- Silhouette String Facelift
- Breast Augmentation
- Transumbilical Breast Augmentation (TUBA)
- Breast Lift
- Breast Reduction
- Tummy Tuck
- Mommy Makeover
- Laser Liposuction
- Brazilian Butt Augmentation
- Cosmetic Gynecology
- Bariatric Patients
- Face & Hand Rejuvenation
- Varicose Veins
Body Contouring – Liposuction – LipoSculpting in McAllen and Brownsville
We tend to picture young and beautiful bodies as slender, sculpted, and well proportioned. Unfortunately, as we age and exercise less, we begin to add-on a few extra pounds each year, and before we know it, the person we see in the mirror no longer resembles the lean and svelte image we remember from our recent youth. Sometimes, the problem is not the weight we see on the scale, but the disturbing shape we see in our slowly expanding waistline or hips and our hectic modern lifestyle prevents us from exercising as much as we’d like or eating a healthy, low fat diet. Occasionally, hereditary factors are the culprit, conspiring to keep us from resembling the ideal, and we believe we are destined to live with mom’s hips or dad’s double chin. Many of us have even experimented with various diets and exercise routines to combat these areas of unwanted fat, most often to no avail. If you have localized areas of unwanted fat that you simply cannot lose, the problem may be genetics and lifestyle
– Liposculpting may be the answer.
Liposuction, also called LipoSculpting, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes bothersome, localized, disproportionate deposits of excess fat from specific areas of the body, face and neck. Popular liposuction procedures include slimming the hips and thighs, stomach liposuction, shaping the calves and ankles, or eliminating a double chin. Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed today. Because of the relative simplicity of the concept, “vacuuming” of unwanted fat from areas of the body, many medical practitioners have adopted it without formal training in Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery. Liposuction may not be the appropriate procedure for all cases, and there are limitations as to the amount of fat that can safely be removed in a single operation. Liposculpting is not a substitute for weight control. It is important to know the proper indications for the procedure, to be able to discuss alternatives, and to manage potential risks.
Am I A Candidate?
Body contours made irregular by excess fat accumulation can be improved by Liposuction, from liposuction to the legs to liposuction tummy tuck procedures. Generally, these areas are not responsive to diet or exercise, and are persistent even when you are at your ideal weight – persistent lipodystrophy. The best results with Liposuction are obtained in younger patients with resilient skin elasticity so that the skin will smoothly re-contour after the procedure. In some older patients, or in those with more long-standing localized fatty excess, the skin may be stretched and inelastic. In these instances Liposuction alone may be insufficient and even Laser Liposuctionmay not be able to adequately tighten the skin, and a skin tightening procedure (such as Abdominoplastyor Body Contouring) may be required. Liposuction cannot correct contours that are irregular for other reasons, such as muscle weakness or hernia, and it is not applicable in cases where there is excessive skin laxity (for example, the abdomen after multiple pregnancies) or “cellulite”. However, combined with additional procedures, Liposuction can often correct these other deformities with good results. Liposuction can also be used to perform Breast Reductionwith minimal scars and to treat a condition called Gynecomastia, or Male Breast Enlargement, where there is localized accumulation of excess fatty and breast tissue in teen or adult males.
The areas that respond well to Liposuction include:
- Cheeks, jowls, and neck
- Upper arms
- Breast or chest areas
- Abdomen and waistline (Flanks)
- Hips and buttocks
- Inner and outer thighs
- Knees, Calves and ankles
Liposculpting is a Body Contouring technique, not a method of surgical weight reduction. Even in large-volume Liposuction, although there is usually a noticeable and often dramatic improvement of the body contours, there may be relatively little change in the patient’s weight post-operatively, since fat is less dense (lighter in weight) than a comparable volume of water. Liposuction is not effective on diffuse, generalized, or intra-abdominal excess fat. I advise such patients that a medically supervised weight reduction program and possibly bariatric surgery is most beneficial in such cases. Liposuction works hand-in-hand with a healthy, low-fat diet and a program of regular exercise, to restore your shape, or to create the shape you’ve always dreamed of, minus the unwanted bulges that never seem to go away, even with your best efforts at diet and exercise.
During your consultation, you will be asked to point out the areas that concern you and would like to see improved. It is important to have realistic expectations about what can (and cannot) be achieved by the procedure. Liposuction is most successful in people of normal body weight with good skin tone who have isolated, localized unwanted fatty deposits. It is not a treatment for obesity, and usually, your weight will not change markedly following the procedure. Rather, the procedure will result in improvement of contour. If weight gain occurs following Liposuction, the resulting fat may be deposited irregularly in the areas that were treated and also accelerated deposition in areas that have not been treated, either of which would requiring a another, separate procedure.
