Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is a surgical procedure that uses various suction techniques to remove unwanted or excessive fat from a number of different areas of the body. Liposuction is commonly used to remove fat from the neck, backs of the arms, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and other regions. With excess fat deposits removed through liposuction techniques, a slimmer figure is created and body contours and proportions may also dramatically improve.
Liposuction is a highly individualized procedure that may be a good option if you are bothered by excessive fat deposits.
Note: Success in liposuction is greater if you are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight, you do not smoke, and you have realistic expectations for your surgery and potential outcomes. Liposuction can be performed alone or combined with other plastic surgery procedures to achieve more dramatic changes in body contour.
The Initial Consultation
The success of your liposuction surgery depends on the quality of your participation in the initial consultation. You will need to be prepared to discuss why you want liposuction surgery, your personal medical history, drug allergies, use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and any family history of disease.
Dr. Cohn will perform a physical examination and take detailed measurements of your individual physical attributes. Photographs will be taken for your medical record. At that point, Dr. Cohn will be prepared to discuss your surgical options, recommend a course of treatment, and discuss the use of anesthesia during your liposuction procedure. The consultation consists of a thorough discussion of the procedural details, anticipated scar patterns, and expected recovery. Dr. Cohn is happy to assist with recommendations while using your personal goals to guide final decision making.
Preparing for Liposuction
Before liposuction, Dr. Cohn will discuss where your procedure will be performed – an accredited, office-based surgical center, an outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or in a hospital. Prior to your surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, receive a prescription for certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking, and avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and certain herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Some special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery as well as post-operative care and follow-up.
The Liposuction Procedure
Your liposuction is performed through a number of small incisions, based on the areas that are to be treated. The appropriate incisions for your liposuction will be determined in your initial consultation with Dr. Cohn.
- I. The liposuction begins with anesthesia, where intravenous sedation or general anesthesia will be provided. Dr. Cohn will recommend the best choice for your surgery.
- II. After anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Cohn will inject a saline and anesthetic solution into the treatment area. The solution reduces bleeding and contains medications that help decrease bruising and post-operative pain.
- III. After the injections are completed, small incisions are made. The incision areas will be determined by the area that is to be treated.
- IV. After the incisions, Dr. Cohn will insert a narrow metal tube (known as a cannula) into the area of excess fat. This cannula will facilitate the removal of the fat cells.
- V. After the liposuction procedure is complete, incisions are closed with a few stitches.
Risks and Complications
The decision to have liposuction is extremely personal and not without risk. Dr. Cohn will fully review and explain the risks associated with your surgery. After you fully understand the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms.
Recovery for Liposuction
Although many factors are involved in your recovery time, you will likely experience an initial post-surgical recovery period of a few days. You may also require a reduced-activity period of a few days. During recovery, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume at Dr. Cohn’s direction.
Following all of Dr. Cohn’s post-surgery instructions is crucial to the success of your surgery. Surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during healing. Dr. Cohn will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions following your procedure, which medications to take, how to reduce the risk of infection, and when to make a follow-up appointment.
As with any elective surgery, the cost of liposuction surgery is a consideration for many patients. Cost may include a surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, prescriptions for medications, and any associated medical tests. Cohn Plastic Surgery proudly offers patient financing plans, so be sure to ask if such a plan is of interest to you.
For more information about liposuction surgery performed here in Birmingham, we invite you to call us at (205) 930-1600 – Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm – to schedule an appointment. You may also use the Contact Form page to send us a message.