WHAT IS LIPOSUCTION?

 

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This procedure consistently ranks among the top cosmetic treatments performed today. Liposuction surgery is an effective solution for stubborn, localized fat deposits that won’t go away despite diet and exercise efforts. We use various liposuction techniques to help address fat affecting one or more areas of the body. Liposuction enhances and reshapes the body, leading to a slimmer, more attractive physique.

Liposuction surgery is a great treatment to sculpt any part of the body, including:
⦁    Thighs
⦁    Buttocks
⦁    Hips
⦁    Lower back
⦁    Abdomen
⦁    Arms
⦁    Neck
⦁    Chin
⦁    Ankles

 

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WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A LIPOSUCTION PROCEDURE?

In general, liposuction involves small incisions (about ¼ inch in length) and the use of a cannula, a vacuum-like device that breaks up and suctions the fat from under the skin.

Tumescent Liposuction

This is a standard technique that we use with our liposuction patients.   This technique starts with the injection of a saline solution combined with a local anesthetic and epinephrine.  This instillation decreases postoperative pain and decreases blood loss associated with the liposuction.  After the tumescent fluid has been placed, small cannulas (tubes) with holes near the end are carefully passed into the area to fat to be removed.  Suction is applied and the fat is carefully removed.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (Vaser liposuction)

In certain locations, ultrasound can be a very useful adjunct to a liposuction procedure.   Vaser Liposuction is a technique in which an addition step is used in liposuction that can improve the results in certain locations.   During an ultrasound-assisted liposuction, after the tumescent is infused, an ultrasound probe is introduced into the area of fat.  The ultrasound then helps break down the fat that is between fibers underneath the skin.  After the ultrasound is done, the liposuction cannulas are used to remove the remaining fat.

Ultrasound can be particularly useful in certain areas.  The tissue of the upper flanks and back can be very fibrous and is better treated with ultrasound.  Also, specialized probes can make liposuction of fat under the chin more effective.  Lastly, male gynecomastia (breast tissue) can often be treated without large skin incisions if ultrasound is used to break up the fat fibers. within the breast.  In other areas, ultrasound is much less effective and can contribute to some complications, so is less frequently used at Lewis Plastic Surgery.

WILL ANESTHESIA AND PAIN RELIEF BY USED DURING / AFTER SURGERY?

Liposuction surgery can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the size of the treatment area, the amount of fat to be extracted and the liposuction technique used.  Small procedures can be done in the office with local anesthesia, but larger ones are performed in the operating room with sedation or general anesthesia.

You will be made comfortable throughout the whole procedure. The choices during surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.  After surgery, you will be given instructions on pain relief medication.   You will be given a narcotic pain medication which may be helpful for the first several days after the procedure.

WHAT HAPPENS IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY?

While liposuction recovery greatly varies from one patient to another, there are some general guidelines on what to expect during the healing process. Immediately following surgery patients will be wrapped in surgical garments to control post-operative swelling. Mild discomfort, soreness and swelling are common and with proper care and easily managed.

Our patients initially recover in the recovery room, observed by our licensed nurses. After a short period when you are awake and comfortable, you will be able to go home to rest.

In most cases, you will be placed in a compression garment at the time of surgery.   This is to decrease swelling in the period after surgery.  The swelling will be less if you wear the garments as directed.  We usually recommend wearing the garments f0r 3-6 weeks depending on the areas involved.

HOW LONG WILL COMPLETE RECOVERY TAKE?

The speed and comfort level associated with liposuction surgery recovery depends on the type of liposuction performed, the volume of fat removed and the anesthesia used. Of course, if liposuction is being combined with other cosmetic procedures, the recovery may be more extensive. Liposuction surgery is a procedure that is uniquely tailored for each patient and therefore each patient’s recovery experience is different. After your initial consultation we will be able to better inform you of what to expect during your recuperation and what you need to do to at home to help facilitate healing.

Most of our liposuction Richmond patients are able to return to work within three to seven days, depending on the extent of the procedure. Results are visible almost immediately and continue to improve throughout the healing process.  With this surgery there is swelling.   This is maximal at two to three days after surgery and then quickly decreases.  80% of the swelling is gone by six weeks after surgery.

