Liposuction is also known as “lipoplasty”, “suction assisted lipectomy” or “liposculpture”.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove unwanted deposits of fat from specific areas of the body, including the face and neck, arms, trunk, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, and ankles. This is not a substitute for weight reduction, but a method for removing localized deposits of fatty tissue that do not respond to diet or exercise. Liposuction may be performed as a primary procedure for body contouring or may be combined with other surgical techniques such as facelift, abdominoplasty, or thigh lift procedures.
The best candidates for liposuction are individuals of relatively normal weight who have excess fat in specific body areas. Having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final contour after liposuction. Skin that has diminished tone due to stretch marks, weight loss, or natural aging will not reshape itself to the new contours and may require additional surgical techniques to remove and tighten excess skin. Body contour irregularities due to structures other than fat cannot be improved by this technique. Liposuction by itself will not improve areas of dimpled skin known as “cellulite”.
Suction-assisted lipectomy surgery is performed by using a hollow metal surgical instrument known as a cannula that is inserted through small skin incision(s) and is passed back and forth through the area of fatty deposit. The cannula is attached to a vacuum source, which provides the suction needed to remove the fatty tissue.
There are a variety of different techniques used by plastic surgeons for liposuction. Liposuction may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Tumescent liposuction technique involves the infiltration of fluid containing dilute local anesthetic and epinephrine into areas of fatty deposits. This technique can reduce discomfort and post-operative bruising. The tumescent liposuction technique assisted by the Power X machine is the method Dr. Sian uses most frequently.
Support garments are worn (for approx. 4-6 weeks) to control swelling and promote healing. Time needed for the surgery depends on the number of anatomic areas being treated. Recovery time is approximately 1 to 2 weeks.
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck,” is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. This type of surgery can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. This procedure produces a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip.
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are individuals who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large, localized fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved. Individuals who have undergone weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass or LapBand and have lost a significant amount of weight can also benefit from this procedure. This is not a weight loss procedure and individuals with excessive BMI’s (body mass index) should try losing weight through diet and exercise first.
Dr. Sian performs abdominoplasty under general anesthesia and the procedure typically requires 2 to 3 hours. This can be done on an outpatient basis. Dr. Sian usually leaves drains which are removed after a few days. Recovery time is approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
Arm Lift / Brachioplasty
An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the upper arm, from the underarm region to the elbow. The procedure is performed to:
- Reduce excess sagging skin that droops downward
- Tighten and smoothen the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
- Reduce localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
In general, the best candidates for an arm lift include:
- Adults with significant upper arm skin laxity
- Adults of any age whose weight is relatively stable and who are not significantly overweight
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
Brachioplasty is not a surgical treatment for being overweight. Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body-contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight.
There are a variety of different techniques used by plastic surgeons for brachioplasty. Brachioplasty can be combined with other forms of body-contouring surgery, including liposuction, or other elective surgeries.
When performed by itself, brachioplasty is usually an outpatient procedure and surgery time is approximately 2 to 3 hours. The typical recovery time for brachioplasty is 1 to 3 weeks. Drains may be placed during the procedure. The use of support garments post-operatively is recommended to help reshape the arm.