If you are in relatively good shape yet have pockets of stubborn fat that won’t go away no matter how much you diet or exercise, you may be a good candidate for liposuction. Many of those who consider liposuction, however, are confused about where the fat cells go after they are removed during this surgical procedure. Do they grow back? Will they show up in different areas of the body? These are valid questions, and ones that can be easily answered by a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Diehl. Here is a bit more information on the liposuction process and what really happens to those fat cells once they are removed.
What is Liposuction?
Traditional liposuction is a surgical procedure that is conducted under general anesthesia and sometimes local anesthesia. It is usually performed in a hospital or in a medical office that is equipped for outpatient surgery. After the anesthesia is administered, the surgeon will insert a stainless steel instrument called an infusion cannula to “tumesce” the area. This means that a large volume of fluid is administered to the entire area of fatty tissue. Then, through the same small incisions, a different type of cannula is inserted that is attached to a suction device. He or she will then gently suction out the excess fat in the predetermined areas to create a slimmer, smoother appearance. After the surgery, you will be given time to rest and recover before being released to fully recuperate in your own home. You should have someone to drive you home and should expect to take it easy for a week or two after surgery before returning to your normal schedule.
What is “Laser Liposuction” or SmartLipo?
Laser liposuction is basically the same process, but with two big differences. Most patients having laser liposuction are under local anesthesia only, avoiding the need for general anesthesia. The tumescent and suctioning process is the same, but sandwiched between them the laser is passed. The laser gives the additional advantages of some improved skin tightening and less bruising (resulting in a more comfortable recovery). Otherwise, The procedure, garment use, and post-operative care is the same.
How Does It Work?
The reason that liposuction works is that the number of fat cells in our body remains quite stable after we reach adulthood. When you lose or gain weight, you are not actually losing or gaining fat cells—your existing fat cells are just getting smaller or larger. That means that if excess fat cells exist in certain parts of your body such as your thighs or lower belly, it is much easier to gain weight in those areas and it may not be as easy to get rid of excess fat with diet or exercise alone. You can not ‘spot reduce’ fat cells. When you lose weight, you will lose it in all of your fat cells—even in areas where weight loss is not desired. If you want to reduce your proportions or reduce fat in a certain area, you should consider a procedure like liposuction that can achieve these results.
So What Really Happens to Those Cells?
Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from targeted areas on your body. Your body will not replace them, and you will not accumulate more fat in the remaining cells that are in the treated areas as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your weight stable. Some people believe that removing fat cells from one area causes them to increase in another, but this is not true. It may seem that way since the treated area will be noticeably slimmer, but fat cells that are manually removed can never return to your body. If you do not maintain your weight, however, you could gain more weight in untreated areas as they will still have the same number of fat cells as they did before the surgery. Liposuction is really only changing your proportion of fat cells in an area, so after liposuction if there is weight gain, it will show where there are more fat cells. For example, a patient feels that their problem area is the abdomen and a large number of the fat cells from this area are removed with the liposuction procedure. If that patient were to gain a significant amount of weight, proportionally they now may have more fat cells in the butt and thighs. This area will enlarge proportionally more because there are now more fat cells that can get larger in the part of her body compared to the abdomen (which used to proportionally have more before the surgery).
How Can I Maintain My Results?
Committing to a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a good diet and stable weight is the best way to ensure you maintain the results that come from liposuction. Those who experience the best results from liposuction are those who are already within five or ten pounds of their goal weight and simply have excess fat in certain areas that never seem to go away.
Keep in mind that the natural aging process will still have an effect on your weight and body shape after liposuction. Your metabolism will likely slow down as you age and you may notice additional changes in your body. Some liposuction patients return to their surgeon a few years down the road when additional procedures are desired. At this time, your surgeon will consult with you to see if an additional liposuction surgery is warranted or if other procedures could produce the results you want to see.
Working with a skilled and knowledgeable plastic surgeon such as Dr. Diehl for your liposuction procedure is imperative to both your safety and your satisfaction with the results. If you are interested in learning more about liposuction and if the procedure may be right for you, contact Dr. Diehl’s office to schedule a consultation.
Liposuction and CoolSculpting® have helped patients remove stubborn pockets of fat and achieve their dream body. While seemingly similar, both procedures use different techniques and work best for different patients. Knowing the difference and how to weigh each procedure against your desired goals is an important step in choosing the best plastic surgery solution for your body.
CoolSculpting® – Non-Invasive Fat Removal
Best known as the non-surgical fat reduction solution, CoolScupting uses cryolipolysis to eliminate fat cells. Developed by Harvard scientists, the process involves freezing fat cells so that they die and are naturally absorbed by the body. During CoolSculpting® treatment, stubborn pockets of fat are placed within applicator panels. The panels cool to a temperature that damages fat cells. Over the course of several months, the target area becomes noticeably smoother as more fat cells are processed out by the body. Some people may choose to have several treatments to the same area for a more aggressive fat reduction. It is reasonable to expect a 20-25% reduction in the area treated with each procedure.
