What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure which removes areas with excess fat to help slim and reshape areas of your body. This is done through multiple small incisions using cannulas and suction.
Liposuction can also be used as a first stage for certain procedures. For example, if aggressive liposuction is needed in an area of the body, it is safer to do the liposuction first in one procedure and removal of excess skin in a separate second procedure.
Am I a Good Candidate?
The best candidates for liposuction are patients who are healthy and within 30% of their ideal weight who have deposits of fat that won’t go away despite proper diet and exercise. Patients should be healthy and non-smokers. Smoking can significantly affect healing after surgery. Liposuction is not a weight loss surgery and the results are not as drastic as with some of the other surgical procedures but it can help with problem areas. When the fat is removed, the surrounding skin will shrink down, but it may not in patients with damaged and loose skin (such as skin with a lot of stretch marks). In these cases, removal of the excess skin is recommended. Liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite. During your consultation, we will discuss if you would benefit from liposuction and/or another procedure.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia depending on multiple factors including the areas and amounts of liposuction to perform. Liposuction is performed through multiple small incisions which are at the most 5 millimeters in length. A dilute local anesthetic solution is placed in the areas to be treated prior to starting the fat removal process. Cannulas are used to dislodge the fat and power-assisted liposuction is used to remove the fat which is then discarded. Immediately after the procedure, you will be placed in compression garments. It is common to have some swelling, bruising, and retention of fluid right after surgery. It may take months for the swelling to go down and to see the full results of the surgery.
Limitation, Risks, and Complications
The risks of liposuction are reactions to anesthesia, bruising, changes in skin sensation, damage to surrounding structures, clots, irregular contours, asymmetry, persistent swelling, rippling or loose skin, worsening of cellulite, and need for revision.
What to Expect During Your Consultation Visit
During your initial consultation with your surgeon at Hill Country Plastic Surgery, we will discuss your concerns and goals before recommending treatment options that are tailored specifically to your needs. Prior to your consultation, we recommend that you review the procedures on our website so you are familiar with the terms we will be using during our discussion.
Once we identify your concerns and surgical goals, we will discuss all of the treatment options that are available to you. Every patient is unique and we will develop a tailored surgical plan that addresses your specific goals. In addition, we will thoroughly review your medical history, surgical history, medications, allergies, family medical history, and other important details. It is very important that we obtain accurate information in all of these areas as it may impact the outcome of your surgery.
While discussing different treatment options, we will perform a physical exam and take measurements that are necessary for planning for your surgery. Pre-operative (before surgery) photos will be taken either at your initial consultation, or during your pre-operative visit.
After your consultation, you will receive access to your notes on the patient portal in addition to information about your specific surgery. If you have not activated your patient portal, this can be done at your appointment by asking any of our staff to assist you. If you have questions after your appointment, you can contact our office or message us through the patient portal. Some patients will require medical clearance from their primary care physician or a specialist or additional tests before undergoing surgery.
Once you have determined that you would like to have surgery and have completed any clearances and tests that were requested, contact our office at (210) 658-3555 to schedule a pre-operative appointment with one of our surgeons.
Where is the procedure done?
The procedure is done either in an accredited surgical center or in a hospital. For longer procedures, it may be recommended that you stay overnight in the facility for monitoring by a nurse.
What do I have to wear after surgery?
You will wear compression garments after surgery. You will be measured for the garments prior to your surgery so you have them available. As the swelling goes down and your new figure is revealed, you may need a newer, smaller garment. The garment is usually worn for at least 6 weeks, but it can be worn longer if needed.
Are my results permanent?
Most of the results are permanent if you maintain stable weight and fitness.
I have saggy skin. Will liposuction help?
Liposuction removes excess fat but does not treat the skin. sSkin will not be removed. If you have hanging skin, liposuction may make it worse. It is possible to do liposuction to improve the contour of the area and then remove the skin in the same or in a separate procedure.
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
You can start light exercise two weeks after surgery when most of the swelling and bruising has gone away. You can return to all activities without restrictions 6 weeks after surgery.
How much does liposuction cost?
The cost of liposuction depends on the number of areas to be treated, how much is to be removed, and the facility. You will get a quote on how much the procedure will cost after consultation with your surgeon.
Will my insurance cover liposuction?
Insurance does not cover cosmetic liposuction.