Among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, liposuction (also known as "suction lipectomy") sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat from areas around the abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, knees, buttocks, neck, and arms, depending on the patient’s desires. Liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise, but the procedure can eliminate areas of fatty fullness that are unresponsive to typical weight-loss methods. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), power-assisted liposuction (PAL), tumescent technique and the super-wet technique are among the various techniques used to provide precise results in liposuction surgery.
We recognize that all patients are different. Dr. Kunkel takes as much time as necessary during your consultation to learn what each you want to achieve with liposuction. By listening to your desires and discussing what is (and what is not) possible with liposuction, Dr. Kunkel formulates a treatment plan with your unique attributes and goals in mind.
The liposuction procedure begins with the injection of a solution composed of saline (salt water), a local anesthetic called lidocaine, and a small amount of adrenaline (epinephrine) to decrease bruising and bleeding. This is known as either the tumescent or super-wet technique, depending on the ratio of the fluid to the fatty tissue being removed.
Once the solution has been introduced into the area planned for liposuction treatment, Dr. Kunkel proceeds using either “traditional” suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL), power-assisted lipectomy (PAL), or ultrasound-assisted lipectomy (UAL). The exact technique used is discussed and decided upon during your preoperative visits.
Tiny incisions are made and a small suctioning instrument (a "cannula") is inserted and moved back and forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. In UAL, ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out with a cannula.
Dr. Kunkel typically performs liposuction in a surgery center with the patient under general anesthesia. The procedure may last from one to three hours, depending on the amount of fat being removed and the number of areas being treated.
Most patients wear compression garments for at least 3 weeks after liposuction. Patients are encouraged to walk and move around quite a bit on the same day, and many return to work within a few days. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
Results of Liposuction
Some of the results are visible immediately, and improvement often continues as swelling subsides during the first three months.
Risks of Liposuction
As with any surgery there are some risks. While uncommonly encountered, these include:
- Asymmetry of the results
- Irregular contours
- Numbness of the skin
- Pigmentation changes of the skin
- Delay in healing
- Fat clots or blood clots
- Fluid accumulation under the skin
- Perforation injury
- Lidocaine toxicity
If you would like more information about Liposuction or to schedule an appointment, feel free to fill out our convenient contact form or call us directly at (817) 335-5200.