Liposuction (Abdominal Sculpting)
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is a minimally invasive plastic surgery procedure that sculpts the body by suctioning away unwanted fat deposits. Since its debut in France more than 20 years ago, liposuction has gained worldwide experience and is now safer and produces more predictable results than ever before. In 2013, more than 23,000 men underwent liposuction in the U.S., making it one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries sought by male patients.
Liposuction is typically recommended for patients within 30 percent of their average body weight, who have isolated pockets of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise. The procedure is commonly requested for the hips and abdomen, but may also be used to improve contours of the back, arms, legs and face. The best results are seen in younger patients with good skin elasticity and tone, but the procedure can be performed on men and women of any age.
Liposuction offers the following benefits:
- Elimination of fat deposits that interfere with your overall body contour
- Appearance of “lost weight” around treated areas
- A smoother, more streamlined body profile
Options in Liposuction
Dr. Rappaport offers three different liposuction techniques at his Houston office, allowing him to customize treatment to the unique needs of each of his patients:
Tumescent Liposuction – Dr. Rappaport pre-injects the fat with a saltwater solution containing small amounts of adrenaline and a local anesthetic. This fluid helps him remove the fat more easily, controls bleeding in the area, provides anesthesia during and after surgery, and helps reduce bruising. Tumescent liposuction can be done under general or local anesthesia.
Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) – Dr. Rappaport uses a powerized cannula which requires less force to remove unwanted fat, especially in more fibrous tissue. This technique is often used in combination with tumescent liposuction to produce the best results.
Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL) – A two-step technique in which Dr. Rappaport uses energy from sound waves to liquefy the fat before suctioning it out of the body.
How is Liposuction Performed?
Dr. Rappaport performs most liposuction procedures on an outpatient basis, which means you can return home the same day as your surgery. General anesthesia or local anesthesia may be used, depending on your preference and the size of the treatment area. Most liposuction procedures take between one to three hours to complete and can remove up to 11 pounds of unwanted fat, depending on the area being treated.
Tiny incisions are used to insert a narrow tube called a cannula directly into the fat deposit. There are different sizes of cannulas that allow Dr. Rappaport to adjust this procedure to different areas of the body. The cannula is used to loosen fat cells and gently suction them away through an attached vacuum device. Incisions are too small to require suturing and leave very little post-operative scarring.
What is the Recovery Like?
After your liposuction procedure, you will be given a special compression garment to wear that will reduce swelling and improve circulation to the treated area. Most patients are up and walking around a short time after the procedure, although it will be approximately one week before you are ready to return to work and regular activities. Results of liposuction are evident right away and continue to improve as the body heals.
Dr. Rappaport Answers Questions about Liposuction
I really need to lose weight. Is liposuction a good option?
Liposuction is not a weight loss program, but it is sometimes the only way to eliminate fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise.
Which liposuction technique is best for me?
Before I can determine which liposuction technique is best for you, I need to look at your overall health, skin quality, body mass, estimated volume of fat to be removed and the number of sites to be treated. I can easily determine this during your personal consultation.
Can my dermatologist perform liposuction for me?
A dermatologist can perform liposuction if he or she has completed specialized training in liposuction and if the procedure is of limited scope. However, a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best medical professional to consider for liposuction of any area of your face, breast or body, particularly if liposuction is combined with another surgical procedures.
Can liposuction give me a six-pack?
No. Liposuction does not tighten skin; it sculpts the body. A six-pack is muscle, and only exercise can create one. However, liposuction can reveal better definition of the underlying musculature.
Will my fat come back, or is liposuction permanent?
Liposuction doesn’t remove all fat cells. If you gain a lot of weight, the treated areas will get larger, but the overall improvement in contour will remain. It is important to commit to a regimen of healthy diet and exercise to maintain and maximize your results.
Dr. Rappaport offers liposuction options at his Houston facility, along with other body contouring procedures. If you are ready to say goodbye to those stubborn pockets of fat and achieve a sleeker body contour, contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at 713-790-4500 for more information.