Liposuction – Ultrasonic-Assisted Lipoplasty

Home Body Contouring Liposuction – Ultrasonic-Assisted Lipoplasty

Liposuction surgery usually improves contours. In some instances it may be used in a circumferential fashion, thinning an area. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several months to get an accurate picture of the results of your surgery. The small incisions used for access of the instrument known as a cannula, will fade over a number of months usually becoming barely visible.

The results of liposuction surgery are usually long-lasting, but they may be affected by weight gain, aging, pregnancy and lifestyle factors.

To make this procedure accessible to all our patients we provide several Financing options. Call (414) 963-0500 for a consultation and get more details.

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Ultrasonic-Assisted Lipoplasty (Suction Lipectomy)

Ultrasounic assisted lipoplasty, commonly known as “UAL, “is a relatively new liposuction technique that uses sound waves to “liquefy” unwanted fat. Although it is not a substitute for traditional liposuction, UAL can be an effective tool for removing fat from multiple areas of the body such as the male breasts, abdomen, back or “love handles”. Often, traditional liposuction is performed in conjunction with UAL.

Liposuction can enhance your appearance and improve your self-confidence. Before you decide to have UAL or liposuction of any type, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with a member or our medical team. The best candidates for UAL are generally no different than candidates for the traditional liposuction procedure: normal weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in particular areas.

UAL candidates should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in their expectations. Age is usually not a criterion for liposuction, but older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient.

Preparing for Your Liposuction Surgery

When the date for your procedure has been set, we will provide you with specific instructions for the days immediately before and after surgery. A number of points may be covered, including:

  • Avoiding certain medications that may complicate surgery or recovery, such as Aspirin, Aspirin type products, Vitamin E and Gingko
  • Stopping smoking for a period of time (2 weeks) before and after surgery
  • Arranging for help and assistance following surgery

The Liposuction Surgery

Generally we perform liposuction in our office-based surgical suite using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation (twilight sleep). Our medical team monitors your physical status throughout the operation and during your recovery. The surgery usually takes about an hour, sometimes longer if there are multiple areas to be suctioned. You are then cared for in the recovery area for 1-2 hours before you are sent home.

If you and the doctor select general anesthesia the surgery will be performed in a hospital as an outpatient procedure.

To begin the procedure, large volumes of local anesthesia is injected into the area to be treated. Then, a metal cannula connected to an ultrasound generator is inserted beneath the skin through a small incision. The ultrasonic energy causes the walls of the fat cells to break down. The “liquefied” fat combines with the injected fluid to create an emulsion, which is removed from the body by vacuum pressure.

All Liposuction Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk

Since it was first described in the medical literature in 1991, UAL has been performed on several thousand patients worldwide. However, long-term effects of ultrasound energy are not known and extensive research and clinical trials are needed to establish fully the safety and efficacy of UAL. So far, clinical investigators have reported good results from the technique.

Recently ultrasound assisted liposuction was introduced and has resulted in dramatic improvement in treatment of the “love handle” deformity and male breast enlargement. This technique has also reulted in neck and abdomenal skin tightening. Be sure and ask if you are a candidate.

Complications from liposuction may include irregularities of the skin’s surface, areas of uneven pigmentation, and asymmetry. Occasionally revisional surgery may be necessary (5%) but is easily accomplished with less recovery than the original surgery.

The Liposuction Consultation

A personal consultation is the first step for every considering liposuction. During this meeting one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific goals for surgery.

Your physician will explain the body contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you. Suggestions for other procedures may also be discussed. Often times an abdominoplasty also known as a tummy tuck may more effectively meet your goals.

In any case, we will work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour.

After Your Liposuction Surgery

You will be cared for in the recovery room for at least one-hour after surgery. Discomfort is minimal; you will have a compression garment (girdle) on which must be worn as directed. Typically the garment is worn for up to four weeks after the surgery. This will decrease the amount of swelling and compress the skin to fit it’s new contour. Pain medication will be prescribed for the discomfort.

Getting Back to Normal

Healing is a gradual process. You should be back to work within 3-5 days following your surgery. Stitches are usually removed within 10 days.

Strenuous activity should be avoided for about three weeks as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within six weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.

Your New Look

You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become even more apparent after about six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided.

If your expectations are realistic, you will probably be very pleased with the results of your surgery. You may find that you are more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. And, by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, you can help to maintain your new shape permanently.