Liposuction (lipoplasty or liposculpture) is a body-sculpting procedure to remove fat that is unresponsive to dieting and exercising.  This procedure can be applied to nearly any area of the body and is commonly used on multiple areas during an operation.  Liposuction results in a slimmer and better proportioned figure.  Liposuction is used effectively to reduce love handles, saddlebags, a double-chin, a bulge around the waistline, or other unsightly fatty deposits in order to develop a better shape and create a more beautiful body.  Fat storage cells are removed with this procedure so that the fat removed with liposucton is gone forever.  Ater liposuction, if someone eats more than they burn up with activity, they will still store fat in the fat cells left behind, but it will not be disproportionately full in the area that was treated and the new improved propotion is maintained.  If someone does not eat more than they burn up, then they will not have more fat in other areas and the new improved figure will last.

Reasons for Considering Liposuction:

  • Eliminate fat from any of the following areas:
    • Chin and Neckline
    • Back
    • Upper Arms
    • Stomach and Waistline
    • Hips and Buttocks
    • Thighs and Knees
    • Calves and Ankles
  • Create a more proportioned figure

Liposuction is not a replacement for proper exercise and diet.  Instead, liposuction is a reduction procedure for stubborn areas where fat accumulates.  Used in combination with several areas of the body, liposuction can provide a well proportioned body appearance.  Ideal surgical candidates are those already in good physical condition but having stubborn areas that do not respond to diet and exercise.

General Procedure

Liposuction is usually done under regional anesthesia with the patient asleep or, if it is a small area, it can be done under local anesthesia where the area is numbed and the patient remains awake.  Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or “cannula” is inserted and used to vacuum out the excess fatty tissue beneath the skin.  Dr. Reavie determines the amount of fat to be removed by massaging the skin and feeling the depth of the fat layer.  After eliminating the excess fat, the incisions are closed with a single suture and a compression garment is applied to the area in order to reduce swelling and brusing, help the skin shrink to the smaller volume, and support the affected area.

There are several different ways that liposuction is performed, such as a tumescent anesthesia technique, using ultrasound energy, using laser energy, or trying to dissolve fat with injections.  Although a lot of research has gone in to improving liposuction, not all of the new technology is effective or useful.  Together the patient and Dr. Reavie can discuss which method(s) are best during the initial consultation visit.  There is a safe limit to the amount of fat that should be removed at one setting, and Dr. Reavie will discuss this safe limit as well.  The Liposuction operation can last from thirty minutes to several hours depending upon the amount of fat to be removed.   Liposuction surgery is an excellent procedure that can benefit those who want to remove unattractive fatty deposits.

Recovery Process

New techniques allow for faster recovery from liposuction and generally it is only for a few days.  The length of the recovery will depend on how extensive of an operation the patient undergoes.  Post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in the first few days in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time.  A support garment is used for several weeks after the surgery to reduce swelling, bruising, and help shrink the skin to the new smaller volume.  Patients sometimes report very little pain associated with liposuction and it can usually be treated effectively with oral medication.  While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the directions given after surgery.