Santa Ana, Orange County, Riverside County
Liposuction, also known as liposculpture, is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Many of my Orange County patients request liposuction as a separate or combined procedure.
Liposuction literally means sucking out the fat and, in fact, this is what is done. Small stab incisions are made close to the area being treated, and a solution containing numbing medication and a vasoconstrictor is injected in the area. The purpose of the vasoconstrictor is to constrict the blood vessels and thus result in less bleeding and bruising. After several minutes, the fat is suctioned out with a special cannula. The cannula is blunt at the end and has 2-3 holes just proximal to its end. The cannula is attached, via special tubing, to a suction machine. As the cannula is moved back and forth, the fat is aspirated. It is by feel of the hand and experience which allows the surgeon to contour the area appropriately.
There are several liposuction techniques available. Ultrasonic liposuction uses a special cannula without holes which uses ultrasonic vibration to “melt” the fat. The fat still needs to be aspirated with traditional cannulas and technique. Laser assisted liposuction, also known as Smart Lipo, involves using a laser to promote tightening of the area underneath the skin and thus, theoretically, promote faster healing and less bruising. Again, traditional liposuction cannula and technique is required to aspirate the fat. Which technique is better? I always tell my patients to look at before and after photos of surgeons using each technique. It is ultimately the experience and artistic eye of the surgeon which determines the final result. A poorly focused, poorly exposed photo of an uninteresting object is not going to look any better if taken with an $8000 top of the line digital camera than a $200 basic camera. In other words, it is not the camera which takes a great picture, it is the photographer.
The good news with liposuction is that approximately 85% of fat cells are removed from the area treated. However, if one is not careful with their weight, other areas of the body, and eventually the area treated, will gain the volume of fat back.
Ideal patients for liposuction are at or near ideal body weight, with areas of fat deposits which are genetically resistant to diet and exercise. In women, these areas are typically the inner and outer thighs. In men, the love handles are the usual culprit. However, liposuction can safely be done in other areas as well. Other common areas include the abdomen, back, neck, and arms.
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 10 years of experience. His office is located in central Orange County. If you like to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 714-834-0101.