Despite dedicated diet and exercise, many men and women maintain an ongoing battle with belly fat. This stubborn abdominal fat, along with other pockets of unwanted fat on the arms, thighs, buttocks, and elsewhere, seems to resist all traditional weight loss methods.
This leaves liposuction as the most effective solution. With liposuction, you can reduce unwanted fat in these areas, ultimately achieving smoother, leaner contours and boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that uses suction to dislodge, then remove stubborn fat from the body. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States today. The most common areas that are treated with liposuction include the:
Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
In order to be a good candidate for liposuction, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do to improve your body’s contours. Always think carefully about your decision to undergo any type of plastic surgery. If you’ve determined that this is the correct route for you, there are a few other qualifications that will make you an ideal candidate.
First, remember that liposuction is not a weight loss method. You must be at a healthy weight before surgery in order to qualify for this procedure. Naturally, you will have pockets of excess fat that you’d like to get rid of — that’s what liposuction is for! But all patients should aim to achieve a healthy BMI before considering liposuction. Think of this procedure as putting the final touches on your silhouette.
It’s also important to be in good overall physical health before liposuction. You should not have any ongoing infections or be undergoing any serious medical treatments. Finally, the more elastic your skin is, the better. While there are no set age requirements for this procedure, those with younger, tighter skin may achieve slightly better results.
The most common method of liposuction used by plastic surgeons is called suction-assisted liposuction. With this type of surgery, small incisions are first made in the target areas. Your surgeon then inserts a thin hollow tube called a cannula into the incisions. This cannula has a suction tube attached to it, and as your surgeon moves and agitates it, it will dislodge the fat and remove it through the tube with suction.
Most types of liposuction, such as those listed below, are simple variations of this traditional suction-assisted liposuction method.
With tumescent liposuction, lidocaine and epinephrine are utilized in order to swell the fat that is to be removed. This makes it easier to see for your surgeon. It’s also easier to remove this way. In many cases, bleeding is also reduced with tumescent liposuction.
With power-assisted liposuction, the cannula that is used to agitate and remove fat also vibrates, making it easier to break up fat cells during the removal process.
Finally, ultrasound-assisted liposuction is often used in tough areas where fat is more difficult to remove (the back, for example). This method utilizes ultrasound energy to infuse high amounts of energy throughout the targeted areas. In turn, this dissolves the targeted fat and makes it easier to suction out with a cannula.
Preparing for Liposuction
Your first step toward liposuction surgery is to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Steinberg. Once Dr. Steinberg has met with you and determined that you are a good candidate for surgery, you will begin working with a Patient Care Coordinator to plan for your procedure.
It is important that you take some time off from work or school before your procedure. You should also plan on staying home and resting for at least several weeks. During this time, you’ll need to wear a compression garment and avoid strenuous activities as well, so plan ahead and make arrangements to possibly have help at home.
Your Consultation Appointment
The best way to know if you qualify for liposuction surgery is to book a consultation appointment. During this appointment, you and Dr. Steinberg, along with a Patient Care Coordinator, will discuss your medical history, overall health, and ultimate goals for surgery. Dr. Steinberg will do a physical examination, and finally, you will be able to discuss your options together.
Your consultation appointment is your chance to ask important questions about the surgery. Remember to bring a pad of paper with your questions written down so that you don’t forget any. It’s also not a bad idea to take notes during the appointment. Dr. Steinberg will be providing you with invaluable advice and instructions as you move forward.
Details About the Surgery
The specific details of your surgery will depend on what type of liposuction you will be undergoing and several other factors. Dr. Steinberg can give you more exact details about what to expect during surgery when you speak with her before your procedure.
In general, however, on the day of your surgery, you will be welcomed by our staff and will meet briefly with Dr. Steinberg. She will look over your anatomy, performing several markings on your body, which will later guide her during surgery. At this point, it’s a good time to bring up any remaining questions or concerns you may have. From there, you will be taken to the operating room where you will be given general anesthesia for your comfort.
During surgery, in order to dislodge and remove the unwanted fat, Dr. Steinberg will make small incisions in the necessary locations. A thin tube called a cannula will then be inserted into each incision. Dr. Steinberg will agitate the fat with the cannula, breaking up the fat cells, which will then be vacuumed into a separate receptacle through the cannula and attached tubing. Simultaneously, IV fluids will be given to you to help you avoid dehydration.
Again, the details of your exact procedure may vary slightly, depending on the specific type of liposuction being performed and the procedural plan that Dr. Steinberg has prepared for you.
