If you're committed to a beautiful, healthy body... but your body is not cooperating, liposuction may be the solution you need. Small, stubborn pockets of fat around your hips, thighs, midsection, back and arms that do not respond to diet and exercise are genetically determined and may require mechanical removal.
The fastest, most dramatic way to permanently eliminate stubborn fat and sculpt your body to a more desirable shape is the gold-standard of fat removal: liposuction.
One important caveat: Liposuction is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight- loss procedure. If you are overweight, you will need to get as close to your ideal weight as possible before considering liposuction.
Liposuction: Easier Than Ever
Liposuction has come a long way from its early days, when large-gauge cannulas (i.e., metal tubes) were used to suction away large volumes of fat. The process could be quite traumatic and the results were often uneven.
The most recent iteration of liposuction is called tumescent liposuction. It is easier to tolerate and gives more uniform and finely sculpted results.
In the hands of a real artist, such as Julio Garcia, MD, a Las Vegas plastic surgeon in Henderson, NV, who holds a double degree in art history, tumescent liposuction not only removes fat but can create more flattering, feminine curves and/or finely etched musculature, such as “six-pack abs.”
Why Is Tumescent Liposuction Better?
“Tumescent” means to swell. In tumescent liposuction, a special saline solution is injected first into the fatty area. The solution is usually composed of lactated Ringer's Solution, lidocaine to numb the treatment area, adrenalin (also known as epinephrine) to control bleeding, and sodium bicarbonate. The lidocaine is so effective at controlling pain and discomfort that, in most cases, no other form of anesthesia is needed. Injecting the fatty bulges with this special solution also helps to break up the fat, so that it can be more easily vacuumed out of the body through the cannulas.
By obviating the need for general anesthesia, tumescent liposuction also speeds recovery time.
Smaller Cannulas = Better Results
Early liposuction cannulas could range up to 1 cm in diameter. These larger tubes sometimes caused nerve damage and the development of hematomas. The large gauge also meant that it was difficult to do anything more than simply remove the fat.
The cannulas that Dr. Garcia uses for tumescent liposuction start at a diameter of less than 0.6 mm. While larger cannulas are sometimes used to remove great volumes of fat, most of the tumescent liposculpture cannulas Dr. Garcia uses are small gauge, which means that he has a great deal of control of how much fat he is removing from any particular area. It's very much like the difference between a large paint brush and a small one; a larger brush can be used to cover greater areas, but the small brushes are essential for fine details.
Ultrasound Liposuction Gives More Finessed Results
One of the most exciting developments in tumescent liposuction has been the introduction of combination therapy. When appropriate, Dr. Garcia uses ultrasound energy to help break up the fat after the injection of the tumescent fluid. During this procedure, which is also referred to as ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty or UAL, the ultrasound liquifies the fat, so that it is more easily removed using the smallest gauge cannulas. This allows even greater detailing for maximum results.
Are You Ready for Liposuction?
Even with the advances of numbing fluids, ultrasound energy and small-gauge cannulas, liposuction is still a surgical operation that requires that you be in good health. You will also be bruised and sore after your procedure, and will need about two weeks to recover before you can begin to return to normal activities.
When you are trying to decide whether tumescent liposuction is right for you, there are many factors to consider. First, and most important, is whether you are a good candidate. Ask yourself:
- Am I at or near my ideal weight?
- Do I have pockets of fat that haven't responded to regular weight-loss techniques, such as a healthy diet and exercise?
- Do I have good-quality, elastic skin?
- Do I understand and accept the risks of undergoing liposculpture, including the risks of clotting, infection and skin injury?
If you answered “yes” to all three questions, then you can now consider lifestyle issues that may sway your decision one way or another:
- Am I able to miss at least two days of work and other daily responsibilities?
- Do I have someone who can help me take care of me, my children and/or my pets (if applicable) while I recover?
- Can I put most normal activities on hold for two weeks while I recover?
- Am I committed to a healthy diet and exercise regimen so that I can maintain my benefits?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions as well, you are probably a good candidate for liposuction or UAL.
Have Your Figure Evaluated … and Reshaped
During your consultation with Dr. Garcia, you will discuss the fatty bulges you would like to eliminate and whether tumescent liposuction is the right procedure for you. You should bring photographs of your ideal shape – whether that is the figure you used to have at a younger age, or an ideal epitomized by a celebrity.
Dr. Garcia will evaluate your figure both surgically and artistically, looking at your unique shape and determining where the areas of imbalance are. He will take measurements and discuss with you what kinds of improvements he can make with liposuction.
During your consultation, Dr. Garcia will encourage you to ask as many questions as possible. It is imperative to a good outcome that you understand exactly what liposuction entails, what the risks are, what the benefits are, how close you can come to your ideal, and how you can both optimize and maintain your good results.
Your New Life With Your New Shape
Once you've committed to tumescent liposuction in Henderson, you can expect not only physical improvements, but emotional ones as well. Your new shape will help you feel and look younger and fitter. The reflection you see in the mirror can act as an incentive to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen so that you can keep your figure looking youthful for decades to come. There is also something psychologically empowering about taking charge of something that had once seemed outside of your control. You don't have to be frustrated by a body that doesn't reflect the youth and energy you feel; liposuction can get you back to your best shape possible... and help you stay there.