Do you have specific areas or pockets of fat that you wish you could get rid of but have been unsuccessful with diet and exercise? Our Miami, FL board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso, performs liposuction surgery to treat your areas of excess fat on your stomach, buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, breasts, back, arms, and neck. Most liposuction procedures involve making a small skin puncture, and then utilizing various modalities to loosen the fat prior to suctioning it out through a small hollow tube, or cannula.
While liposuction can improve the look of cellulite in some cases, there is no guarantee that it will smooth out, or remove the dimpled appearance in the skin. Liposuction surgery can be performed alone or in conjunction with an open procedure to contour the overlying skin. Men and women alike describe liposuction as "liposculpture," because this process of fat reduction creates a slimmer, more ideal shape and body contour in the area of need. We appreciate your interest, and would like for you to call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. LaGrasso.
While every patient, who comes to our office for a consultation will be individually assessed to determine if they are healthy enough to undergo surgery, there are some conditions that could indicate that liposuction is the right choice:
- You have areas of fat deposits that are out of proportion with the rest of your body, and do not go away with diet and exercise
- Your skin elasticity is good, but there is not a lot of excess skin and the area is firm (liposuction removes fat, not skin)
- You wish there was more definition in certain areas of your body, or want a sleeker contour
Oftentimes, if there is too much loose skin around the stomach area due to weight loss or pregnancy. Dr. LaGrasso may suggest a tummy tuck instead of liposuction. A tummy, tuck or abdominoplasty, can tighten loose skin and muscle, while removing excess fat that is sagging or protruding from your mid-section.
Another surgical technique commonly used is the ultrasound-assisted (UAL), or ultrasonic, approach. Plastic surgeons perform this dual process on denser areas of fat, such as in the thighs and stomach. During this technique, ultrasound waves loosen and melt fat into a liquid. Surgeons then use the cannula to extract the solution. This surgical method is more popular among men wanting more defined and contoured muscles.
A variation of this technique is the VASER® Lipo, which is an ultrasonic cannula with several grooves to more evenly disperse the energy improving fat disruption and removal. When used correctly, it can minimize the risk of injury to the skin, or other structures, and tends to target fat cells preferentially.
Tumescent liposuction, known as the “Super-Wet” approach, is a suction-assisted (SAL) technique that uses a solution and power-aided motor to help remove stubborn fat. The surgeon injects the solution, made of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine (to control bleeding), into the problem areas. The surgeon then inserts the cannula attached to the motor to remove fat cells from the body at a controlled speed. The motor helps surgeons remove anywhere from several ounces to a few pounds of fat.
Laser-assisted liposuction uses laser technology on specified areas of fat to burst energy that will loosen and liquefy the fat for removal. LAL liposuction includes brands such as SmartLipo™, SlimLipo™, Lipolite™ Laser Liposculpture, and ProLipo PLUS™.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia at a hospital or surgery center. The procedure lasts about 30 minutes for each body part. It can be a stand-alone surgery, or combined with other procedures. However, the surgeon may suggest performing the surgery over a period of time for the safety of the patient. After surgery, patients are required to wear a compression garment to help the body adjust to its new shape. Bruising and swelling will subside within 1 week, but patients will not see final results for several months. Liposuction does leave a small scar, but it fades over time.
Plan Your Procedure
- Procedure Recovery Location
Is it Safe?
While today’s surgical techniques are safe, patients can experience poor results from inexperienced surgeons. It is important for patients to do their research, and find an experienced surgeon that can help them achieve the best, most natural-looking results.
The results of liposuction can be seen for many years following surgery if the patient follows a healthy diet and exercise program. Removed fat cells do not come back, but patients can still gain weight if their remaining fat cells grow.
Too Much Fat?
Yes, there can be too much fat. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not recommend removing more than 10 pounds of fat for the safety of the patient. Removing more than 10 pounds is considered high-volume liposuction, which increases the chances of complications from the surgery. Patients are advised to be near or at their ideal weight before undergoing liposuction.
While liposuction removes fat and improves contour and shape, it does not address sagging or drooping skin. If skin laxity is a concern, patients can talk to the surgeon during the consultation to discuss their options for improving skin texture, such as a tummy tuck, thigh, neck, arm or butt lift.