Tumescent liposuction is the cornerstone of modern liposuction techniques. At our St. Louis practice, it is one of the most popular body-contouring procedures we perform.
Once the tumescence or wetting solution is placed and has had several minutes to take effect, the fat either can be suctioned immediately or treated first by an intermediate step using ultrasonic (ultrasonic-assisted liposuction) or laser (SMARTTM liposuction) energy that liquefies fat and possibly tightens the skin.
When performed on the appropriate candidate, liposuction is a powerful body-contouring procedure. People should always remember that liposuction is not an alternative to diet, exercise or weight-loss surgery. The best candidates for liposuction have discrete areas of excess fatty tissue surrounded by areas of good skin tone.
Power-assisted liposuction or PAL is used to improve the efficiency of liposuction and can be combined with standard tumescent liposuction, VASER LipoSelection, or SMART liposuction. It utilizes a rapidly oscillating handpiece that serves to rapidly move the liposuction cannula through the fatty tissue. The end result is that the surgeon can concentrate on the task at hand – fat removal.
Click here to view a video on liposuction.
Tumescent liposuction, Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction and SMARTTM liposuction are excellent complementary pieces that can be combined with several other cosmetic procedures. These include:
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Frequently, patients wishing to improve the contour of their abdomen debate between an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck and liposuction. Some individuals can be candidates for either procedure depending on their goals. An abdominoplasty is best for people with loose skin and lack of abdominal muscle tone who have undergone significant weight loss or for women who are dissatisfied with their shape after having had children and are looking for a so-called “mommy makeover.” For these people, the abdominoplasty can be an ideal procedure for contouring the abdomen and is complemented by liposuction of the sides, bra strap roll region and the thighs.
Short-scar facelift surgery. These procedures can be performed with the patient awake in the office or under general anesthesia and are designed to rejuvenate loose tissues in the lower two thirds of the face from the jawline to the upper cheek. Combined with SMART liposuction of the neck, these procedures can effectively rejuvenate the neck and face without the patient undergoing a standard facelift.
Fat grafting. The fat that is removed from liposuction can be reinjected to replace lost volume in the face including the lower cheekbone area, the folds between the cheeks and the upper lips, and between the jowl and the chin. The fat can also be used to correct other depressions or divots from previous surgery or injury.
Buttock augmentation with fat grafting. Fat removed during liposuction can be reinjected into the buttock area to provide more projection and volume for individuals who are dissatisfied with their current buttock shape and size.
Anesthesia: Liposuction can be performed with the patient under local anesthesia in the office or under general anesthesia in the operating room.
Length of procedure: 1 to 5 hours, depending on the location and volume of fat to be removed.
Estimated recovery time: You can return to work after 2 to 14 days depending on the volume removed, and should avoid vigorous activities for 1 to 3 weeks. Visible bruising or swelling should clear up within 7 to 10 days. To learn how to prepare for tumescent liposuction and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions for liposuction.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising, swelling, tiny well-hidden scars, and some numbness and itching in the treated areas. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of liposuction.
Before-and-after photos to view photos of liposuction results: Click here
To schedule a consultation on liposuction, contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.