What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure in which specific fat deposits are removed to improve the contours of the body. We offer different procedures including tumescent and ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL). Although liposuction is never a substitute for proper dieting and exercise, the process is sometimes the only thing that can remove pockets of fat that do not respond to traditional weight-loss methods. Fat removal can be performed on various parts of the body, including the hips, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks, and neck. At The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville in Tennessee, liposuction surgery is one of the post-bariatric cosmetic surgery procedures we offer.

Liposuction Surgery

The time required for surgery depends on the amount of fat to be removed, the size of the surgical area, the type of anesthesia required, and the type of procedure performed.

Fluid Injection Liposuction

This common surgery technique involves a medicated solution injected into targeted areas before the fat is removed. The fluid is a mixture of lidocaine (a local anesthetic), epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels), and saline solution. This mixture provides an anesthetic to lessen pain, reduces blood loss, and helps remove fat more easily. We at The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville will determine which surgery option best suits your needs.

Tumescent injection is another form of surgery. A large volume of fluid, which contains an anesthetic, as well as epinephrine, is injected into the treatment area. Due to the heavy volume of fluid involved, tumescent injection liposuction takes longer to perform than the traditional process.

Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)

Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) requires the surgical insertion of a cannula (small tube) used to produce ultrasonic energy. As the cannula passes through layers of fatty tissue, the ultrasonic energy liquefies the fat, making it easier for suction and extraction. UAL is often used for areas of the body with high fiber content, including the upper back. It can also be used to treat enlarged male breasts during gynecomastia surgery. UAL is also often used in secondary cosmetic procedures at our Nashville, Tennessee office for enhanced precision during surgery.

After Liposuction Surgery

After your procedure, you may have a small drainage tube placed under the skin to remove excess fluids. To control swelling, you may also be fitted with an elastic post-surgical garment that you will wear for a few weeks. During the healing period, you may likely experience some swelling, bleeding, temporary numbness, burning, and pain.

Recovery

After your surgery, the team at The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville will be available to you for support and to monitor your recovery process. To prevent possible blood clots and reduce swelling following liposuction surgery, we suggest that you start walking as soon as you are able. Many patients feel much better after a week or two of recovery time and return to work after a few days. Within the first week to 10 days, your stitches will either dissolve or will be removed. A majority of the post-surgical swelling and bruising disappears after three weeks, though some swelling may remain for several more months.

Potential Risks

Our skilled surgeons perform fat removal surgery regularly and with an excellent record for success. As rare as complications may be, they are still a possibility. If a greater number of areas are treated simultaneously or if the target areas are large in size, risks for post-surgical complications may increase. Risks following liposuction include infection, slow healing, clotting of the blood or fat, fluid loss, friction burns, perforation injury, and adverse reactions to drugs.

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Weight Loss Before Liposuction

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