Liposuction can be a very effective contouring technique for people who have stubborn fat accumulations in areas including the upper and lower abdomen, flanks, outer thighs, hips, inner knees, on the back and around the chin. Liposuction is a body sculpting procedure, it’s not for weight loss. This procedure is ideal for someone with a healthy lifestyle and a stable weight.
Liposuction is a 1–2 hour procedure performed under general anesthesia. It involves one or two incisions about a quarter of an inch long. Small incisions reduce both the risk of infection and the amount of visible scarring. We insert a cannula, or small tube, which conducts a saline-adrenaline-lidocaine solution. Saline loosens the tissue. Adrenaline decreases bleeding. Lidocaine helps control post-procedure pain and discomfort. We precisely monitor the amounts injected and removed throughout the procedure to stay within safe guidelines.
At Santa Fe Plastic Surgery Center liposuction procedures are always performed in our certified, private operating room under general anesthesia. This means that the patient is completely unconscious for the duration of the procedure. Liposuction is often combined with other procedures, such as a facelift or abdominoplasty.
We strongly recommend using general anesthesia for liposuction. Local or partial anesthesia may compromise the procedure, because patients experience more pain, which can interfere with the physician’s ability to deliver desired results.
Sometimes ultrasound or lasers are combined with liposuction. These procedures add heat to melt fat which adds burn risk and unnecessary expense. Adding heat might be justified in certain areas, like addressing the fibrous fat stored across the shoulders and back. We feel we can have equal or better results with conventional liposuction.
NOT ALL AREAS ARE IDEAL FOR LIPOSUCTION
The inner thighs and arms often require removal of excess skin. Facial liposuction involves an increased risk because of the large amount of nerves in this area. Liposuction of the chin and neck is age-sensitive. Older patients may require additional facelifting or skin removal to achieve the desired outcome.
COST + RECOVERY
A typical liposuction procedure costs $4,500–5,000. Plan on a three to four day recovery period. Some swelling and bruising is normal. Follow-up appointments are scheduled one week after the procedure, when stitches are removed.
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