It can be very frustrating – you exercise regularly, you do your best to eat healthy, and you just can’t seem to get rid of those areas of excess fat, the ones that clothing only seems to highlight instead of disguise. Well, it’s time to end the negative self-talk once and for all (or at least about this!), because liposuction can help you achieve your contouring goals. You may finally be able to say goodbye to your “love handles”, “saddlebags”, “muffin tops”, “thunder thighs”, and all of those other fatty areas that drive you crazy!
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure which can precisely target and permanently remove pockets of excess fat around your chin, chest, arms, abdomen, flanks (sides), hips, thighs, and knees, as well as other areas of the body. Dr. Moya can also use liposuction to enhance various body contouring procedures (arms lifts, tummy tucks, lower body lifts, thigh lifts), providing an even slimmer figure and more evenly-contoured shape. Liposuction may also be performed on the chest for men with gynecomastia (excess breast tissue).
Is liposuction right for me?
If you are looking to refine and rejuvenate your contours, then liposuction may be a good fit for you. It is not intended to be a weight loss procedure, and is most effective if you are at or near your target weight (generally within 15% or 25 pounds of it) but have areas that simply don’t respond to diet or exercise. Having good skin elasticity will also help provide the best results (so that your skin can shrink and conform to your new contours).
How is liposuction performed?
Liposuction may be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the areas treated and whether or not it is to be combined with another surgical procedure, and may take from one to three hours to complete. Small incisions, usually less than 5mm, will be made in the areas from which fat is to be removed. Dr. Moya will then insert a thin vacuum tube (cannula), liquefy and remove the excess fat, and close your incisions.
What is SAFELipo®?
Although Dr. Moya is well-trained in a variety of liposuction techniques, he prefers to use SAFELipo® in the majority of his procedures. SAFELipo® utilizes a specially-designed vacuum tube (cannula) which can be combined with power-assisted liposuction (PAL) technology. Because the fat is “liquified” prior to removal, it can be removed quickly and gently through a smaller-tipped device (which also translates to smaller incisions). In addition, unlike laser and ultrasonic liposuction devices which generate heat that can damage tissues, SAFELipo® does not produce any heat. The combination of a smaller-tipped cannula with the lack of heat generation means that SAFELipo® is much less likely to damage skin, blood vessels, and nerves in the area. Once the excess fat has been removed, the remaining fat below the skin (it is necessary to keep some) is then equalized, resulting in a silky smooth appearance and avoiding a wavy, lumpy, or unnatural appearance which can occur with other forms of liposuction techniques. Also, because damage to blood vessels is minimized, there is less bruising and an easier recovery.
Recovery after liposuction
The areas treated with liposuction will be wrapped in order to help minimize swelling, bruising, and pain. You will need to wear compression garments or elastic bandages for 3 weeks in order to encourage your skin to conform to its new contours.
Any discomfort you experience (with liposuction alone) is usually minor and can be treated easily with pain medication (usually just over the counter). You will be able to return to normal daily activities within a couple of days, but you will need to restrict any strenuous activities, including any heavy lifting or exercise, for at least 3 weeks.
Your recovery time will depend on the areas and extent of liposuction, as well as any additional procedures performed, and will vary for each patient. Dr. Moya will discuss your specific recovery process with you.
In most cases, you will be able to see your results immediately after surgery. As swelling subsides, you will continue to see improvement, with final results usually achieved within 3-6 months. In addition, although your skin may seem a little loose immediately after surgery, it will continue to tighten for up to a year, depending on your skin’s elasticity as well as other factors.
Liposuction can help you to look better, making you feel more comfortable and confident. An added benefit is that now that your “trouble zones” are significantly improved, you may feel more inspired to wear clothing you had shied away from in the past, and may then feel more free to participate in activities and exercises you had previously avoided – so your overall health may improve as well! In order to maintain your shapely new figure, however, you will need to adhere to a proper diet and exercise regimen, since while excess fat removed from the treated areas is permanent, any remaining fat in those areas can expand and grow if you do not maintain your weight.