Liposuction is a popular body contouring treatment that is most effective for fatty deposits that stubbornly resist diet and exercise. The most common liposuction areas are the thighs, hips, buttocks, face, neck, arms, and back. When desired, Dr. Chow has combined liposuction with other cosmetic surgery procedures to create a comprehensive body sculpting plan for his patients. He performs various liposuction techniques at his center serving San Francisco, Danville, Sacramento, and surrounding areas to achieve attractive, natural-looking results.
Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss — it isn't designed to remove very large amounts of subdermal fat. The purpose of liposuction is to "sculpt" the body, somewhat like a sculptor works with clay. The best candidates for liposuction are close to their optimal body weight. A patient's age is not a major deterrent to liposuction or body contouring; however, skin normally loses some of its elasticity with age, and a patient with less elasticity may not achieve the same result as someone who has firmer skin to begin with.
For additional information on liposuction, contact our San Francisco center serving Danville, Sacramento, and surrounding areas to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Albert Chow, a highly experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon.
The Liposuction Body Contouring Procedure
For those patients considering liposuction, our San Francisco practice offers a number of safe, minimally invasive treatments. These techniques ensure more precise results and quicker recovery. For those patients who are suitable candidates, external ultrasonic liposuction offers an excellent alternative to traditional liposuction. Using a highly precise hand piece, Dr. Chow is able to target specific problem areas where fatty deposits have accumulated. He then uses gentle ultrasonic energy to break down these deposits and removes them through a small, self-healing incision. By targeting these specific areas with such accuracy, Dr. Chow is able to produce liposuction results that are smoother and more natural-looking than was possible in the past.
You'll see a definite difference in the shape of the body areas that underwent liposuction very soon after the procedure. Further improvement will be apparent after a month or so, when the swelling is diminished. After three months, any mild, persistent swelling will have disappeared, and your final new contour will have established itself.
A liposuction procedure can also be combined with another body contouring technique by Dr. Chow such as abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck"). Additionally, liposuction may be combined with breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, facelift, and more depending on the unique needs of the patient.
The best candidates for liposuction are patients in good health, within 25 pounds of their ideal weight. Older patients with less elasticity in their skin may not have the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin; this should be taken into account before seeking treatment. Patients who have realistic expectations of the procedure are more likely to be happy with their results.
Generally performed as an outpatient surgery, traditional liposuction involves using general anesthesia or local anesthesia to sedate the patient. Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, liposuction can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Through a tiny incision, Dr. Chow inserts a narrow tube called a cannula into the fatty tissue beneath the skin to break up fat cells and suction them from the body.
Advanced Liposuction Procedures
Depending on your body type and desired results, Dr. Chow offers several advanced liposuction procedures to enhance your features. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Chow can help you determine the most effective liposuction technique for your individual needs.
- Tumescent Technique - One of the most popular liposuction options, the tumescent technique requires Dr. Chow to safely inject a large amount of fluid containing a local anesthetic and saline solution directly into the area of fatty tissue. The fluid helps the fat cells firm up and swell, making them easier to remove from the body. Although the procedure takes longer, it generally has smoother results, fewer complications, and faster recovery time than traditional liposuction. The tumescent technique also reduces the risk of excessive bleeding, bruising, and swelling that may occur after a liposuction procedure.
- Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) – Recommended as a supplement to tumescent liposuction, ultrasonic assisted liposuction involves the use of a special cannula that emits ultrasonic vibrations to liquefy fat cells so they are easier to remove from the body.
- Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) - This technique requires the use of a mechanized cannula that produces small vibrations to move through fatty tissue. The operative time and recovery time is generally shorter for patients who chose this procedure.
If you are interested in liposuction procedures, contact Dr. Chow, serving San Francisco, Sacramento and surrounding areas, for the latest information about fat removal techniques.
The Liposuction Recovery Process
During the first few weeks, most patients experience a slight degree of discomfort, soreness, and swelling, which can be controlled by pain medication and compressions. Essential to a successful recovery, compressions help minimize swelling and speed up the healing process. Most discomfort generally subsides in two to four weeks. You’ll see your liposuction results taking shape within the next two to three months.
As with any surgery, the risks and complications range from mild to serious. Certain risks may include heavy bleeding, infections, a bad reaction to anesthesia, prolonged swelling, and other irregularities that can make your road to recovery a little tougher. Dr. Chow is committed to minimizing the risks and helping you achieve a healthy recovery.
Schedule a Liposuction Consultation
To learn more about liposuction for our San Francisco, Danville, Sacramento, Lafayette, and Roseville area patients, please contact Dr. Chow and his team today to schedule a private consultation at our conveniently located center.