of which type you undergo, the fluid injected with tumescent or super-wet liposuction will also contain local anesthetics for your comfort.

Your surgeon will help you choose the best option based on your needs and the extent of your procedure.

How Long Are the Incisions for Liposuction?

Liposuction incisions are usually just one to three millimeters in length.

How Many Incisions Will I Need?

The size of your liposuction treatment area will determine the number of incisions for your procedure. For example, the abdomen generally requires three incisions, while the love handles typically only need two.

How Is Fat Removed?

A special suction technique is used to remove unwanted fat from the target area. A thin, hollow tube (known as a cannula) is inserted through the incisions. The cannula is attached to a vacuum device that suctions the fat out of the body through the tube.

What to Expect During Liposuction Recovery

After liposuction, your treated area will be wrapped in bandages and a compression garment. The compression garment will aid in healing and reducing swelling, and it should be worn constantly for the first two weeks of recovery and for about half of each day for the next four weeks.

How Painful Is Liposuction Recovery?

Most patients report that their liposuction recovery is not very painful. Your initial recovery may involve mild to moderate pain and soreness, but any pain can be controlled with over-the-counter medication and usually resolves within a few days. If you experience continued discomfort, it is generally very manageable.

When Can I Resume Working After Liposuction?

Most patients return to work within a few days to a week if they have a sedentary job. However, the time you need off will depend on your individual healing rate as well as the physical demands of your job. If your profession requires a lot of walking and moving around, you may want to take two weeks off work. If your job involves strenuous physical activity such as heavy lifting, your plastic surgeon may recommend taking at least four weeks off.

How Soon Can I Exercise After Liposuction?

We encourage patients to go for short, light walks as soon as they feel up to it, as gentle movement like walking can aid in circulation and healing while also reducing the risk of blood clots. This movement is especially important during the first few days of recovery. You can gradually increase your walking pace and the length of your walks over the next week or two.

You can begin moderate exercises two to three weeks after your liposuction procedure. This includes resistance training and targeted muscle strengthening, but you should not target muscles in the treated area at this time. We advise you to gradually resume exercise by starting at lower intensities and durations and then working up from there as you feel comfortable. Listen to your body and don’t push it too hard during the first six weeks of recovery.

After six weeks, if your incisions have healed and most bruising and swelling are gone, your plastic surgeon may clear you to resume all types of exercises.

How Long After Liposuction Can I See Results?

Liposuction patients can generally see their body contouring results within days after the surgery. Your more slender body will be noticeable almost immediately, but your final liposuction results will likely be disguised by bruising and swelling.

It can take one to three months after your procedure to see your full liposuction results.

Does Liposuction Permanently Remove Fat?

Yes, liposuction permanently removes fat cells from your body. This fat will be gone forever, and if you maintain your post-liposuction weight by following a healthy, calorie-conscious diet and regular exercise regimen, new fat cells will not grow in your body.

What Happens if I Gain Weight After Liposuction?

If you gain a relatively small amount of weight, the remaining fat cells in your body may increase in size, but the treated area will still have less fat cells and should maintain more slender contours than if you had not undergone liposuction in that area. With significant weight gain (10 percent or more of your body weight), fat cells will increase in size and new fat cells may also develop. However, these new cells will generally be evenly distributed throughout your body and tend to accumulate more in areas that were not treated with lipoplasty.

FAQs About Liposuction

Am I a candidate for liposuction?

If you have stubborn localized fat that is resistant to diet and exercise, you may be a candidate for liposuction. You should also be in good overall health without any serious medical conditions to undergo this fat reduction surgery. We recommend you be within 30 percent of your goal weight before liposuction, as the procedure may not achieve ideal results if you are significantly overweight or obese.

Can liposuction help me lose weight?

Liposuction is not an alternative to weight reduction, but it can be very effective in removing fat from areas that do not respond to diet and exercise programs. The amount of weight lost with liposuction is generally only a few pounds, so it’s more about contouring the target area of the body rather than losing weight.

Can liposuction get rid of loose skin?

Body contouring procedures are often sought by patients who have recently undergone bariatric surgery and want to reduce the excess skin resulting from profound weight loss. However, liposuction does not directly address loose skin. In fact, if you have poor skin quality in an area that undergoes lipoplasty, your skin may look looser because there is less fat filling it out.

If you would like fat reduction and skin tightening, consider combining your liposuction with a skin removal body contouring procedure like tummy tuck surgery, thigh lift surgery, arm lift surgery or a full body lift.

To learn more, read our blog about tummy tuck vs. liposuction and find out which procedure might be best for you.

Can I undergo facial fat transfer with my liposuction?

Yes, Drs. Reynolds, Jabor and Aburto offer fat transfer to the face for liposuction patients. We tend to lose youthful plumpness in our face as fat is lost from this area, and fat transfer can restore a youthful look to areas of deflation.

Fat transfer uses your own purified fat cells that were removed with liposuction to improve the appearance of facial hollows, fine lines and wrinkles. This procedure provides long-lasting facial rejuvenation results.

Will I have scars after liposuction?

The incisions for liposuction are very small, so the resulting scars will be nearly imperceptible. They will heal and fade drastically over the first six months to a year, and they will continue gradually to fade after that. Your amount of scarring will depend on your genetics and your surgeon’s technique, so it is important to choose an experienced plastic surgeon.

In the rare case you are left with bothersome scars after your procedure, you may be able to undergo a laser scar treatment to reduce their appearance further.

Learn How Liposuction Can Achieve Your More Slender, Attractive Body Today!

Contact Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Centers of El Paso today to schedule your liposuction consultation appointment with Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Jabor or Dr. Aburto. All of our surgeons are board-certified plastic surgeons and members of the prestigious American Society of
Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Aesthetic Society (formerly the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).

Call our West El Paso office at 915-543-5600 or our Eastside office at 915-855-7800. We look forward to helping you achieve your body contouring goals!

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