Liposuction, often referred to as lipo, is a safe and effective fat removal procedure that can be used to target stubborn pockets of fat in areas all around the body. Plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Northwest in Spokane offers liposuction to help patients sculpt and enhance the appearance of their figure and slim down areas of the body with excess bulk.
Is Liposuction Right for Me?
Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is successful for targeted fat removal to address specific problem areas. Ideal candidates have a disproportionate amount of fat in a few select areas. Examples may be love handles that won’t go away despite exercise, or the saddlebags that run in your family. Patients usually have normal or slightly elevated body weight. Significantly overweight patients are generally not good candidates for liposuction alone, but may benefit from a more comprehensive approach to their body contouring needs. Liposuction is commonly used to remove fat from the:
- Upper arms
- Male breasts (gynecomastia)
Skin quality has a dramatic influence on the effect of liposuction on your appearance. When fat is removed from beneath the skin, the skin must respond by contracting to reveal your new contour. Skin that is excessive, thin, or damaged by stretch marks may be unable to contract, leaving a deflated appearance rather than the tight, shapely appearance that is desired. Skin that is unable to contract may require removal with a body contouring procedure in order to yield the result that is desired.
The Different Types of Liposuction
Traditional liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction (e.g., Vaser) and laser liposuction (e.g., CoolLipo, CoolTouch, Smartlipo, SlimLipo, LifeSculpt) are all forms of liposuction, using different approaches to injure or remove fat cells.
Some companies have brand names associated with their proprietary liposuction machines. The most frequently seen brand names in advertising today may be CoolLipo, Smartlipo, and SlimLipo, which are laser liposuction devices. Laser liposuction is not a technique used at Plastic Surgery Northwest due to concerns about safety and predictability. Patients considering liposuction may also be candidates for Coolsculpting to reduce pockets of fat in a non-invasive manner.
Some swelling and bruising are likely to occur. Most patients are able to return to work after one to two weeks based on the amount of work performed during the procedure. Light exercise can be resumed after around four weeks, but strenuous activity will need to be avoided for longer. It can take around six weeks for a majority of the swelling to subside.
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