Become body confident with Liposuction
Through liposuction surgery, Miami Beach board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gabriel E. Salloum, M.D., F.A.C.S., can improve a patient’s body contours for improved confidence and self-esteem.
It can be extremely difficult to get rid of stubborn fat, no matter how much effort you put in. Factors beyond a person’s control, like age and genetics, can dictate how extra fat reserves are managed by the body. Healthy lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet and exercise regimen, often improve general health and aid in weight management but might not lead to the desired body shape and appearance. Luckily, procedures like lipo are available that can target these specific areas.
Liposuction, or “lipo,” is a popular cosmetic surgery that is performed to remove isolated pockets of unwanted fat. These “problem areas” are often small, but they can have a big impact on a person’s appearance and self-esteem. By removing these fat deposits, a plastic surgeon can help patients achieve their ideal body shape and contour.
Cosmetic fat removal is performed to enhance the contours of the body but cannot replace diet and exercise or bariatric surgery. Those who wish to lose a significant amount of weight should work with their primary care physician to develop a sustainable healthy weight loss regimen before moving forward with body contouring surgery.
Good Candidates for Liposuction
Liposculpture was designed to slim various areas of the body in patients who are slightly overweight or are at their goal weight but struggle with stubborn fat deposits. Patients should have good skin elasticity so newly shaped areas appear tight and smooth.
Lipo is commonly performed on areas like the abdomen, back, butt, and thighs, but can also be used to sculpt the face and neck. To be considered good candidates, prospective patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations.
Dr. Salloum evaluates individual candidacy and creates a custom surgical plan during a liposuction consultation in Miami Beach, FL. The Miami Center for Plastic Surgery offers a spa-like atmosphere and valet parking for patients’ convenience and comfort.
*All patients are unique and individual results may vary.
How Liposuction is Performed
Fat removal surgery is performed at a specialized surgical center or hospital. Before the procedure, Dr. Salloum will meet with the patient to discuss the surgical plan and may create markings on the skin. These help to guide him during the fat removal process.
The patient will be given general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation for the duration of the procedure. If the tumescent technique will be used, a saltwater solution combined with medication is injected into the sites marked for fat loss. This causes the area to swell slightly and become firmer, which helps control blood loss and trauma during the procedure.
Next, a small incision is created in the skin so Dr. Salloum can reach the fatty layer. He will first liquefy the fat with a device that emits ultrasound and ultrasonic waves, sometimes referred to as UAL or ultrasound-assisted liposuction, to create vibrations that break down the fatty tissue. He then suctions the emulsified tissue from under the skin with a small tube called a cannula.
Combination Procedures with Lipo
Liposuction surgery can be performed independently to sculpt different areas but is often combined with other cosmetic procedures for optimal aesthetic benefits.
Fat suctioning can be used along with skin-tightening techniques, or fatty tissue might be grafted to other areas of the face and body for augmentation purposes. In some cases, a patient may be asked to gain weight for this procedure. The benefit of using a patient’s fat is that it feels natural, the body recognizes it, and it is readily available.
Surgical fat removal is often performed as part of the following cosmetic procedures:
Male breast growth, known as gynecomastia, is a condition caused by hormonal imbalances and may affect one or both sides of the chest. While some medications may reduce the size of male breasts, gynecomastia surgery is usually necessary to sculpt a more masculine upper body. Liposuction may be combined with the excision of breast gland tissue for the most natural shape.
Abdominoplasty, better known as tummy tuck surgery, is most commonly performed on women following one or more pregnancies. The skin is stretched beyond capacity, the abdominal wall muscles can become permanently stretched or separated, and unwanted fat accumulates around the midsection.
During this popular surgical procedure, excess skin is removed, the muscles are sutured and tightened, and the doctor can remove fat using lipo techniques for a slimmer abdomen.
Arm Lift and Thigh Lift
Many body lifting procedures are performed following massive weight loss. When fat cells expand in areas such as the upper arms and thighs, the skin also expands. Rapid weight loss or weight loss surgery might lead to displaced fat due to loose skin. During an arm lift or thigh lift, persistent fat can be sucked from the body and sagging skin can be surgically cut away.
