We all have something about our bodies that we don’t like. For some, it’s upper arm fat. For others, it’s inner thigh fat that makes running without chafing impossible. At eSSe Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we want you to know there is hope. While no type of diet or amount of targeted exercise will spot-treat fat, a body contouring procedure can change your life. Today, we’re talking about one of our most popular body contouring solutions, liposuction, and how soon after your procedure you can reasonably expect to see results.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as lipolysis, is a body contouring procedure designed to perfect your contours, improve your proportions and sculpt the body of your dreams. This FDA-approved procedure is the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the United States and recognized for safety and efficacy by medical review boards around the world.
What Can I Expect Before the Procedure?
This procedure is performed with a liposuction (fat vacuum) machine and specialized instruments known as cannulas. Cannulas are extremely thin tubes that help the fat travel outside your body. First, your surgical team will prepare the regions of the body that are to be worked on. Then, you will receive either local, regional or general anesthesia.
The type of anesthesia right for you depends largely on how many areas are being treated, the size of the areas being treated and the locations of the areas being treated. During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history, current health and aesthetic goals to help you determine what type of anesthesia is right for you.
What Happens During the Procedure?
One or several tiny incisions will be made around the treatment sites to inject the tumescent fluid underneath your skin. Once that has taken effect, the excess adipose tissue is dislodged and suctioned out through the cannula. This suction action may be achieved with either a large syringe or vacuum pump.
To achieve the best contours for your body, your cosmetic surgeons may need to attack the fat from several angles. This is particularly true for larger treatment areas, like the lower back or abdomen.
Types of Lipo
There are several lipolysis techniques, and they each have their own distinct advantages. We will discuss which technique is right for your unique aesthetic goals during your initial consultation. Here are the most commonly performed techniques:
Tumescent, or fluid injection, lipolysis is by far the most common lipolysis method. This technique involves injecting a large volume of medicated solution into the target sites before fat removal begins. In some cases, the volume of this solution can be up to three times the volume of desired fat removal. It contains a mixture of lidocaine (local anesthetic) to make your procedure more comfortable, an IV (intravenous) saltwater solution to help the procedure go faster and epinephrine to contract your blood vessels and mitigate the risk of bleeding, swelling and bruising.
Depending on the size and location of the treatment area, the lidocaine in this formula may be the only anesthetic required. This sterile, medical-grade solution is suctioned out with the fat during the procedure. This method typically takes a little longer than the super-wet technique.
Super-wet lipo is similar to tumescent lipo in that a sterile saline solution is injected into the target areas. The difference is less fluid is injected, and the procedure doesn’t last as long. However, this technique usually requires you to be sedated (to make you drowsy) or put under general anesthesia to ensure that you are asleep and pain-free.
UAL, or ultrasound-assisted, lipo is a relatively new lipolysis technique. This method harnesses the precise power of ultrasonic vibrations to liquify the fat cells. Once these cells are liquified, they are far easier to suction out. This treatment can be performed externally via a special soundwave emitter or internally with the help of a tiny, heated cannula.
This method is ideal for fat removal in dense, fibrous body parts, such as the upper back and enlarged male breast tissue. This technique may be used in conjunction with the tumescent technique in areas which require extreme precision or in follow-up procedures. Like the tumescent technique, ultrasound-assisted lipolysis takes longer than super-wet lipolysis.
LAL is the abbreviated form of laser-assisted liposuction. Like UAL, it uses precisely targeted energy to liquify fat cells. The difference is laser-assisted lipo uses light energy to achieve the effect of liquefaction. With this method, the fat cells can be drained out through cannulas or suctioned out. A major advantage of this technique is the cannula used are much smaller than those used during traditional lipo. Thus this technique is ideal for confined areas like the face, jowls and chin.
Even better, the energy produced by the laser light stimulates your body’s ability to produce collagen. This is particularly important if you’re worried about sagging skin after the procedure. Collagen is the fiber-like protein responsible for maintaining the structure of your skin.
How Long After Lipo Can I See Results?
