Body Sculpting: The True Tumescent Technique
If you have reasonably dieted and exercised, and there are still stubborn areas of fat that will not go away, liposuction may be a solution. Liposuction surgery is performed to actually remove unwanted, localized deposits of fat cells from the body. The procedure is meant for body contouring, not for treatment of obesity. A small suction tube is inserted through a tiny incision placed in an inconspicuous location on the skin. With a with a low pressure suctioning, fat cells are extracted through this tube. The result is a re-sculpting of bulging areas into more attractive contours. With tumescent liposuction (invented and developed by a dermatologist) large volumes of saline solution, dilute local anesthetic, and tiny amounts of adrenaline are infused into the fatty area being treated to cause swelling. These enable the surgeon to maneuver a small instrument called a cannula superficially under the skin. It is inserted into the fatty tissue through tiny incisions. Your surgeon gently moves it around under your skin, suctioning away the unwanted fatty deposits. Weight and age restrictions have been lifted. Most patients have localized fatty deposits, are within 30 pounds of their "ideal weight," and have been stable at that weight for years. The best candidates for body sculpting are:
- Have relatively elastic skin and are in good health
- Have tried diet, exercise, and, perhaps, weight loss programs
- Have fat deposits disproportionate to the rest of their body
- Have realistic expectations and are only moderately overweight
- Don't expect liposuction to change their lives dramatically
The most frequent areas treated by liposuction in men are the "love handles," breasts, abdomen, and neckline. In women, they include thighs, hips, flanks, buttocks, stomach, knees, lower leg, cheeks, and double chins. Cosmetically speaking, successful liposuction is measured in shape improvement, rather than inches or pounds. The weight removed is not as important as the improvement in your body's contour. Most important is the patient's improved self-image and self-acceptance.
Dimples, ripples, and stretch marks may remain unchanged following liposuction. The changes following liposuction are similar to what you would expect if you could lose an equal amount of localized fat through diet and exercise alone. The use of smaller cannulae allows the fibrous connections between your skin and body to remain. These connections will contract over time. As a result, excessive skin folds are so rare that many patients avoid the necessity for surgical skin removal by having excellent results with liposuction alone. Most patients (after abdominal liposuction) will never need a "tummy tuck."
It seems that after puberty we do not create new fat cells. When you gain weight, you expand the fat cells that you have. Tumescent liposuction permanently removes fat cells to improve your body's contour. Should you gain weight after liposuction, it goes to the fat cells that remain in your body. The localized fatty deposits that existed prior to liposuction can no longer balloon up out of proportion to the surrounding areas. Although many patients do notice an improvement in the appearance of cellulite after the fat cells are removed, liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite.
Who Is The "Ideal Candidate" for Tumescent Liposuction?
The "perfect" candidate does not exist, but the following guidelines describe a patient who is most likely to benefit from (and enjoy the results of) this type of liposuction.
- Ages 18 to 70. (This is not "inclusive," but only a guideline, and depends on many other factors). Many of the most satisfied patients are in their 40's, 50's, and 60's.
- Good skin elasticity, with a reasonably stable weight.
- Within 25 - 30 pounds of her/his "ideal weight."
- A regular exercise program (at least moderate), with reasonable, balanced diet.
- Reasonable expectations for the results of liposuction (50 % - 60% improvement).
- Has not lost over 50 pounds during the last year.
- Someone seeking improvements in her/his body shape, a more "youthful contour," better proportions, improvement of "familial" deposits of fat in certain areas.
- Patients with specific areas which are not "in proportion" to the rest of their body.
- They do not expect liposuction to "change their lives."
- Good general health.
- Patients who have a specific area in which they desire improvement, and can identify that area.
- Those who are willing to understand that more than one surgery may be necessary to safely achieve their goals.
- Those who understand that liposuction is not used for "weight loss" or "removal of cellulite."
- Willingness to follow instructions faithfully.
- Understand and accept that the final results of liposuction take 3 - 6+ months.
Fundamentals of Safe Tumescent, Microcannula Liposuction
If you are "shopping" liposuction surgeons and/or techniques, please be aware that this information is very different than what you may hear from other offices, from your family doctor, from other liposuction surgeons, from your friends who have had liposuction, or what you may read or see on TV. Liposuction can be an extremely safe, comfortable, effective, satisfying procedure for the vast majority of patients who meet the above criteria. Performance of the technique depends upon the following guidelines:
- Patients are awake (but relaxed by oral medications) during surgery.
- Patients are able to drink fluids during surgery, if desired.
- No IV fluids are given.
- No systemic anesthesia is given. Patients are not "put to sleep" in any way. Oral sedation (under the tongue fluid may also be used) creates a "relaxed state."
- Small microcannulas are used in a gentle fashion. (18-12 gauge)
- No more than 5% of body weight (or 3.5-4 liters of fat) is removed during any single surgical "session."
- Entry incisions for cannulas are not sutured, to allow drainage of excess fluid
- Absorbent garments are worn for at least 24 - 72 hours, to absorb fluid drainage, which is significant, but not unpleasant.
- Patients are strongly urged to return to normal activities as quickly as possible
- Patients ambulate (walk around) immediately, and continue to "move around" after surgery. Most patients can (and should) walk several miles the day after surgery.
- Many patients return to work and drive within 48 - 72 hours.
Learn More About Liposuction:
- Body Sculpting - Tumescent Liposuction
- Liposuction vs Tumescent Liposuction
- Contraindications for Liposuction
- Liposuction Surgery & Recovery
- Frequently Asked Questions about Liposuction
- Things to Consider Before Cosmetic Surgery
Information on liposuction in Lansing Michigan. Info on procedure, tumescent liposuction techniques, suction-assisted lipo, super-wet lipo, truths and facts, body sculpting and more.