There is no such thing as spot training. This means that certain patients may be more prone to storing stubborn pockets of fat in certain areas of their bodies. These areas commonly include the hips, thighs, and stomach in women, and the stomach, “love handles,” and chest areas in men. For these problematic areas, liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, can remove the excess fat and smooth the skin.

How the Procedure Works

An anesthetic is applied to the patient’s problem area when they show up for their liposuction procedure. This anesthetic can either be administered through local anesthesia, by intravenous sedation, or by general anesthesia. The patient will consult with their doctor beforehand to determine which option will work best for their purposes.

The patient will then receive a diluted local anesthesia, which works to reduce the instances of bleeding and other traumas. The surgeon creates tiny, inconspicuous incisions in the areas where the fat is to be removed. Afterward, thin, hollow tubes, called cannulas, are inserted into the incisions. Using a controlled back and forth motion, the surgeon loosens the excess fat deposits. The fat is then suctioned out of the body using a device attached to the end of the cannula—usually either a pump, a surgical vacuum, or a syringe.

How long the procedure lasts and where on the body the procedure will be performed changes depending on the amount of fat being removed.

Who Are Good Candidates For Liposuction?

The ideal candidate for this procedure will have sufficient skin elasticity that can reach the smoothest contours after the excess fat has been removed. Because liposuction is not meant to treat obesity, the procedure is designed for those patients who already have a healthy diet and regular exercise routine in place.

Liposuction is used to eliminate problematic fat that does not respond to diet, exercise, or other traditional weight loss methods. Liposuction also does not treat cellulite issues.

Other qualities for liposuction candidates include those who are at least within 30 percent of their ideal weight, those who have healthy muscle tone, those who do not have life-threatening diseases or other serious medical conditions, and those with a positive outlook and reasonable expectations on their results. Candidates should also be non-smokers as smoking can lead to severe bleeding during any surgical procedure.

Patients at any age can undergo a liposuction procedure, preferably those 18 years or older. As patients age, they may have less skin elasticity than their younger counterparts. This can cause the results to differ from those of younger patients with tighter skin.

Consultation Information

If you’re thinking about undergoing a liposuction procedure, the first step to take is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heil at Premier Plastic Surgery. During this consultation, you’ll discuss what goals you have for the surgery, which options you have, the costs involved, and the risks and benefits of the surgery. Dr. Heil will also ask you about allergies you may have, what medications you take, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, and if you take any herbal supplements. This information will allow Dr. Heil to determine whether or not the procedure will be safe for you.

What to Ask During Your Consultation

A few questions to ask during your initial consultation with Dr. Heil include:

  • What expectations should be set so I can achieve the best results?
  • How will my procedure be performed?
  • Are there specific surgical techniques that you will use for my procedure?
  • How much time should I allot for my recovery?
  • What are some complications I may experience, and how will these be handled?
  • What happens if I gain weight after I receive the liposuction?

Preoperative Care

After setting a date for your surgery, there are necessary steps to take before for it. You will have to get a medical evaluation or lab testing before the surgery to find out whether or not you are healthy enough to receive the procedure. You will adhere to the suggestions about taking medications or adjusting the current medications you take. Dietary guidelines and alcohol restrictions may also be imposed. Smokers will need to stop smoking, and patients will need to cease the consumption of aspirin, anti-inflammatories, and certain herbal supplements. These substances raise the chances of severe bleeding occurring during surgery. Arrangements should also be made for someone to drive you to and from the surgery.

Postoperative Care

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, meaning it does not require an overnight stay at a hospital. After the surgery, Dr. Heil may ask the patient to wear a compressive garment to help control the swelling as the body adjusts to the new contours. Drains may also be placed beneath the patient’s skin near the incisions to assist with removing excess blood or other fluids.

Patients should expect to experience swelling, bruising, and some soreness after surgery, which should last for at least a few weeks. Because of this, the patient should have it arranged for someone to take care of them for the first night after surgery. Typically, patients can return to work a few days after the procedure and are able to resume all normal activities in a matter of weeks, though it may take a few months for the swelling and bruising to completely disappear.

Why Dr. Heil and Premier Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Brian V. Heil completed the board certification process from the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 2012 and maintains membership in various plastic surgery societies, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society for Plastic Surgery, and American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

As a Castle Connoly Top Doctor, Dr. Heil is recognized as among the top 10 percent of doctors in his region performing plastic surgery. Premier Plastic Surgery was founded in 2001 by Dr. Heil, and it has expanded to a total of four offices across two counties.

Financing options are available for liposuction procedures, including no interest plans for patients that can pay for the surgery within a certain plan period. CareCredit is also used to cover co-payments as well as deductibles.

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