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Are you at or near your goal weight, but feel self-conscious about one or two problem areas that do not respond to diet and exercise? Most people accumulate fat in certain areas of the body, even when they are in good health, work out regularly, and eat right. In some patients, the extra fat builds up under the chin, in others, it settles on the hips. Most commonly, the fat cells remain in the stomach area. The problem area that affects you is largely determined by your genetics, although lifestyle habits may also play a role in the development of fat in specific areas of the body. If you have developed unwanted fat on your face or body, contact the Kennesaw practice of Drs. Marcus Crawford and Steven Bailey to learn more about the body contouring options that are available to you.
The goal of liposuction surgery is to remove excess fatty cells and tissues from a targeted area of your body, producing a more slimmed down and contoured appearance. The manner in which the procedure is performed varies based on the liposuction technique that is being used, but treatment typically involves the following steps:
- Anesthesia: Depending on your health, personal preferences, and the amount of fat that is being removed, our surgeons may elect to put you under general or local anesthesia. Patients that go under general anesthesia are unconscious during surgery and are not aware during any part of the surgery. This method of anesthesia is always performed with the assistance of an anesthesiologist to provide the safest care possible. Patients put under local anesthesia will be awake during surgery, but the area that is treated will be numb so that you don't feel any pain. Either method of anesthesia can be used, but the precise method is chosen based on the size of the area to be treated and patient preference.
- Tumescent Injections: Tumescent injections contain a local anesthetic to minimize pain, as well as epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels and minimize bleeding. The tumescent liposuction technique makes it easier to remove fat during the suctioning phase of the procedure. Tumescent injections are used in nearly all variations of liposuction because the technique produces an improved cosmetic result and reduces post-surgical bruising and swelling.
- Creation of the Incisions: Once you have been sufficiently sedated, our surgeons will create tiny, inconspicuous incisions in the treatment area. In order to reduce visible scarring, our surgeons will place the incisions in the most discreet locations possible.
- Suctioning of Fat: Once the incisions have been created, the cannula is inserted into the body and gently maneuvered around the treatment area to vacuum out the excess fat. The cannula is a fat suctioning device that pulls the fatty tissue out of the body. Some cannulas emit ultrasonic energy, vibrations, or light energy from their tips to break up fatty tissue and make it easier to remove. Our surgeons will determine the most appropriate method of liposuction during your consultation based on your body and your desired results.
- Closing of the Incisions: Once the appropriate amount of fat has been removed from the body, our surgeons will close your incisions with sutures to create the most inconspicuous scarring as possible.
Because liposuction itself is not a very large operation, most patients can return to ordinary work activities several days after the procedure is performed. For instance, many patients will choose to have it later in the week so they can return to work after a weekend recovery. Patients that undergo more extensive treatment and have a larger amount of fat removed will need more time to recover. Exercise should be avoided for two to three weeks, and a compression garment should be worn for three to six weeks after surgery. The best results of treatment should be visible in one to two months after swelling has resolved.
Liposuction Side Effects and Risks
Swelling, bruising, and pain are the most common side effects associated with liposuction. The severity of these side effects depends on the extent of your liposuction treatment, and whether you underwent additional treatments such as tummy tuck or breast augmentation. More serious risks associated with liposuction surgery include extreme pain, infection, and bleeding. These symptoms are rare, however, If you experience any of these complications, contact our office immediately. Other potential risks of liposuction include uneven fat removal and skin irregularities; if these problems occur, additional skin tightening or body contouring treatments may be needed.
To schedule your consultation with liposuction surgeons Marcus Crawford or Steven Bailey, contact our practice today.