Plastic Surgery Specialists - Dennis T. Monteiro, MD, FACS  
Body Contouring Procedures: Liposuction

Dr. Monteiro uses the newest tumescent and ultrasonic techniques to sculpture body features by removing diet and exercise-resisitant fat in all areas of the body, including the neck, arms, abdomen, back, hips, thighs, knees, and calves. This procedure is widely popular among women and men alike.

Please ask Dr. Monteiro about anything you don't understand in the information contained below.


What is liposuction?

Liposuction, a very common procedure for both women and men, is the surgical vacuuming of fat from beneath the surface of the skin. It is used to reduce fullness in any area of the body. It is an excellent method of spot reduction but is not an effective method of weight loss.
Very small incisions are made in the skin at strageic areas to insert instruments that will remove fat.

Who is a candidate for liposuction?

Generally people who have localized areas of protruding fat achieve the most dramatic results. Patients who are slightly overweight can benefit from liposuction. It is best to be at or near your normal weight. Good skin elasticity permits the skin to shrink easily to the reduced contour. There are no absolute age limits for liposuction.

What is the tumescent technique?

The tumescent technique involves injection beneath the skin of large volumes of salt water containing lidocaine, a local anesthetic and small amounts of adrenaline, a naturally occurring hormone which shrinks blood vessels. By injecting this solution to the fat prior to performing liposuction, Dr. Monteiro numbs the tissues and shrinks the blood vessels, thereby eliminating pain and reducing and minimizing bleeding, bruising, and swelling. The tumescent technique permits some patients who were previously treated under general anesthesia to be treated under local anesthesia with sedation.

Liosuction typically treated areas  

What areas are most frequently treated?

In women, the single most frequently treated areas are the outer thighs, followed by the stomach. In men, the flank area or "love handles" are treated most frequently. Other areas commonly treated include the male pectoral (breat) area, under arms in women, and removal of fat undr the chin and around the jawline. Sometimes a patient wiill request a faclift or neck lift to gain the results they desire.

Can liposuction tighten up a loose neck?

If there is excess fat in the area under the chin and the skin is taut, liposuction alone can produce a more sculpted, angular, and youthful jaw line. If, however, the skin of the neck is loose, hanging, or crepey, even if there is excess fat, liposuction alone will not produce the desired result. Patients with loose skin usually require a face and neck lift in addition to or instead of liposuction. In general, most patients who benefit from liposuction of the neck are under 40. Most patients over 40 will require some surgical skin tightening.

Planning your surgery

Although liposuction is very safe and effective, it is a surgical procedure and can cause complications such as infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. In addition, aesthetic complications such as skin irregularity or waviness can occur if too much fat has been removed. Fortunately, complications are uncommon and most patients are satisfied with their results. Dr. Monteiro will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations and making sure you understand the procedure. He will also explain the anesthesia to be used, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved. Don't hesitate to ask him any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.

Preparing for your surgery

Dr. Monteiro will give you instructions to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. While making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to assist you for a few days.

Types of anesthesia

Liposuction may be performed under general anesthesia, which means you'll sleep through the operation. In selected patients - particularly when smaller amounts of fat are being removed -
Dr. Monteiro may use local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy.

Where your surgery will be performed

Your liposuction may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center, or possibly in an office-based facility. It's usually done on an outpatient basis, for cost containment and convenience. If you're admitted to the hospital as an inpatient, you can expect to stay one or two days.


After your surgery

You're likely to feel tired and sore for several days, and look bruised following your surgery, but you'll be up and around in 24 to 48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication prescribed by Dr. Monteiro. You may experience pain for some time after the surgery, depending on the extent of the fat removal, but this will subside, as will the bruising. Dr. Monteiro will ask you to return in a week or so to remove any non-dissolving stitches he may have used.
Scarring from the very small insertion-points of the instruments used to remove the fat will be minimal and will eventually become faint or disappear.

Getting back to normal

Healing is a gradual process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don't plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel. Avoid exercise for a week. If you have any unusual symptoms, don't hesitate to call the doctor. Dr. Monteiro will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. After that, you can resume these activities slowly.

Your new look after liposuction  

Your new look...!

You should also keep in mind that liposuction won't keep you firm forever - the effects of diet, lack of exercise, gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again. Your satisfaction with liposuction is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic.

Last update: Monday, January 28, 2013 3:36 AM