What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses a thin and hollow tube, a cannula, to remove localized areas of body fat. Dr. Altamira will insert the cannula through extremely small incisions and then move it back and forth to loosen excess fat. The loose fat will then be suctioned out using a vacuum or a cannula attached syringe. Treated areas look slimmer and more contoured, and in better overall proportion to the rest of the body. However, liposuction is not a method for losing weight and is not effective in eliminating cellulite or tightening loose and sagging skin.
At David Altamira, MD, we offer three different liposuction options. Whether you are visiting our Houston or Sugar Land office, Dr. Altamira will provide an individual treatment plan based on your desires and ultimate body goals. We offer the following liposuction options:
- Traditional Liposuction
- Vaser Liposuction
Candidates for Liposuction
An ideal candidate for liposuction is in good overall health. Candidates should, additionally, have one or more areas of fat that do not respond to diet or exercise. Liposuction can be performed alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures, such as tummy tuck, thigh lift.
Liposuction Treatment Areas
The following locations are common areas of excess fat that can be removed with liposuction.
- Abdomen and waist
- Cheeks, chin, and neck
- Chest area
- Hips and buttocks
- Upper arms
One of the most common liposuction techniques is tumescent liposuction. Tumescent liposuction allows Dr. Altamira to use a liposuction laser and can perform it on an outpatient basis. During tumescent liposuction, Dr. Altamira injects a solution of a saline, lidocaine (an anesthetic) and epinephrine (a blood vessel constrictor) into the area. The solution causes the targeted tissue to swell and become firm, which makes it easier to remove the fat with the cannula. In laser-assisted tumescent liposuction, a laser is used to liquefy the fat, which makes removing it easier. The laser can also tighten the skin in the treatment area after fat removal.
The tumescent technique only allows minimal blood loss and has the anesthetic is built in. This procedure can often be performed without general anesthesia. However, if several different areas of the body are being treated, or large amounts of fat are being removed, then it may be preferable to perform the surgery with general anesthesia. While treating a large area, patients may need surgery to remove the excess skin.
Before and After Liposuction
Risks of Liposuction
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery, risks of liposuction include the following:
- Change in skin sensation that may persist
- Contour irregularities
- Fluid accumulation
- Irregular pigmentation
- Loose or rippled skin
- Persistent swelling
- Worsening of cellulite
What is the Recovery Process Like?
After liposuction, patients generally experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treatment area. Dr. Altamira recommends compression garments or elastic bandages after surgery to help reduce these symptoms as the area heals. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. However, patients should avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for a few weeks.
Results of the liposuction procedure may not be apparent until swelling and bruising subside. Bruising should go away in a few weeks and swelling should completely subside within a few months. Scarring is almost nonexistent because the cannula incisions are so small.
Unless the patient gains a substantial amount of weight, the results of liposuction are long-lasting. Patients can expect good results after their procedure, although there is no guarantee. Results will vary on an individual basis. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
“Just want to take the time out to Thank Dr. David Altimira he has changed my life, Dr. Altimira gave me new hope a new chance at life, I was struggling with everyday tasks that we all face on a day to day, his hands are precision tools he has a god given talent, Im overcome by a sense of happiness when in his presence, he has brought me and my Family great happiness, I’m on my journey to a better life! Thank your Dr. David Altimira and staff y’all are all loved and appreciated!!!” – Dominic G.
What is Vaser Liposuction?
Vaser liposuction is a modern ultrasound-assisted liposuction technique that has been developed for minimal-invasiveness and impressive results.
How Does Vaser Liposuction work?
This method of fat extraction selectively targets and emulsifies fat cells in areas such as the abdomen, hips, love handles, thighs, saddlebags, knees, back, arms, neck, and chin. The breakdown of fatty tissue before extraction significantly reduces trauma to surrounding tissue and structures such as nerves and blood vessels. At the same time, it increases the accuracy of body-sculpting.
The Vaser Liposuction Procedure
- Target areas are confirmed and may be marked
- Tumescent fluid containing lidocaine and epinephrine is introduced into the treatment area or areas. This will numb nerve endings and shrink blood vessels.
- A thin probe is inserted through the incision to deliver ultrasonic waves to dismantle fatty deposits.
- Emulsified fat cells are suctioned through the small cannula. The area is gently massaged to encourage extraction and contouring.
Benefits of Vaser Lipo
- Bruising and pain are kept to a minimum after surgery.
- Melting fat cells before extraction increases accuracy and enables us to contour large and small areas of the body.
How is The Recovery Process For Vaser Lipo?
The immediate recovery from Vaser liposuction is quick – less than a day. Patients wear a compression garment for about 12 hours to support their new contours and skin retraction. After this time, regular, light activity can typically be resumed. Exercise is excluded. Even though the treatment area is only minimally disrupted during Vaser lipo, healing needs to occur, and this can take a few weeks. Exercise and more strenuous activities can resume approximately two weeks after treatment.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in a Liposuction procedure and would like to see if you are a good candidate for either Traditional Liposuction, Vaso Lipo, call (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.