A variety of factors can affect your results: physical condition, genetic makeup, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, and skin elasticity. As part of the consultation, I will carefully evaluate your general state of health. Any underlying conditions that may compromise your result, and any medications or supplements you are taking, should be discussed in detail. I will estimate the amount of fat that should be removed from each individual area of concern, in order to achieve the optimal result.
The Liposculpting Procedure
During the past decade, Liposuction has benefitted from several new refinements – most notably with the introduction of tumescent anesthesia and micro-cannulas. Because Liposuction is performed with local, tumescent anesthesia, it can be performed with the patient fully awake. But this has limitations, since the procedure must be performed slowly and patients still feel some discomfort from the movement even despite the local anesthetic. This ultimately limits how aggressively I can target the fat and limits their result. I prefer to perform Liposuction under light general anesthesia on an outpatient basis in a surgical center. This is safer and more comfortable for the patient. Small, discreet incisions, hidden in natural skin folds or placed as inconspicuously as possible, are placed adjacent to the areas to be treated. A cannula (small metal suction tube) of variable size (2.5 – 5 millimeter) is attached to a surgical vacuum machine or syringe, inserted through the small incisions, and directed below the skin into the fatty deposits requiring treatment. The procedure may take an hour or more, depending on how many areas will be treated.
“Tumescent” technique —The tumescent is a sterile salt-water (saline) solution with lidocaine (like the dentists use) and adrenaline that is used in all cases, usually in conjunction with light general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, to minimize any blood loss and bruising and to provide long-lasting pain relief both during and after the procedure. Because the tumescent solution is infiltrated after the general anesthetic, the injections themselves are painless. I use a “super-wet” tumescent technique to fill and inflate the areas that are to be treated. This makes the liposuction safer as well as painless. Because of the “super-wet” technique, patients will have “leaking” of the excess tumescent solution for the first few days after the surgery.
Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) —In select cases involving areas of dense or fibrous fat, secondary Liposuction cases, or large volume Liposuction cases I will utilize The PowerX Lipo System, which has several key advantages over other vibration-type, “tickle lipo” liposuction devices on the market. The Power X Lipo System creates a rotational motion of the cannula, which allows me to remove fatty tissue all the way around the cannula, rather than just above or below the orifice. The wide range of settings further allows me to tailor the system to any body contouring application, from gentle, superficial work to more aggressive large volume fat removal. This enhances passage of the cannula through the fat, and the fat is simultaneously vacuumed away, as in traditional Liposuction.
Laser Liposuction —The clinical term for this type of procedure is laser-assisted lipolysis (also called laser lipolysis or laser lipo for short), which is an evolution of traditional liposuction. SmartLipo and Lipotherme are brand names for some of the different lasers that can be used. Adding the laser to traditional liposuction increases the natural skin tightening that normally occurs after liposuction. The laser’s thermal effect causes collagen remodeling and further skin tightening that occurs over 3-6 months after surgery. This results in firmer, smoother skin that further enhances your body shaping goals. I find that adding the laser for liposuction to the neck, arms, and inner thighs results in optimal skin tightening in these delicate regions. The laser also helps to liquefy and remove unwanted fat in targeted body zones – especially in area of dense, fibrous tissue, such as breast tissue in men (Gynecomastia).
Can my fat from the liposuction be used anywhere else?
Yes. Fat transfer is a specialized process wherein the fat taken from areas of excess can be transferred to other areas where you desire increased fullness and suppleness. Fat is wonderful to enhance the gluteal contour as part of a Brazilian Butt Augmentation. Fat transfer can also restore the youthful contours and fullness of the face for Facial Rejuvenation, and the stem cells in the transferred fat also improve the texture and quality of the facial skin for optimal enhancement. Or, fat can be transferred to the breast for a Natural Breast Augmentationto modestly increase your breast size without using implants.
