If certain parts of your body, such as your belly or thighs, are stubbornly resistant to losing excess fat, despite all your best efforts of eating right and exercising regularly, then you should consider liposculpture. The procedure may sound intimidating, but it is actually minimally invasive, taking an hour or two in many cases without the need for general anesthesia. Compared to more gradual treatments, such as CoolSculpting and Vanquish, liposculpture provides natural-looking results after a single session.
Tumescent liposculpture, also known as “Awake Lipo” is the most advanced technique available for permanently removing excess fat deposits in areas resistant to diet and exercise. The fat removal procedure is called tumescent, which means “swollen,” because it involves the surgeon filling and swelling the targeted fatty areas with a special anesthetic solution. The solution completely numbs the treatment area, stops bleeding and thins the fat allowing patients to undergo the procedure with tiny suction cannulas that do not require any closing, without general anesthesia for a faster recovery.
Other benefits of tumescent liposculpture include:
- Ability to reach all depths of fat
- May remove a larger quantity of fat (up to 4L is safe)
- Can use the removed fat for fat grafting in other areas
Generally, liposuction is effective for contouring areas prone to fatty deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise, including:
- Love handles
- Thighs – inner thighs, outer thighs (saddlebags), anterior thighs (front of thigh)
- Neck and jowls
- Upper arms
- Back (mid and lower)
- Breasts (both female and male breast reduction)
- Above the knees
Our board-certified dermatologists in San Diego are liposuction and fat removal experts, having authored over a dozen articles for peer-reviewed medical journals, spoken at national and international medical conferences, and contributed chapters to best-selling medical textbooks on liposculpture treatments.
Read Dr. Goldman and Dr. Butterwick’s most recent research study finding long-term satisfaction in tumescent liposculpture patients.
Our doctors have also pioneered the innovative Cool³ body sculpting treatment plan that combines contouring treatments in a single session to achieve superior results. We often combine liposuction with ThermiTight, but we can also add procedures like CoolSculpting or CoolTone to put the finishing touches on your new contour.
Is Liposuction Right for You?
If you are ages 16-80, in good overall health, with fatty areas on the body that are resistant to diet and exercise, then you may be a good candidate for liposuction. And lipo is not just for women; if you’re a man looking to remove stubborn deposits of fat, you may be a good candidate, as well.
Lipo treatments are not a method of weight loss. They are a supplement to your good eating and exercise habits.
Furthermore, if you’re hesitant to have invasive surgery, liposuction treatment is a good idea because it is done on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia while you are wide awake. You walk into and out of our certified operating room. Of course, we provide intravenous and/or oral sedation to make it an even more pleasant procedure.
What is the Difference Between Liposuction and Liposculpture?
Ultimately, both liposuction and liposculpture are the same procedure. The main difference is the instrument that is used. During liposuction, a small cannula is used to remove fat, during liposculpture, the much thinner microcannula is used. This allows your body-contouring specialist to artistically sculpt your body.
The benefits to you are:
- More precise sculpting
- Less invasive
- Enhanced results
- Fewer incisions
- Less scarring
- Faster healing
The result is smooth and natural-looking contours without any telltale signs that you’ve had liposuction treatment.
If you have small pockets of fat, then why not schedule a consultation with one of our body sculpting experts to understand how the procedure works and how your appearance and self-confidence will be forever changed.
With more than 100 years of combined experience, our fat removal experts will work with you to determine your aesthetic goals and the right treatment plan to achieve them.
What to Expect
Typically, the recovery time following a minimally invasive fat reduction treatment performed at our San Diego office is relatively short. You should be getting around normally and already returning to your usual work schedule within a few days with only mild discomfort.
In most cases, you can remove the healing compression garments that help optimize recovery within 2-3 days, allowing you to resume normal physical activity, although this varies from patient to patient.
Your physician may recommend a follow-up treatment known as Z Wave after your liposuction procedure. Z Wave is a painless, non-invasive treatment that can help minimize lumps that are sometimes left behind after liposuction. The procedure works by using acoustic wave therapy to quickly and harmlessly send sound waves into the skin, which smooth and tighten the treated areas.
Although you may see noticeable results within several weeks, it takes 3-4 months for the full results of liposculpture treatment to be seen.
- Rest is recommended immediately after surgery, but you can walk around the house as tolerated.
