Liposuction is a process where unwanted fat is precisely removed out from the body for contouring. The most common areas of liposuction in men are abdomen, flanks, back, and under the neck. You may also have seen it referred to as lipoplasty, body sculpting, or suction lipectomy. Rather than wasting this precious fat collected from liposuction, it is often injected into areas of the face to restore youth, or buttocks to restore projection. Please refer to the fat grafting gallery for more information on this.
Liposuction is generally a day surgery that can be performed under general or local anesthesia. Men can go home after surgery as there is no need for hospitalization, and recovery is generally quick. For liposuction of the abdomen and flank areas, a binder is worn for several weeks to reduce swelling and improve contour.
There is very little post-operative pain, and the surgery is very safe. Although the surgery can be done under local anesthesia in the office, it is often advisable to undergo general anesthesia instead. With this approach, less lidocaine is required (which in excessive doses can be dangerous), and surgeons can be more vigorous in the fat removal process. Choosing between local anesthesia and general anesthesia is a discussion to have with Dr. Neavin as both offer their own advantages and disadvantages.
What are the different techniques?
There are several types of liposuction currently being marketed. You may have heard of laser-assisted lipo, Vaser liposuction, SmartLipo, and SlimLipo. However, the traditional tumescent liposuction method remains the gold standard for removal of fat. In this procedure, the fat is injected (infiltrated) with a solution containing local anesthesia such as lidocaine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and an IV fluid. This solution anesthetizes the body and constricts the small blood vessel allowing the surgeon to remove more fat with less bleeding and good pain control.
The other techniques mentioned above involve tumescent techniques with additional steps. There is power-assisted liposuction (PAL) which uses a mechanical hand piece that supplements the motions of the surgeon. There is also laser-assisted lipolysis (proprietary names include SmartLipo). Laser-assisted liposuction is for small volume liposuction cases only and often requires more than one session to remove the fat. Vaser refers to the use of heating fat before its removal. Its use may assist in skin tightening it is uncertain just how much benefit it might provide.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Far more important than method or device used in liposuction is proper patient selection. In a man with reasonably good skin elasticity and discrete regions of fat, liposuction can create powerful transformation. However, in men with loose skin or very obese men, the results are far less dramatic regardless of device or technique employed.
In men who have lost significant weight rapidly, one approach to contouring involves decompression liposuction followed by skin excision three to six months later. In men who have significant omental fat (fat surrounding the intestines beneath the abdominal muscles), weight loss may be recommended first to ensure optional results.
Men that will achieve the best results from liposuction possess good skin elasticity, are in good health, are not significantly overweight, and have very discrete problem areas they would like to improve.
Men that cannot accept the possibility of touch-up procedures to refine their results may not be the best candidates for liposuction. Touch-ups are performed in the office under local anesthesia and are generally not necessary to ensure positive results. However, one can be assured that it is the goal of Dr. Neavin to not only contour patients properly, but to ensure their complete satisfaction with their procedure. Such touch-ups are rather quick, provide little to no downtime and often put the finishing touch on your body contouring results.
Regardless of the device used, the technique (as well as patient selection) are the major determinants of successful results. There is no substitute for experience and skill. Areas of concern are evaluated for tissue properties that will either afford great results, good results, or mediocre results. Dr. Neavin will discuss the possibilities and limitations so that expectations can be set and ultimately met. Much of the aesthetic potential resides in skin elasticity which is affected by such things as diet, age, smoking, weight fluctuations, and genetics.
Areas of interest are marked pre operatively. Whether general anesthesia, straight local, or local with sedation are used, the technique remains the same. Regions are anesthetized with a tumescent solution. Liposuction is performed through access sites by making 1 cm incisions in multiple areas to ensure path crossing of the cannulas to create uniform thickness. Deeper fat layers are aspirated first with larger cannulas. As the depth decreases and surgery approaches the undersurface of skin, smaller cannulas are used to aid in subcutaneous thinning and resultant skin tightening.
Post-operative pain and downtime after liposuction are proportionate to volume extracted. Hospitalization is not required after liposuction and pain is well managed with oral narcotics. Generally, three days of feeling sore are followed by a rather quick return to feeling well. However, one should still take it easy and refrain from strenuous activity for at least three weeks following most liposuction procedures.
Garments are worn for four weeks following body liposuction. A chin strap is worn for a week following submental liposuction (removal of fat underneath the chin). Garments aid not only in reduction of swelling but in improving the uniform contour. This makes properly fitted garments essential in the post-operative period.
Access incisions are closed with stitches that may be dissolvable or permanent. Permanent sutures will need to be removed in our office seven or eight days after surgery.
Results from liposuction can be dramatic. While it is not a method of weight loss, when performed to discrete areas it can create the illusion that significant weight loss has been achieved. In addition, liposuction of the chest and abdomen can unveil the underlying musculature (namely, the rectus abdomens, external obliques, and pectoralis major muscle groups). Hidden “six-packs” can surface, as well as slimmer waists and more defined jaw lines.
Etching refers to a method of liposuction where fat is aggressively removed along the lines of the “six-pack” to create the appearance of a more toned abdomen. It is often referred to high-definition liposuction. Etching is performed in both horizontal and vertical lines to define the rectus abdominus muscle. Etching is a powerful technique in the proper candidate. In men with too much abdominal fat, etching proves to be a short-lived improvement followed by an unnatural “Ninja-Turtle” belly that is difficult to correct. Thus, etching must be considered with caution – both in the right person and in the proper hands.
If you want to enhance your body contour and your time at the gym hasn’t yielded the results you were hoping for, liposuction might be the right choice for you. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Neavin today by phoning Artisan of Beauty at 310‑858‑8811 or text 323-975-1287.