What are the Benefits of CoolSculpting®?
One reason why CoolSculpting® is so popular is that it is completely non-invasive. Patients who can’t or don’t want to have surgery can use CoolSculpting® as an effective alternative for achieving their goals of a more sleek physique. Furthermore, as CoolSculpting® is non-invasive, the treatment requires no downtime compared to its surgical counterpart. For busy individuals who don’t have the time to commit to surgical preparation or recovery, the non-invasive nature of this treatment makes it a particularly attractive treatment option.
Are there any Downsides to CoolSculpting®?
While this non-surgical option is certainly effective, there are some conditions that may keep patients from enjoying the full benefits of treatment. For starters, CoolSculpting® is not a one and done procedure. In order for patients to fully realize their ideal results, they may require several treatments to the same area. Additionally, results are not immediate and gradually manifest within a few months. While this may seem like a downside, many patients see this as an opportunity to keep their procedure discreet.
The applicators are specific sizes, and while there are a variety of applicators to allow optimal treatment of an area, this does limit how large of an area can be treated. As a result, this treatment is most successful when it is used to target small, stubborn pockets of fat or a comprehensive plan is created to treat larger areas. CoolSculpting®and should not be used as a weight loss solution.
Tried and True Liposuction
Perhaps one of the best-known fat removal solutions, liposuction is a tried and true plastic surgery procedure popularly used to help patients achieve a more contoured physique. During this procedure, cannulas (thin tubes) are strategically inserted into the target area, and excess fat cells are removed.
What are the Benefits of Liposuction?
Liposuction is among the most popular, minimally invasive surgical solutions available. The treatment is very comprehensive in that large treatment areas can be successfully addressed in just one session. Liposuction is often included as part of larger treatment strategies such as mommy makeovers and full body contouring to help patients fully achieve their dream body. Furthermore, evolution in treatment instruments and technique have turned liposuction into a simple treatment that requires only limited recovery time. With a healthy diet and exercise, the results of liposuction can last well into the future. Liposuction is often done under local anesthesia, so general anesthesia is not necessary.
Are there any downsides to liposuction?
While the treatment process may be limited to very small, hidden scars, liposuction is still considered plastic surgery; patients must be healthy enough to undergo surgery to be a candidate for treatment. Likewise, there is a certain amount of recovery time patients should expect post-procedure.
Find Your Perfect Treatment Plan with Dr. Diehl
When it comes to plastic surgery, the surgery itself is only part of the overall treatment plan. Planning and preparation are arguably the most important steps in creating any successful surgery strategy. At Dr. Diehl’s plastic surgery practice, your one on one consultation is that important first step in the treatment process. By discussing your concerns and goals, our team can assess whether CoolSculpting® or liposuction is the best procedure for you.
Ready to get started? Call Dr. Diehl at (919)381-5540 today and schedule your consultation at Diehl Plastic Surgery today! We look forward to helping you achieve your best body.
With the weather starting to cool, the time to make holiday plans is quickly approaching. But for patients who feel less than confident in their appearance, the idea of seeing family and friends for the first time in months can be overwhelming. Double chins, in particular, are a common condition that can quickly undermine the self-confidence of many individuals and have few solutions outside plastic surgery. Luckily, solutions like submental liposuction give these individuals the opportunity to achieve a sleeker, more youthful look without having to undergo extensive treatment.
Seeing Double Chins? You’re Not Alone
Submental fat, better known as a double chin, is an increasingly common cosmetic condition among men and women of all ages. While many associate the development of extra tissue below the lower jaw with aging, the truth is that even individuals in their 20s and 30s can develop a double chin.
Given the high prevalence of submental fat among American adults, it’s no small wonder why patients are looking for ways to safely and effectively remove this excess tissue from their faces. One especially effective procedure is submental liposuction, a form of plastic surgery the gently (and permanently) removes excess fat deposits from below the jawbone to add definition to the face. Submental liposuction not only decreases bulk under the chin, it also helps to give a more sculpted jawline.
Why Submental Liposuction?
Also known as microliposculpture, submental liposuction applies the concept of liposuction to a smaller target area. This provides patients with several key benefits compared to other alternatives:
Less Invasive Treatments
As submental liposuction requires mini cannulas to remove excess adipose tissue, the treatment is much less invasive than the other surgical alternatives. During our patients’ consultation appointments, Dr. Diehl takes the time to study the lower half of the face and neck. She usually uses one small incision to access the entire area.
