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.
The Benefits of Liposculpture
Liposculpture provides that extra needed boost of confidence, and there are a number of benefits to liposculpture. Some of these benefits include:
- Minimally invasive
- Long-lasting results
- Reshaping of wanted fatty deposits
- 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
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 and without general anesthesia for a faster recovery.
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
Why Choose Cosmetic Laser Dermatology For Your Liposculpture Treatment?
Our board-certified dermatologists in San Diego are liposuction and fat removal experts, with more than 60 years combined experience, and 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. At our research center that keeps us at the forefront of liposculpture treatments, we recently found that tumescent lipo offers long-term satisfaction.
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 and/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 may be a good option 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 Tumescent Liposculpture?
Tumescent Liposculpture, otherwise known as microcannula liposculpture, involves the usage of a very small cannula or needle when performing the treatment. Benefits of this approach include:
- Less risk of rippling: Dermatologists have higher control over this procedure due to the small cannula used. This allows our expert dermatologists to ensure they are not taking too much fat from the body, to avoid an effect called rippling. This is when results show a hollowing of the skin.
- Minimal scarring: Due to using a smaller diameter cannula, the incision site is relatively small. Additionally, the post-treatment care we provide at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology only decreases the chances of scarring even further.
- No pain associated with the procedure: We provide local anesthetic so that we can be sure our patients are comfortable while undergoing treatment.
- Stimulation of collagen: When the fat cells are removed and moved to provide the desired aesthetic, the cannula moves superficially beneath the surface of the skin. This creates a sort of trauma to the cells, which stimulates collagen production. This lessens the chance of getting loose skin over time and also tightens the skin.
There are other benefits that tumescent liposculpture offers, though some are still in debate among scholars. Some of these debated benefits are that the procedure improves heart health and other medical conditions such as:
- Lipodystrophy syndrome, in which the body stores too much fat in one area and not the other
- Gynecomastia, or male breasts
Tumescent liposculpture removes fat, reducing fatty deposits in the body. This is performed artfully by the board certified dermatologists at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology, as a means to slim down the figure.
Unlike liposuction, tumescent liposculpture uses local anesthetic (lidocaine and adrenaline) which is much less invasive and does not require general anesthesia. A microcannula is inserted into the area of unwanted fat through small incisions that do not even require sutures to close, and the fat is suctioned out of the body.
What is the Difference Between Liposuction and Liposculpture?
Ultimately, both liposuction and liposculpture are the same procedure.
The benefits to you are:
- More precise sculpting
- Less invasive, not requiring general anesthesia
- Enhanced results
- Much smaller incisions
- Less scarring
- Faster healing
- Quicker recovery
The result is smooth and natural-looking contours without any telltale signs that you’ve had liposuction treatment.
Schedule A LipoSculpture Appointment At Our San Diego Medical Spa
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.
Our fat removal experts have more than 100 years of combined experience. They will work with you to determine your aesthetic goals and the right treatment plan to achieve them.
To schedule an appointment, call us at (858) 943-2113 or schedule an appointment with one of our fat removal experts online via our contact form. For more information about our medical spa, reviews are available via Yelp and Google.
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?
When you consult with a board-certified dermatologist about liposuction, they will assess the volume of fat you need to have removed as well as the quality of your skin. A large volume of fat and loose skin could indicate that liposuction is not right for you. If you have some loss of elasticity, but not a significant amount, your doctor may recommend adding ThermiRF/ThermiTight, Thermage, or Ultherapy to your treatment plan. If your skin is just a little loose, the skin tightening from liposuction (particularly laser or radiofrequency-assisted liposuction) is often enough. You may also consider non-invasive fat-reducing Vanquish and CoolSculpting, which work more gradually. That’s why a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist is so important, as they can help you choose the right treatment combination.
Q: What’s the downtime for tumescent lipo? Could I have it done over a long weekend?
Everyone responds differently. We generally recommend that you avoid strenuous activity for 1-2 days after your procedure and wait a full 1-2 weeks before going back to your full routine, including exercise. As your body may be swollen and uncomfortable, you should wear a compression garment to minimize these side effects for a few days. Please talk to a board-certified dermatologist with expertise — and not just a good price — about your treatment, such as those at our San Diego office.
Q: I had lipo done to my lower stomach, but I think I look bigger – is this supposed to happen?
