No matter how much one exercises, sometimes certain areas just will not respond. These “problem” areas tend to include the hips, thighs, abdomen, upper arms, and back. Liposuction is a procedure used to contour and refine areas of the body where localized accumulations of fat exist such as the aforementioned areas.
If you are interested in a liposuction procedure, feel free to contact our office to request a consult with Dr. Brown in either of our San Diego locations.
Liposuction is a procedure where localized fat deposits are removed from the body using a thin tube called a cannula. It is not a weight loss operation, but rather a technique for artful body sculpting. Therefore, it is best performed for patients who are already within close range of their target goal weight and have a stable diet and exercise routine.
Liposuction works by making small incisions in the skin near the localized fat deposits and inserting the cannula. The cannula uses negative pressure to suction fat from the body, removing it once and for all. The result is enhanced contour and an improved silhouette so long as the patient continues to maintain a stable weight.
Liposuction is among the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries in the United States, and it is a safe and effective procedure when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Daniel Brown.
Treatment areas for liposuction can include, but are not limited to:
- Inner and outer thighs
Ideal Liposuction Candidates
The best candidates for liposuction are within 10% of their ideal body weight and are currently at a stable body weight. These patients do however have localized areas of excess fat, often around the arms, stomach, back, buttocks, hips, or thighs, that are not responsive to diet or exercise. Men and women who possess good skin elasticity are great candidates because this allows the skin to regain contour. Candidates should be non-smokers with realistic expectations as to what liposuction can achieve. Liposuction is not a weight loss solution; it is not meant to replace a healthy diet and working out. Patients who are overweight or obese may not be suitable for this treatment. In order to determine candidacy for a liposuction procedure, please request a consultation at our La Jolla, Coronado or Del Mar location. We look forward to speaking with you.
There are various liposuction techniques that can be utilized to deliver optimal results. After a full consultation and examination, Dr. Brown will be able to determine which technique will be best suited for an individual’s case. In some cases, a combination of techniques for different areas may be best to achieve the desired outcome.
Suction Assisted Liposuction
In suction assisted liposuction, the traditional gold-standard method, fat is manually removed using cannulas and negative pressure. The cannula is inserted through small incisions that the doctor specially places to optimally contour the body, keeping an eye for natural proportions.
Power Assisted Liposuction
Power assisted liposuction uses a device that connects to the cannula to give it powerful vibrations. These vibrations help break up the fat cells so they can be more easily suctioned from the body. In turn, this results in a faster procedure and reduced recovery time.
Laser Assisted Liposuction
Laser assisted liposuction, also known as SmartLipo, uses low-wavelength lasers to break down and liquefy the fat before removing it from the body. This makes the fat particularly easy to remove from the body. SmartLipo also promotes collagen growth which aids in skin-tightening, helping the skin contour to its newly slimmed shape. This procedure offers some of the fastest recovery time.
Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction
Ultrasound assisted liposuction, also called Vaser Hi-Def Lipo, uses the energy produced by ultrasound wavelengths to shrink and expand tumescent fluid air bubbles injected prior to suctioning. This process causes the surrounding fat cells to liquefy. Like laser assisted liposuction, liquefied fat makes it easier to remove via the cannulas and reduces recovery time.
It is important to keep in mind that no liposuction technique is “the best” or better than the others. The best technique in any given case ultimately depends on a number of factors, including treatment area, skin elasticity, and individual patient goals.
To begin a liposuction procedure, the patient will be given a local or general anesthetic to make the process more comfortable. Incisions will be made in the predetermined locations to offer the best contouring benefits. The incisions for the cannulas are less than ¼ of an inch in diameter for most cases and will produce minimal to no scarring, which will fade over time. Fat will then be suctioned from the body using the liposuction method decided on during the initial consultation. The entire procedure takes about one to three hours, depending on the specific case.
The specifics of the procedure will be discussed in detail at the time of the consultation. Each patient will receive thorough instructions on what to expect and how to prepare prior to, during, and after the treatment.
After the procedure, Dr. Brown may prescribe medication to help ease discomfort during recovery. During recovery time, we ask that patients refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, or taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These may prolong side effects such as bruising and swelling, which should shortly go away on their own if all recovery instructions are followed.
Patients will be sent home with a compression garment, which is to be worn at all times except for in the shower for six weeks. This will help the body settle into its final contoured form. Most patients can return to work in three to five days and resume light exercise and activities in ten to fourteen days. However, strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least three to four weeks.
For a patient’s comfort and convenience, professional home nursing care can be arranged upon request. Dr. Brown and his staff will advise patients on their future health needs and concerns prior to their release and will gladly assist and answer any questions that may arise at any time.
Results and Maintenance
After undergoing a liposuction procedure, results will be immediately noticeable. Results will continue to improve as swelling goes down and the body settles into it’s more defined shape while using the compression garments. Most patients report that their clothes fit better and they feel noticeably more confident.
It will still be possible to gain weight in areas that were not treated. Therefore, it is important that patients maintain their workout and diet routines.
In some cases, Dr. Brown may suggest combining liposuction with another procedure in order to yield the best results. Some common ancillary procedures include:
Since liposuction will not work to remove excess skin, procedures like a tummy tuck may be necessary for ideal results. A tummy tuck is particularly effective for women who have recently given birth, since the skin is often so stretched that it is not possible to get back to pre-baby form. During this procedure, the abdominal muscles are also tightened to give the appearance of a firmer and more toned stomach.
Fat transfer is a procedure where the liposuctioned fat is inserted into another part of the body the patient wants augmented. Popular areas include the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift), breasts, hands, or lips.
A very popular surgery offered by Dr. Brown at both San Diego locations is the Mommy Makeover. The Mommy Makeover combines body and breast procedures, including breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction, a tummy tuck, and/or liposuction. The goal of this surgery is to reverse pregnancy-induced body changes that are not responsive to diet and exercise.
Consultation and Cost
During the consultation, Dr. Brown will meet with patients personally. The consultation will begin with the patient voicing their areas of concern and what they would like to achieve from a liposuction treatment.
Dr. Brown will ask about the patient’s medical history, including any medications or supplements that they currently take and previous procedures they have undergone. Then, Dr. Brown will perform an examination that will aid in determining candidacy for liposuction and the best liposuction technique for the patient’s needs.
Once the examination is complete, Dr. Brown will work with the patient in order to develop a comprehensive plan for treatment. In some instances, Dr. Brown may suggest complementary procedures to help reach the patient’s ultimate goals for their bodies and enhance the patient’s ultimate satisfaction. Price will also be addressed at this time.
The price of liposuction treatment will vary since there are many factors to take into consideration including the number of treatment areas, liposuction technique, anesthesia, complementary procedures, etc. After a treatment plan has been developed, Dr. Brown and his staff will be able to give you the estimated cost of the procedure.
Feel free to contact us to request a liposuction consultation at our La Jolla, Coronado, or Del Mar location and take the first step to a more sculpted you.