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Liposuction Information from Dr. Hall

Article courtesy of Gary D. Hall, M.D.
June 25, 2010
Liposuction is most commonly recommended for men and women of normal weight whom simply want to improve their body contour. The procedure can produce excellent results for people who have deposits of excess fat that make certain body areas appear disproportionately large. Liposuction can be used to slim the abdomen, hips, legs, face and neck. Although liposuction is not a treatment for obesity, it can permanently alter body proportion and is sometimes the only way to eliminate fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise. People of almost any age may undergo liposuction; however, patients with good skin elasticity will achieve the smoothest contour after fat is removed.

The Consultation

A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering liposuction. During this meeting, I will assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific cosmetic goals for the procedure. You will be asked to point out the exact areas where you would like to see improvement. The elasticity of your skin and the thickness of the underlying layer of fat in these areas will be accessed. If you are felt to be a good candidate for the procedure, the procedure and risks will be explained to you thoroughly and all of your questions answered.

The Procedure

To perform liposuction, one or more small incisions are made near the area to be suctioned. I always try to place incisions within the natural folds or contour lines of the skin so that they are inconspicuous. I then place a slim, hollow tube called a cannula through the incision so that its tip penetrates the underlying fat. The cannula is connected by flexible tubing to a suction pump and is moved back and forth through the fat, which is then vacuumed into the tube. There are several variations of the technique that can be used. The technique that best meets your needs depends on a number of individual factors that I will discuss with you. I usually use a variation of the tumescent technique that uses infiltration of medications prior to the liposuction to decrease discomfort and bruising.

The Results

Soon after surgery you will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body. Improvement will become even more apparent after a couple of months, when fluid retention and swelling has subsided. For most patients, the final result is evident after about three to six months. After your liposuction surgery, you will notice that clothes fit better and you feel more confident about your appearance. As long as you maintain your postoperative weight, your slimmer contour will be permanent. Many patients who gain a few pounds after surgery find that the weight distributes itself more evenly and does not bulge in the same "problem areas" once you have had them suctioned.



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