In the first few days patients often experience mild discomfort, bruising and swelling, all of which are considered normal and treated with prescription medicine.

AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LIPOSUCTION?

Liposuction is not a weight loss treatment and is therefore most appropriate for patients who are close to their ideal weight, but have a hard time slimming down troublesome areas. In addition, skin quality is extremely important to the outcome of the procedure as firm, elastic skin shrinks easier for tight and refined results. In general, patients undergoing liposuction should be in good overall health, and they should not be more than 20 pounds overweight.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF LIPOSUCTION SURGERY?

Check Accreditation

With any surgical procedure there are risks that you must be aware of. To minimize the risks, ensure your surgery is conducted in a safe and secure environment using the latest surgical techniques by checking the certifications and accreditation of your surgeon. Accreditation boards and bodies are there to protect you. Dr. Gordon Lewis has 9 years surgical experience and is affiliated to several important professional organizations.

  • He is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons www.plasticsurgery.org
  • Affiliated to the Richmond Academy of Medicine www.ramdocs.org and the Medical Society of Virginia www.msv.org
  • He is also an associate member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery www.surgery.org and the American College of Surgeons www.facs.org
  • A candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand www.assh.org

Possible Complications

Major complications are very rare.  During your initial consultation, we will discuss every possible outcome of your procedure including possible complications which may include;
⦁    Uneven skin
⦁    Scarring
⦁    Blood clots
⦁    Asymmetry
⦁    Need for touch ups

During a comprehensive one-on-one consultation at Lewis Plastic Surgery, we will help you to determine your candidacy for liposuction surgery. We will also help you select the best liposuction method based on your unique aesthetic desires, body type, skin characteristics and, of course, the amount of fat to be removed.

We will educate you about the various aspects of this procedure, including:
⦁    The different liposuction techniques
⦁    How skin firmness or lack thereof will affect the outcome
⦁    What to expect prior to, during and after liposuction
⦁    Aftercare instructions to reduce the risk of complications
⦁    Anesthesia and facility choices
⦁    Cost of liposuction and financing options

Surgical procedures are performed at an accredited outpatient surgical center or a local hospital in Richmond Virginia. Dr Gordon Lewis is affiliated with several local medical centers where his patients undergo surgery. He primarily operates at these locations:
⦁    Johnston-Willis Hospital
⦁    Stony Point Surgery Center
⦁    Chippenham Hospital
⦁    Parham Surgery Center

He also has privileges at St. Mary’s Hospital and Henrico Doctors Hospital, but operates there less frequently.

Initial consultations, follow up appointments and all non-surgical treatments and minor surgical procedures are performed at Lewis Plastic Surgery practice which is located in the grounds of the Johnston Willis Hospital, Richmond, VA.

Liposuction procedures vary greatly in price due as the scope of work required for each patient is often very different.  At your initial consultation, once we have talked through all of your options, we will give you a written quotation that will break down the total price.  We make absolutely sure there are no hidden costs and no surprises.

Every patient is required to attend an initial consultation before a procedure can be booked.Once you decide to proceed with surgery, we will assist you in finalizing a date and getting everything ready for surgery. We try to be as flexible as possible and will make arrangements to see you at Lewis Plastic Surgery, in the grounds of the Johnston Willis hospital, within a few days of you contacting us.Depending on your requirements, we can normally perform your procedure within 2 weeks.You can book a consultation online or by calling 804 267 6009.

Frequently in cosmetic surgery procedures are combined.  This can not only help you save money by decreasing associated costs, but also can often create a more balanced result over a larger area.

There are a few procedures that are commonly combined with liposuction to achieve a greater result:

Tummy Tuck:

Although liposuction can allow a substantial reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal wall, it does not address any excess skin that may be present. Performing a combination of liposuction and a tummy tuck can achieve fantastic results in people who have both excess skin and fat in their abdomen and flanks.

Breast Augmentation or Lifts:

Many women asking about liposuction are also looking for an improvement in the shape of their breasts or an increase in size of their breast.   This combination can dramatically change the shape of the entire torso.