It’s normal to be swollen after tumescent liposuction, as the procedure triggers your immune system to kick in and heal the treatment area. Swelling means that your body is functioning well. The swelling peaks 2-7 days after the procedure and then slowly improves over the ensuing weeks. Please wear the recommended compression garment and follow all after-care guidelines. Walking a lot helps, as this low-level cardio exercise can reduce the swelling very quickly.
Q: What is the best treatment to tighten a double chin and define a jawline?
At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, California, we like to combine ThermiTight with liposculpture to treat early signs of aging in the neck, such as sagging and a double chin. The combination of removing fat and tightening the skin vastly improves the look of the neck and stimulates collagen production to keep it looking youthful for longer. Other means of reducing chin fat, such as Kybella, helps dissolve unwanted fat, while CoolMini or Ultherapy or Thermage FLX can be used to tighten skin along the jaw. Consult a board-certified dermatologist to help choose the ideal treatment for you.
Q: Does laser lipo on the pubic mound also tighten the skin?
The laser component of laser liposuction heats the skin to produce tightening. We now prefer radiofrequency tightening. Liposuction itself sometimes has a slight skin-tightening effect, depending on your age and the quality of your skin. When you consult a board-certified dermatologist, he or she can determine from your skin quality if you’d benefit from laser lipo alone, or if combination therapy with radiofrequency energy (ThermiTight) or ultrasound (Ultherapy) would help.
Q: Wondering if liposuction would help me with weight loss on my belly?
Liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure. However, it does remove inches of excess fat from areas like the abdomen. You may be an excellent candidate for lipo, but this can only be determined in person. It’s possible that a non-invasive fat-elimination technique, such as Vanquish, CoolSculpting, or ThermiTight, would be more beneficial. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist to know which is right for you.
Q: Should I try in CoolSculpting or liposuction?
You could see great improvement in your figure from either CoolSculpting or liposuction. The best procedure will depend on your goals. For example, if you want to avoid surgery entirely, CoolSculpting is your choice. However, you may need several treatments, in which case liposuction may be better because you can have all of your excess fat removed at once. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist to explore both options in more depth and choose the one that works best for your needs. In some cases, both treatments may be recommended for the best possible results.
Q: Where does the fat get taken out of for an inner thigh lipo?
Generally, inner-thigh liposuction is performed on the bulges at the top of your inner thighs that tend to brush up against one another when you walk. This is done to create the trendy look of “thigh gap.” However, your liposuction procedure depends on you. Your board-certified cosmetic surgeon’s responsibility is to make your legs look as beautiful as possible. If you’d benefit from removing fat from other areas, too, that would be discussed during your consultation. You may also want to consider non-invasive fat-elimination techniques, such as Vanquish, CoolSculpting, and ThermiTight. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist who is an expert at sculpting the thighs with liposuction and other fat-elimination modalities.
Q: How long should I avoid tight underwear/clothing after lipo?
Wear your compression garment as directed by your doctor. When having tumescent liposculpture performed by a dermatologic surgeon, a compression garment is only necessary for the first few days. When liposuction is performed under general anesthesia, the compression garment needs to be worn much longer. Wear loose clothing for the first three months, while your body is healing. Please consult with the board-certified dermatologist who treated you for more information about your aftercare.
Q: What could be done about my small stomach pooch after weight loss?
You could be an ideal candidate for tumescent liposuction, which would remove the little pooch below your navel and permanently eliminate the fat cells. You may also want to consider non-invasive fat-elimination techniques, such as Vanquish, CoolSculpting, and ThermiTight. These take more than one session, but there’s no downtime, which may work better if you’re busy. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist who can offer you a variety of options.
Q: Will lipo give me a six pack abs?
You could be an excellent candidate for high-definition liposculpture using mini cannulas to get six-pack abs. With traditional tumescent liposuction, we always leave a slight layer of fat so that the skin looks smooth and natural. For adding definition to muscles with liposculpture, we actually remove the fat that outlines the muscles, making them stand out more. Of course, the way you look will depend on how your muscles look, which requires some physical workout. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist who can show you great results from this procedure, because it takes skill to accomplish well.
Q: What's the difference between laser lipolysis and liposculpture?
Laser Lipolysis is different from Liposculpture treatments in that it adds a skin-tightening element. With smaller incisions, you’ll have a quicker recovery time. At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology, we often get optimal results by combining laser liposuction with traditional liposculpture treatments.
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.
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“If I could give this office 10 stars I would! I’ve never been to such an incredible office where everyone was so sweet, helpful, and professional!”- Jessica V.
“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.
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