Recovering From Liposuction
After you awake from the anesthesia, Dr. Steinberg will meet with you to discuss how the procedure went and what to expect in the coming days and weeks. Liposuction is usually an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to go home shortly after you wake up from surgery. Large volume liposuction will require an overnight stay in a hospital or facility.
You will need to rest for several weeks after your procedure, closely following the recovery instructions given to you by Dr. Steinberg. These instructions will include wearing a compression garment 24/7 for 6 weeks, avoiding strenuous physical activity (except walking), and caring for bruising and swelling. Keep in mind that bruising and swelling are normal after surgery and will diminish over time.
If liposuction was the only procedure being performed, most patients will be able to return to work (depending on their occupation) within two weeks. You will also meet again with Dr. Steinberg after two weeks so that she can examine the progress of your healing and answer any further questions you may have.
After approximately four weeks and once you have been cleared by Dr. Steinberg, you will be able to resume normal activity, including regular exercise. In order to maintain optimal results from your procedure, it is crucial that you stay within a healthy weight range. Not exercising consistently or abiding by a consistent diet can jeopardize your results and may lead to the reestablishment of the same stubborn fat.
Are There Risks Associated With Liposuction?
As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks and possible complications associated with liposuction. Make sure you are aware of these and consider them as you weigh the pros and cons of getting surgery. These risks and complications include, but are not limited to:
- Numbness and persistent changes in sensation after surgery
- Fluid accumulation
- Damage to deep tissue, blood vessels, muscles, or organs
- Irregular scarring
- Contour irregularities and bumps
In rare cases, pulmonary complications, heart problems, or kidney-related issues may occur. Dr. Steinberg will discuss these risks with you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions About Liposuction
How much does liposuction cost in Houston?
For several reasons, the cost of liposuction Houston can vary greatly. Most notably, keep in mind that liposuction may be performed extensively on several parts of the body or acutely in just one small area. If you plan to get liposuction on your arms, abdomen, hips, and thighs, for example, the procedure will cost more than a simple liposuction surgery that targets only the arms.
Likewise, the specific liposuction method used by your plastic surgeon will vary the final cost as well. And finally, there will be added costs if you plan to use the fat removed during liposuction in another place in your body — for example, in the breasts or buttocks (fat transfer procedure).
To know your final cost estimate, book a consultation appointment with Dr. Steinberg to discuss your options and goals.
Does liposuction come with a mommy makeover?
Yes, often mommy makeovers involve some form of liposuction.
A mommy makeover is a set of procedures that aims to restore the female body to its pre-pregnancy state or enhance a body that has been affected by the physical changes of pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding. Mommy makeovers typically include a combination of liposuction, tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and/or breast lift. Therefore, the term simply refers to a surgery that involves some or all of these individual procedures.
Most women who seek mommy makeovers are looking to fix challenges such as excess skin on the abdomen, stretch marks, loss of volume in the breasts, drooping or sagging breasts, and/or other pockets of excess fat and skin.
How long does liposuction last?
The process of removing fat from the body through liposuction is indeed permanent. That is, the targeted fat cells are completely removed from the body and discarded (or used elsewhere on the body as with a fat transfer).
On the other hand, calling liposuction absolutely permanent isn’t exactly accurate. This is because an individual can technically regain the fat they lost through liposuction if they do not maintain a healthy weight after surgery.
Will liposuction help you lose weight?
It’s important to remember that liposuction is not a weight loss solution. While it will make your contours slimmer and smoother by removing pockets of excess fat, there are limits to how much fat can be removed with liposuction. Significant fat reduction necessitates another method of weight loss, such as traditional diet and exercise.
Can we use the removed fat to enhance other parts of the body?
Certainly. The process of removing unwanted fat from one part of the body and relocating it to another part of the body is called a fat transfer. Specifically, a fat transfer to the breast is a form of breast augmentation that can increase your cup size and/or change the shape of your breasts. Alternatively, fat that is transferred from an unwanted area of the body to the buttocks is typically called a Brazilian butt lift or BBL.
The fat transfer process is often coveted for its natural-looking results. You are a good candidate for a fat transfer procedure if you have viable options for donor fat and are looking to make relatively small changes to the enhanced area.
Book Your Consultation Appointment With Dr. Steinberg Today
Dr. Steinberg is dedicated to helping her patients achieve their aesthetic physical goals through safe and effective plastic surgery and non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Her dedication to patient care and meticulous attention to detail set her apart and have made her one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in the Houston area.
If you are seeking the best provider of liposuction Houston has to offer, look no further than Dr. Steinberg. Book your consultation appointment today to learn more about your options for liposuction and other procedures.
Stunning Before & After Photos