- The day after surgery, you should feel well enough to drive your car and engage in light physical activities.
- Have some absorbent pads available (light Maxi pads work well) to use as post-op dressings. It is also helpful to sleep on an absorbent pad the first two nights so that oozing does not stain your bed linen.
- You should expect a small amount of blood-tinged anesthetic solution to drain from the small incisions during the first 24 to 48 hours. It may be necessary to change the absorbent pads that are under the compression garment.
- DO NOT cover the incisions with Band-Aids or stop the drainage in any way. No hot/cold compresses on the incision sites.
- You must wear your compression garment 24 hours a day for the first 3-7 days. After that, you may switch to a lighter garment such as Spanx and wear daily for a month, or longer if you choose.
- Your post-op appointment will be scheduled the day after surgery.
- You may resume light exercise 3 to 4 days after surgery. You should wait for 2-3 weeks after surgery to resume more vigorous physical activities (golf, jogging, tennis). It is suggested that you begin with 25% of your normal work-out routine and increase your activity daily as tolerated.
Discomfort and Bruising:
- The soreness is the worst about 24 hours after surgery and then improves daily.
- For relief of soreness and inflammation, take Tylenol 500 mg, 1-2 pills every 4 hours while awake for the first 48 hours AFTER surgery.
- DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN or IBUPROFEN or any other medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for 3-5 days after surgery as this may promote bleeding.
- Do not apply ice packs. Bruising is normal and can last 1-2 weeks.
- Take the full 10-day dose of oral antibiotics as directed.
- Your doctor or pre-operative nurse will discuss the use of Arnica Montana to reduce bruising.
- When you are given permission to shower, wash the incisions with soap and water, pat them dry and apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment daily.
- DO NOT submerge in water until the incisions have healed completely (about 1 week).
- Caution-when garments are removed during the first few days after surgery, patients often feel dizzy. Avoid this by removing the garments while lying down, then sit on the edge of the bed and stand up slowly. Rest after showering to dress.
- Start with a soft diet and progress to your normal diet. Light foods are recommended for the first meal after surgery. You may resume your usual diet about 4 hours after surgery.
- Drink adequate amounts of water, and fruit juices to prevent dehydration. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for 48 hours.
**If you develop a fever, rash, blisters, increased pain, severe itching, or change in color of the weeping fluid, call our office immediately as these symptoms may be a sign of infection. **
At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology, our physicians are liposculpture experts. In fact, our doctors perform the procedures, one of the few San Diego dermatology practices that do so. Our friendly, compassionate practitioners are committed to your health and safety and dedicated to helping you reach your aesthetic goals.
Q: How do you know what the right amount of fat is to remove for thigh Lipo and not have loose skin?
Q: What’s the downtime for tumescent lipo? Could I have it done over a long weekend?
Q: I had lipo done to my lower stomach, but I think I look bigger – is this supposed to happen?
Q: What is the best solution to tighten a double chin and define a jawline?
Q: Does laser lipo on the pubic mound, also tighten the skin?
Q: Wondering if liposuction would help me with weight loss on my belly?
Q: Should I partake in CoolSculpting or liposuction?
Q: Where does the fat get taken out of for an inner thigh lipo?
Q: How long should I avoid tight underwear/clothing after lipo?
Q: What could be done about my small stomach pooch after weight loss?
Q: Will lipo give me a six pack abs?
Q: What's the difference between laser lipolysis and liposculpture?
There are several great non-invasive options for permanent fat removal that we offer at our San Diego office, which include the following:
- CoolSculpting (kills fat cells with cold)
- Cooltone (can be added onto fat removal treatments to define muscles)
- ThermiTight (destroys fat cells using radiofrequency energy)
- Ultherapy – helps tighten skin using ultrasound energy
- Thermage FLX – helps tighten skin using radiofrequency energy
- Kybella – an injection that dissolves stubborn submental (chin) fat
To find out which body sculpting treatment is best for you, please consult a board-certified dermatologist today.
For more information about the monthly specials offered at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, visit our Promotions page.
“I had such an awesome experience for my first visit and I am referring everyone I know to this office. From the super friendly staff to the state of the art procedures, they are the cream of the crop.”- Dinah M.
“I love and appreciate the professionalism, knowledge, warmth, and extraordinary care from the team at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology.”- Alejandro S.
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