Options and Alternatives
Liposuction and Laser Liposuction will not address severe laxity of the skin in the treated areas, and in fact may worsen the appearance of these areas. In such instances, an alternative body contouring surgical procedure may be required, most commonly in conjunction with liposuction of the involved area(s). For excess, lax skin of the abdomen and hip areas, Abdominoplasty or Lower Body Lift may be required. Loose skin of the upper arms may require Brachioplasty (Arm Lift), and sagging skin of the inner thigh region may require a Thigh Lift. A severe double chin may require Facelift or Neck Lift in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Although most patients have uncomplicated recovery after liposuction, there are occasional problems or complications which may occur. Permanent problems are quite rare. Potential short-term complications include bleeding, infection, and reactions to anesthesia. Cosmetic complications include contour irregularities such as depressions or wrinkling of the skin, discoloration of the skin, asymmetry when comparing one side to the other, scar tissue, tape burns, and collections of blood (hematoma) or fluid (seroma) under the skin. Additional surgical procedures may be required to correct these complications, and there may be additional financial expense, loss of income, and inconvenience to you. Uncommon complications include loss of sensation or movement in a body area, skin breakdown or loss requiring skin graft or reconstruction, and fat embolism or blood clots in the lower leg veins which may travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Serious infection, or shock requiring hospitalization and blood transfusion, are exceedingly rare. Some bleeding and fluid shift is expected during Liposuction. Because of this, to maintain the safety of the procedure, there is a limit on how much fat can be removed at one time. If I anticipate that very large volume Liposuction (beyond the safe limit of a single operation) is required to achieve your goals, this may require a staged approach with the operations separated by recuperation intervals of several weeks or months, in order to safely accomplish the desired goal.
What about Recovery?
Your recuperation from Liposuction surgery is relatively easy. Most patients awaken with little or no pain as a result of the tumescent anesthesia and are mobile immediately after liposuction, although an extra day or two of bed rest may be needed when large amounts of fat are removed. Keep in mind that healing is a gradual process. Initially, you may feel somewhat stiff and sore. The day after surgery, you should be up and walking around to promote normal circulation. You should begin normal activity as soon as possible to reduce post-operative complications, but in some cases I may advise to avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks. Light exercise is usually permitted within a few days.
You should expect some bruising, swelling and pain after your procedure. If you feel like you’ve lost sensations in the areas treated, don’t be alarmed. As your nerves begin to regenerate feeling and sensation should return to normal. Swelling may linger for as long as several months. Pain medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort, however, if you begin to have severe pain, contact us immediately. The swelling tends to resolve most dramatically after the first 4-6 weeks, although the final result and skin tightening after liposuction takes 4-6 months. There will most likely be some bruising after your procedure, and this resolves over the first two weeks. You will wear special elastic compression garments provided to apply pressure, minimize swelling and provide support while healing. These garments also assist in retraction of the skin, and although they may be somewhat hot and uncomfortable, they must be worn continuously for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery, except when showering, in order to maximize your cosmetic outcome. After the first 4-6 weeks, the compression garment can be used for support and comfort as desired, for an additional 3 weeks. You will be sent home in a primary, black colored compression garment that will resist staining from the leaking of the tumescent fluid the first 2-3 days after surgery and which has zippers to make it easier to put on after showering. You will wear this black garment for the first 3-4 days, at which point you will switch to the secondary, skin colored garment once the leaking has stopped and your initial swelling has gone down. This secondary garment has no zippers and is to be worn for the remainder of the 4-6 weeks. The zippers are to be avoided as they can create contour defects along the sides. Compression after liposuction to the arms and chin is different and will be discussed during your consultation.
You may shower on the second or third day following surgery, but no bathing, swimming, or hot tubs until 4-6 weeks after surgery. Depending on the number of areas treated, you will be ready to return to office work in 3-5 days, and more strenuous activities at 10-14 days. You may increase your activity daily until full activity is resumed at 2-4 weeks. Avoid the sun until all bruising has subsided. A sunscreen should be used routinely; it is easy to get sunburned during recovery because of temporarily diminished sensation.
Your New Look
Your results will be recognizable almost immediately after Liposculpting, and will continue to improve gradually as the swelling subsides. The unwanted and unflattering bulges that prevented you from wearing your favorite styles of clothing will be gone, and you will have a new, slimmer contour.
With your diligent attention to a healthy diet, moderate exercise, and a weight management program, your treated areas should look great and retain their sculptured appearance for as long as you remain the same weight. If you gain weight, you will generally gain it in areas other than those that were liposuctioned.
Our patients find Liposuction to be a very satisfying procedure to remove those unwanted areas of fat that just won’t go away no matter how hard you try. Click here to request a consultation with Dr. Filiberto Rodriguez , a cosmetic fellowship-trained, board-certified surgeon and Liposculpting specialist. Or, you can call his office to schedule your appointment: 956-350-6561. Whether you're interested in thigh, arm, or stomach liposuction procedures, let us help you get rid of those unwanted bulges that are hiding the “slimmer you” within.