What is liposuction?
Liposuction, or liposculpture, is a relatively simple and safe procedure to remove unwanted fat deposits from areas of the body. It is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the United States. As women and men age, they tend to accumulate persistent adipose deposits which can be very resistant to diet and exercise. Utilizing a technique called tumescent anesthesia, Dr. William Harvey performs AWAKE liposuction of the abdomen and torso in our Brighton office or an outpatient surgicenter without the risk and expense of general anesthesia. Liposuction is an excellent procedure to remove unwanted fat deposits.
Who is a candidate for liposuction?
Healthy women (and men) between the ages of 20 and 70 are candidates for tumescent liposuction in an office setting. Ideally patients should be in good physical condition and at or near a normal BMI (Body Mass Index). Lifestyle is important. A balanced, healthy diet and regular physical activity or exercise help achieve the best outcome for liposuction patients.
How is the procedure performed?
Prior to liposuction, patients are screened through a careful medical history and physical examination. Certain medications may need to be discontinued temporarily. Sometimes lifestyle changes are advocated in advance of the procedure.
On the day of surgery, patients are given a medication to help them relax and then the area to be liposculpted is outlined with a marker. Preoperative photographs are taken for documentation. The marked area is numbed with a local anesthetic and then a large amount of dilute anesthetic solution is carefully injected into the fat deposits.
After waiting 30 to 45 minutes for the anesthetic to completely numb the area, the deep fatty layers are systematically suctioned using a series of small tubes (cannulas) inserted through small incisions and attached to a vacuum device. There is virtually no blood loss.
In addition to being much safer than liposuction performed under general anesthesia, the tumescent technique also allows the surgeon to stand the patient up near the conclusion of the procedure to assess for incompletely removed fat deposits. Bruising and pain are also reduced with this technique.
At the conclusion of the procedure, the small incisions are bandaged and a compression garment is applied to reduce swelling and aid in the recontouring process.
What can I expect after surgery?
Although patients are completely ambulatory for this surgery, we recommend rest for the initial postoperative period. Patients are seen back in the office the day after surgery and again within the first week to assess their recovery. Pain is minimal to moderate and treated with oral medication.
Patients can usually return to normal activities within a week, but vigorous activity should be avoided for several weeks. The compression garment should be worn 24/7 for the first 6-12 weeks to maximize flattening of the site and adherence of the skin and remaining fatty layer to the muscles of the body. Maximum results may not be apparent for up to a year.
Does insurance cover liposuction?
Liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure and therefore not covered by your health insurance. Utilizing the tumescent technique of local anesthesia in our office setting allows us to offer a significant savings over liposuction performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgicenter . Consultations with Dr. Harvey are free of charge. If you would like to discuss how liposculpture can benefit you, please schedule an appointment with him. He will explain the procedure in detail and answer your questions. After your appointment, our billing experts will meet with you and give you an itemized list of the costs involved.