Brazilian Butt Lift
During this buttock-enhancing procedure, body fat is removed so it can be redistributed to the patient’s backside. It is harvested from areas like the abdomen or back and purified in a centrifuge. The fat can then be injected into the buttocks for a fuller, more rounded look. In addition to creating a more prominent butt, the liposuctioned areas can benefit from the slimming effect of the fat removal portion of the surgery.
Fat grafting to the face is an alternative to facial fillers, which are synthetic gels that are used to restore volume in the face. Fat removal is first performed at the donor site, which can be almost any area with extra bulk.
The donor fat is then purified and injected into different areas of the face, like under the eyes to address bags or hollows, in the nasolabial (“parenthesis”) creases around the mouth, or into the cheeks for contouring. The benefit of an autologous fat transfer is that the body recognizes the material so it will not be rejected or cause an allergic reaction.
The most conventional type of lipo is performed using a series of fluid injections containing saltwater, lidocaine, and epinephrine. These injections reduce trauma to the treatment area, curbing blood loss and reducing pain.
By expanding the site with the fluid, the fat becomes firmer, making it easier to remove. This version of the popular plastic surgery requires less downtime, meaning that patients can resume their normal schedules sooner.
Assisted Liposuction Methods
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is often combined with tumescent fat removal for enhanced results. First, the plastic surgeon injects the tumescent solution into the fatty layer. Then, he uses a specialized device to deliver ultrasonic energy beneath the skin. By breaking apart the walls of the fat cells, they become much easier to remove.
Another version of this fat removal surgery is laser-assisted liposuction (LAL), which uses light energy to break down adipose tissue. The fat becomes emulsified and can be easily suctioned away from the body.
Power assisted-liposuction (PAL) provides a mechanical breakdown of the fat by using a vibrating cannula that moves to loosen fat. This helps to break up the tissue, making it easier to vacuum from the body. This technique is more popular in patients who require large-volume fat removal surgery.
Liposuction is performed as an outpatient procedure, so patients are typically discharged home soon after the surgery is complete. They must be driven home by a friend or family member.
Once awakened from the anesthesia, patients will be fitted with a compression garment to support their new body shape, minimize swelling, and increase blood flow at the surgical site. Some bruising and swelling is normal and will subside over the next few weeks.
Depending on the size of the treatment area, patients can return to normal life in as few as 3 days or as many as 14 days. While regular movement and light activity are generally encouraged, it can be up to a month before patients are approved for more strenuous activities.
In some cases, it may be up to 6 months before the sculpted areas fully settle. Patients may be provided with additional compression garments to wear throughout their recovery as needed.
In most Miami plastic surgery practices, lipo procedures begin around $3,000. This figure can vary depending on the desired treatment area, the amount of fat to be removed, and the addition of any other techniques or procedures to be performed alongside fat removal. After patients meet with Dr. Salloum for a consultation, he can work with the billing department of the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery to determine a patient’s total cost of services.
Liposculpture is not a weight loss procedure and is not intended to help a patient shed unwanted pounds. The purpose of eliminating unwanted fat is to contour the body. There is a safe limit to the amount of tissue that can be removed at one time.
Most lipo candidates are at a healthy weight or are slightly overweight. A healthy diet and regular exercise will help to prevent weight gain after the surgery.
While excess fat can worsen the look of cellulite, dimpled skin is mostly caused by a person’s anatomy. It affects the majority of women, but men are less likely to develop this type of skin puckering. Liposuction is not performed to treat cellulite and might not improve the look of the skin in affected areas.
Stretch marks are scars that form in the skin when it has expanded beyond its capacity. While these marks will fade somewhat over time, they are permanent. Suctioning fat from under affected skin will not eliminate stretch marks, though they may become less visible if the skin returns to its normal elasticity.
Better cosmetic solutions exist for the treatment of cellulite and stretch marks at the Med Spa of the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery. Velashape, a non-invasive procedure that utilizes radiofrequency energy and infrared light, decreases the size of fat cells and contracts the skin. Dr. Salloum can tighten the treated area up to 3 inches. This can reduce the appearance of cellulite. CO2 laser skin resurfacing can be performed to minimize the look of stretch marks and jumpstart collagen synthesis, which might also make cellulite less visible through the skin. These outpatient procedures can be performed with minimal downtime.
Gabriel E. Salloum, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Salloum is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial and body restructuring and reconstructive plastic surgery. To learn more about liposuction in Miami Beach, FL, call the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery at 305.405.6910 today.