Liposuction

Liposuction surgery improves the contour and proportion of your body by removing excess fat from a wide variety of areas. It slims and reshapes for an enhanced self image. Liposuction is not an alternative to weight loss. It is a way to target excess fat deposits that may be diet resistant and out of proportion with the rest of the body.

Am I a candidate for liposuction?

Areas most commonly treated with liposuction include the chin and neck, hips, abdomen, inner and outer thighs, knees and ankles, and buttocks. This procedure also may be used to treat a condition called gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, which occurs among both teenage and adult men.

The best candidate for this procedure is a person of average or slightly above-average weight, in good health, with a localized area of fat that does not respond well to diet and exercise. Liposuction is not an effective treatment for patients with cellulite (the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips and buttocks) or loose, saggy skin.

How do I prepare for liposuction?

Dr. Mussman will help you prepare for your surgery by giving you an overview of the procedure and informing you about what you can do to ensure its success. This depends on your complete understanding of the procedure and includes an open, honest conversation with your plastic surgeon during the consultation.

You should be very clear about what your liposuction surgery will entail, including:

  • What your recovery will be like and how long it may take
  • What preparations you can make for your surgery
  • The results you can expect

Dr. Mussman will address all of these matters during your procedure consultation. However, each patient is unique with his or her own body makeup and medical history, which you should share with your surgeon.

How is liposuction performed?

In most cases, the first thing the surgeon does is inject a solution into the treatment area. The solution is comprised of salt water, local anesthetic and a solution to reduce bleeding. This wetting solution also contains epinephrine, a medication that shrinks blood vessels, which helps to decrease bleeding and bruising. The solution also usually includes a local anesthetic to temporarily minimize pain both during and after surgery.

Fat removal is performed using a cannula or thin tube attached to a vacuum device. After the fluid has been injected, Dr. Mussman makes a small incision (cut) in your skin near the area that contains the fat that is targeted for removal. A narrow metal tube called a cannula is inserted through the cut into the area of excess fat. The cannula is attached to a vacuum pump via a flexible pipe. By manipulating the cannula back and forth through the fat, Dr. Mussman can remove the fat cells. Usually, the incisions are closed with a few stitches. Since no skin is removed when liposuction is performed, a surgeon relies on skin contraction or elasticity to maintain its shape.

Are there different options for liposuction?

There are two primary types of liposuction performed by Dr. Mussman. The amount of wetting solution injected before the procedure varies depending on the technique used. Tumescent liposuction is differentiated from the super-wet technique by the amount of fluid that is injected.

Super-wet liposuction:

The wetting solution is equal to the volume of fat removed. This technique requires intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia.

Tumescent liposuction:

The wetting solution is two to three times the volume of fat removed. This solution causes fat deposits to swell (tumesce). Tumescent liposuction is the most commonly used liposuction technique and requires either local anesthesia sedation, or general anesthesia. Both techniques result in less bleeding, and therefore less bruising.

What results can I expect?

During liposuction, the fat cells are removed permanently, so if you gain weight after the procedure it usually will not concentrate in the area that was treated. However, it is important to understand that your procedure will not prevent you from gaining weight. To keep your new shape and new weight after liposuction, you must follow a proper diet and exercise plan.

Swelling is significant after liposuction. It may take 3 months for the swelling to resolve. This should be planned if desiring liposuction for a particular event or trip.

What are the possible risks of liposuction?

All surgical procedures involve some risk. Liposuction has a good safety record, and the risks associated with the procedure are minimized when performed by Dr. Mussman, a board-certified plastic surgeon. Although rare, risks include infection and skin discoloration. Patients with cellulite may develop skin irregularities due to under- or over-correction of localized fat deposits. The risk of medical problems from liposuction can be minimized by avoiding extremely long procedures or excessive removal of fat.

What is involved in recovery?

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, and, generally, recovery is fairly rapid. Most people can return to work within a few days and to normal activities within about two weeks. Every person’s outcome will vary based on factors such as volume of fat cells removed and area of removal. Dr. Mussman will discuss what results you can expect to achieve and how to best maintain your new body shape.

Is this procedure covered by health insurance?

Like all cosmetic procedures, liposuction is not covered by health insurance plans. Dr. Mussman’s staff will help find a financial solution that fits your budget.