Liposuction Mobile, AL
In 2010 there were 203,100 cases of liposuction performed in the US according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Surgical removal of unwanted fat goes by many names such as liposuction, suction assisted lipectomy, lipo, and lipoplasty just to name a few. The intent of liposuction is the removal of fat in areas unresponsive to diet and exercise. Problem areas may affect how clothing fits and how one feels about ones appearance.
How is Liposuction Performed? Where Does Dr. Proffitt Perform Surgery?
Dr. Proffitt uses two techniques to perform liposuction in his Mobile office. He was the first doctor on the Gulf Coast to utilize ultrasonic liposuction which uses ultrasonic vibrations to break up fat cells making it easier to suction out the unwanted fat. Dr. Proffitt also uses the tumescent technique which involves instilling a saline solution mixed with both a local anesthetic and adrenaline in the area to be suctioned. Adrenaline constricts blood vessels and reduces bruising while local anesthetic helps reduce postoperative pain. The use of smaller cannulas and other instruments yields a smoother appearance and fewer irregularities than was initially seen when liposuction was first developed. Dr. Proffitt does not offer laser liposuction. This method of liposuction directly transfers heat and may cause burns and unsightly scarring.
Dr. Proffitt performs most liposuction cases involving the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms and back under general anesthesia at an outpatient facility. The areas to be liposuctioned are meticulously marked before surgery. The incisions are very small and sutures are absorbed. Immediately after your procedure, Dr. Proffitt will place a compression garment (a girdle) on you to help keep swelling at a minimum. The girdle must be worn for 6 weeks. Dr. Proffitt performs liposuction under general anesthesia with the supervision of a board certified anesthesiologist. Small areas such as neck, knees, and touchups are done under local in the office.
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How Long Will Recovery Take?
Your first postoperative appointment will be approximately 3 to 4 days after your surgery. At that time Dr. Proffitt will examine you and release you back to normal activities. You may also remove the compression garment to shower but it should be worn all other times for the next 6 weeks. You may feel bruised and sore for several weeks. Strenuous activity should wait for 3 weeks after surgery.
What are the Risks?
- You may have some contour irregularity. Although infrequent it is easily corrected under local in the office.
- Infections from liposuction procedures are very rare. Dr. Proffitt has never encountered an infection from a liposuction he has performed in 20 years of practice.
- Infrequently excessive bruising may occur .
What Results Should I Expect?
Even though you may see immediate results the final contour may take 3 to 6 months.
To learn more about liposuction in Mobile, Alabama, please contact the office of Dr. Randy Proffitt, board-certified plastic surgeon. Call our plastic surgery practice at 251-344-0322 or send us an email to learn more about liposuction.
More information about Liposuction – by Dr. Randy Proffitt
How is liposuction performed?
I like to use the tumescent (infusing a solution into the area to be suctioned) technique and occasionally ultrasonic liposuction. The areas most commonly performed include the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, and back as well as inner thighs and occasionally touch up on the lateral chest wall during or after breast surgery. Liposuction is usually done under general anesthesia with the patient asleep so they have maximum comfort during the procedure. The tumescent fluid is instilled. Usually I place local anesthetic (which helps with discomfort after surgery) as well as adrenalin (which helps reduce blood loss during the procedure) in the tumescent fluid. How much depends on how large the area is and how much I’m going to remove. Usually I like for the tumescent fluid that is instilled to equal the amount of fat that I expect to take out. For instance, in the abdomen if I estimate that I’m going to take out about a liter and a half of fat then I will instill a liter and a half of tumescent fluid. After the tumescent fluid is in place and the 7-10 minutes for the epinephrine to take effect has passed, I make three small incisions on the abdomen: one at the top of the umbilicus (belly button) and then two at the lower aspect of the abdomen on either side. Then the liposuction is performed in the abdomen through these ¼ inch incisions. Whether or not I use the ultrasonic liposuction or not, the incisions remain small and they are closed with absorbable sutures. Once the liposuction is done the patient is placed into a girdle prior to awakening in the operating room. I do not use any drains at all.
The amount of time it takes depends on how many areas are liposuctioned, for instance the abdomen alone takes 1 hour. If we’re doing two areas, such as the hips, or what I call the saddlebags or the lateral thighs in addition to the abdomen, these are done in the prone position with the patient lying on their stomach and changing position adds approximately 15 minutes to the procedure. The patient goes home once the anesthesia has worn off in an hour or two and follows up in my office in approximately 4 days. Patients are instructed that they can remove the girdle after 3 days and shower/wash all incisions. All that needs to be applied to the incisions are small band-aids. The girdle is immediately put back on. The girdle is worn for 6 weeks both day and night, except to shower. As far as restrictions I typically tell patients that they can expect to be off work for approximately 3-4 days so if the patient has the procedure on a Thursday they are back at work or school by that Monday. Strenuous exercise should be curtailed for at least 3 weeks.
Who are good candidates for liposuction?
In general, liposuction is intended for those areas of stubborn fat that the patient cannot get rid of by diet and exercise alone. With the use of the tumescent solution there is minimal bruising with the procedure and the additional the tumescent technique helps alleviate discomfort. Once 6 weeks are up, the patient can go without the girdle. I do tell patients that they may see additional reduction in size for up to 6 months.