Also known as suction assisted lipectomy or SAL, liposuction is a very popular and effective procedure used to remove unwanted excess fat deposits. It is most useful for healthy individuals who maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen that may find stubborn fat deposits. Despite the healthy diet and exercise regimen, these stubborn fatty deposits remain, and liposuction is designed to break up these pockets of fat and remove them surgically. Liposuction is not a replacement to proper diet and exercise, as the stubborn fat deposits can return through excessive weight gain following the procedure. In fact, many of Dr. Swail’s Boulder Valley patients are in excellent physical condition.
Liposuction is designed to slim and reshape specific areas of the body. Not only are excess fat deposits removed, but the specific area is sculpted and contoured, which can ultimately improve self-confidence and self-image. Stubborn fat deposits can be removed from multiple areas of the body including, thighs, arms, neck, hips, waist, back, inner knee, chest, cheeks, chin, calves and ankles. While liposuction is often performed as a single procedure, Dr. Swail may also recommend combining it with additional procedures to achieve optimal results.
Liposuction is done through a number of very small incisions surrounding the affected area. By using multiple small incisions, this greatly reduces the appearance of visible scarring. Once the incisions have been made, a sterile liquid solution is introduced to reduce bleeding and trauma. Through these tiny incisions, a small hollow tube (Cannula) is inserted to dislodge any stubborn fat deposits. The cannula loosens the fat in a smooth and controlled, back and forth motion. Once the affected areas have been targeted by the cannula, dislodged fat will be suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum, attached to the cannula.
As liposuction has grown in popularity, multiple advanced techniques have been developed to reduce bleeding and trauma to the body. These advanced techniques can minimize the amount of discomfort following the procedure, as well as reduce recovery time.
- Tumescent Liposuction: This technique is used where a large volume of diluted local anesthetic containing epinephrine is introduced to the tissue until it becomes distended. This allows the procedure to more precisely target the stubborn fat deposits and greatly reduces blood loss.
- Ultrasound or Laser Liposuction: These techniques are designed to use ultrasound or laser energy to liquefy the stubborn fat deposits allowing for easier removal.
It is common for there to be substantial fluid drainage in the first 12-24 hours following the procedure and rapidly decreases over time. Most patients are able to look after themselves the day after the procedure and can return to light activity 1-4 days after the procedure. Strenuous activity can typically be resumed after 4-6 weeks.
Dr. Swail meets with each patient personally to discuss their desired outcomes and expectations prior to each procedure. This allows Dr. Swail to design a customized procedure to achieve great long-lasting results, following a liposuction procedure. With proper exercise and diet, liposuction can deliver permanent results. However, stubborn fat deposits can return if a patient experiences substantial weight gain following the procedure.