There are several factors that affect how long after lipo you can expect to see results. When tumescent lipo is performed, you can expect to see the results of your procedure after only a week. This is because this method involves the least amount of post-op swelling. If you wear your compression garment exactly as instructed, you can expect to see the final results after only one month.
While super-wet lipo can be performed in approximately one-third of the time of tumescent lipo, there will be more swelling afterwards. It may be two or three weeks before you start seeing results. Then, it can take between six weeks and three months before you see your final contours.
What Results Can I Expect?
How much fat can safely be removed depends on your body mass index. For larger individuals, five liters (11 pounds) of fat can be removed safely. However smaller individuals may only be able to have 10 pounds of fat removed safely. During your initial consultation, we will calculate your BMI and let you know exactly how much fat we can remove safely.
When considering the results of this procedure, there are two essential things you need to remember. First, temporary fluid retention may occur, causing you to look bloated. This can be reduced by drinking plenty of water and eating “diuretic” foods, such as lemons, cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon.
The second thing you must understand is that liposuction is a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss procedure. A weight-loss procedure changes the physical structure of your gastrointestinal organs, helping you lose weight quickly and keep it off permanently.
Contrastingly, a body contouring procedure simply removes fat from particular regions of your body. The size of your stomach or the way your body digests food is not altered. It is up to you to maintain the long-term results of this procedure.
How Long Do Results Last?
The results of this procedure are considered permanent. This is because, once removed, fat cells are gone forever. However, this procedure only suctions out approximately 20% of the fat cells in a given treated area. The remaining 80% of fat cells can still grow if you consume more calories than your body burns regularly. This is why the best candidates for this procedure have a 6-12 month track record of maintaining a healthy weight and are committed to a lifelong healthy lifestyle.
Enhancing and Maintaining Your Results
The only guaranteed way to maintain the results of your procedure is to maintain a healthy weight. Remember, after your first procedure, there will only be around 80% of the fat cells left in your trouble areas. This means, even if you gain weight after your procedure, your treated regions won’t look as “bad”. However, there’s no guarantee of where any excess fat will accumulate. Thus, if you had lipo to treat submental fullness and subsequently gain five pounds, you may have noticeable weight gain underneath your chin.
How Can I Maintain My Weight?
The best way to maintain your weight is to have a good idea of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). Once you know how your activity levels affects the number of calories you need to consume daily, get an idea of how many calories are in the foods you eat regularly.
If you know all the right things to do but still struggle to control your appetite, here are some helpful tips:
- Stay hydrated
- Eliminate calorie-laden drinks
- Walk 30 minutes daily
- Eat lots of soluble fiber
- Get plenty of protein in your diet
- Drink apple cider vinegar before meals
How Do I Deal With Loose Skin?
The best candidates for this procedure have fairly elastic skin. In other words, their skin “snaps back” into place quickly after being pinched away from the body. However, having lax skin doesn’t disqualify you as a candidate for this procedure. If you’re worried about sagging skin after the excess fat is removed from your body, consider laser-assisted lipo. The lightwave energy tightens your skin and helps it look younger and more beautiful.
Alternatively, you can ask us during your initial consultation about skin tightening treatments. The other thing to keep in mind is that your skin may firm up over the course of a few months. Don’t jump to a conclusion based on your initial results that you will need cosmetic help tightening your skin.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Most of our clients find they only need one round of lipo to achieve their desired results. To be a good candidate for this procedure, women should be within 20 pounds of their goal weight and men should be within 30 pounds of their goal weight. Remember, this procedure is designed to target accumulated excess fat deposits of about five to 10 pounds each. It is not designed to remove 50 pounds of fat from eight parts of your body.
If you get pregnant after your lower abdominal liposuction procedure, you may need to come in for a maintenance appointment. This is because pregnancy can cause you to accumulate extra fat on top of your lower abdomen, and the results of your first procedure may be negated.
Learn More Today
To learn more about what to expect after liposuction, please contact the dedicated medical professionals at eSSe Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL today to schedule your initial consultation. Our experts are more than happy to help you find the most effective lipolysis technique to achieve the contours of your dreams. Call the office or visit us online to request a consultation or learn more.