What is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also called lipoplasty, removes localized collections of fatty tissue to give you a smoother and slimmer body contour. For the best results, you should be a relatively normal weight with extra fat localized in specific areas such as the hips, buttocks and abdomen. Liposuction is also effective in removing fat deposits from the back, legs, ankles, arms, face, and neck. This procedure is not a weight loss operation, but a body contouring procedure.
Who is a Candidate for Liposuction?
The following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate to have liposuction by top Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Barrera:
- Areas of fat deposits that are out of proportion with the rest of your body and do not go away with diet and exercise – so called “diet resistant fat”
- Areas with minimal amounts of excess skin (Liposuction removes fat not skin) and good skin elasticity
Liposuction surgery may be considered to treat areas of excess fat in the stomach, buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, breasts (including male breast enlargement), back, arms and neck. In addition, Lipo is equally effective in both men and women.
Am I a Candidate for Liposuction?
Patients who are within approximately 30 percent of their ideal body weight are ideal candidates for liposuction. They should also follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Furthermore, they should also have realistic expectations about what liposuction will and will not accomplish.
Your Personal Consultation with Dr. Barrera in Houston
During the initial consultation for Liposuction at our office in Houston, you may be asked to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. Pictures may be taken of you especially if the areas that will be treated are on your posterior aspect (back, buttock, etc.). This will help Dr. Barrera to understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved. A determination of the elasticity of the skin will also occur.
A discussion concerning your ideal weight and realistic weight will most likely occur. Plans such as future pregnancies, etc. may be discussed.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history including previous surgeries, past and present medical conditions, allergies and current medications. It is important for you to provide complete information. High blood pressure, thyroid problems, diabetes, etc. should be reviewed as these medical conditions may increase some risks associated with surgery.
How Does Dr. Barrera Perform Liposuction?
The basic technique of liposuction involves the removal of fat via a hollow metal tube (cannula) that is passed through the fatty tissue. One of the most common types of liposuction involves the aspiration of fat by attaching a pump that generates a vacuum. This is known as suction-assisted liposuction (SAL). In addition, a motor may be used on the cannula that causes the cannula to vacillate back and forth thus performing much of the “work” of liposuction know as power-assisted liposuction (PAL). An ultrasonic generator may produce sound waves above an audible frequency that “breaks” the fat cells and the broken down fat is removed by SAL. A laser can also be employed to break down the fat cells. Each of the methods has advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Barrera will discuss these methods with you at the time of your consultation. Additionally, the above techniques may be combined to yield optimal results. The decisions concerning the appropriate technique will best be accomplished by your plastic surgeon.
Before & After Liposuction
Liposuction Combined with Tummy Tuck
While liposuction is a procedure that removes excess fat, it cannot tighten skin or underlying muscles. In the cases that patients want to accomplish both, Dr. Barrera can combine liposuction with a tummy tuck. To start surgery, Dr. Barrera will remove all of the excess fat in the area. Then, he will move on to the tummy tuck portion of the procedure. This involves removing excess skin and tightening abdomen muscles. This combination allows patients to benefit from both procedures while reducing the recovery time they would experience had the surgeries been done separately.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Thank you so much for taking such wonderful care of me. I appreciate all your time & effort. You are the best.”
– Kati P.
“Thank you all for the quality of service you give to your patients. You were wonderful!”
– Maria H.
Where Is Liposuction Performed?
Dr. Barrera performs all aesthetic surgery procedures including liposuction and body contouring at his Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Facility (AAAASF).
What Are the Different Types of Liposuction?
There are several different liposuction techniques that can help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
- Ultrasound-assisted: Ultrasound-assisted liposuction is sometimes used in conjunction with traditional liposuction. During ultrasound-assisted lipo, a small metal rod is inserted into the treatment area. This rod produces energy, which helps to break down stubborn fat cells.
- Suction-assisted: Suction-assisted lipo is the most commonly used technique. It involves an injection of tumescent fluid (a combination of water and salt). A small tube is then inserted under the skin, which is attached to a vacuum. The fat is then extracted via suction through the tube.
- Laser-assisted: Laser-assisted lipo utilizes a laser through the tube to help break down fat cells. Laser lipo is also effective in body contouring procedures, which is often not possible with traditional liposuction.
Does Liposuction Require Anesthesia?
Liposuction is performed under intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, without the need for general anesthesia. This means that patients will not experience pain during the procedure and minimal pain afterward. This method of sedation provides added safety and faster recovery.
Is Liposuction a Safe Procedure?
When performed by a board-certified medical professional, liposuction is very safe. However, since it is an invasive procedure, there are possible risks to having liposuction performed. Some of the most common risks associated with liposuction include:
- Fluid buildup.
- Asymmetry in contours.
- Fat embolism.
- Allergic reactions.
How Long Until I See Results from Liposuction?
Liposuction surgery usually improves contours. In some instances it may be used in a circumferential fashion, thinning an area. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several months to get an accurate picture of the results of your surgery.
Will I Have Scars After Liposuction Surgery?
The small incisions used for access of the instrument known as a cannula will fade over a number of months usually becoming barely visible.
How Long Do Liposuction Results Last?
The results of liposuction surgery are usually long-lasting, but they may be affected by weight gain, aging, pregnancy and lifestyle factors.