Less invasive treatment also means this solution to double chins has a much shorter recovery time than traditional surgery. There is really very little downtime with this procedure.
Effective for All Patients
While microliposculpture is still considered a form of cosmetic surgery, the minimally invasive nature of this treatment makes it ideal for almost every patient. Submental liposuction is highly recommended for individuals who are tired of seeing an extra bump below their chin as well as those missing distinction along the jaw. For individuals with excess thin or inelastic/lax skin tissue or platysmal banding along the neck, Dr. Diehl may recommend another procedure to help tighten the neck. However, even in these patients this procedure can oftentimes create an impact and improvement in the area.
Compared to other surgical options like face or necklifts that are long general anesthesia procedures, microliposculpture can be completed in just 30-45 minutes under local anesthesia. We also have Pro-Nox (self-administered nitrous oxide) available if desired.
In recovery, the use of only one incision and the Smart Lipo laser (which decreases bruising and improves tightening) leads to a shorter healing time and faster noticeable results. Whereas necklifts require about one week of downtime immediately following treatment plus 10 to 14 days of swelling, submental liposuction patients are usually able to return to work within 1-2 days. Occasionally patients will have some bruising and the swelling gradually decreases over the first month, although results are already starting to show at one week in most patients. Garments do need to be used to obtain the optimal results, but 24 hours/day only the first few days, after that the garment can be worn whenever you are at home. This helps achieve the best result while not being self-conscious when out and about.
Ready for Microliposculpture? Here’s What to Expect
As with other cosmetic procedures performed at Dr. Diehl’s Raleigh practice, your consultation will include an in-depth discussion about your condition as well as your medical health. From there, we’ll determine the details of your appointment, including anesthesia preference. For some individuals, this includes developing a larger treatment plan that combines submental liposuction with other facial restoration procedures.
Following your surgery, we encourage patients to take it easy and spend a few days recovering at home and wear the comfortable compression garment. You can expect some mild soreness or tenderness in the coming days as you heal. However, most outward swelling and discomfort usually dissipate within a week or two.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Is your double chin slowly chipping away at your self-esteem? Consider the advantages that submental liposuction can have on your confidence, all without lengthy surgery or recovery time. To learn more about this quick and effective solution, call Diehl Plastic Surgery today and schedule your consultation with our Raleigh plastic surgeon.
Diet and exercise provide whole body benefits such as improving health, building muscle, and helping you lose excess fat. For head to toe weight loss, these traditional methods are your best bet. However, fat doesn’t always accumulate evenly, hence the little nicknames for unwanted fat pockets: love handles, muffin tops, and banana rolls. If you’re close to your ideal weight, but stuck with rolls and bulges that won’t budge, what can you do?
Focus your fat loss on targeted areas with a body contouring procedure like liposuction. Using this powerful surgical treatment, we can effectively spot reduce stubborn fat and create your ideal shape. Call today and learn more about your options for liposuction at Diehl Plastic Surgery.
Where Do You Have Stubborn Fat?
Stubborn fat is a common problem for both men and women in Raleigh, NC. Most of our patients have at least one trouble spot where excess fat seems to gather and is difficult to lose. Unlike traditional weight loss that reduces the size of fat cells across the entire body, liposuction removes fat cells. This allows us to target specific areas. Since fat cells don’t regenerate, once we remove them, they are permanently gone. If you maintain a consistent weight, you should enjoy long-lasting results from your treatment. Many of our patients will never again struggle with stubborn fat pockets in the areas they treat with liposuction.
What areas can we enhance with this body contouring procedure? We use this treatment to shape and sculpt the body from top to bottom. Liposuction can remove stubborn fat from:
Diet and exercise alone aren’t the solutions for isolated fat pockets. Plain and simple, it’s just too hard for most patients to lose this type of fat on their own. Many give it a diligent effort and give up when the results don’t come after weeks and months of trying. Our body contouring treatments make it possible to eliminate the fat you can’t lose on your own. You focus on making your body strong and healthy, and we’ll take care of your trouble spots.
I’m Thinking About Liposuction and Want to Learn More About the Procedure
Turn your liposuction thoughts into body changing actions by calling our offices and scheduling a consultation. A consultation will provide you with personalized information and will give you the chance to sit down with a board-certified plastic surgeon and ask questions.
While you wait for your appointment, here is some information about the liposuction procedure and recovery.
What Happens During Liposuction?
This treatment is performed in our operating suite or in the procedure room, depending on the type of anesthesia selected. On the day of surgery, you’ll arrive at the facility and be escorted to a private waiting room. Patient privacy is very important to us.
Liposuction is performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the procedure, patient preferences, and other factors. We’ll talk about this in detail during your consultation. Small incisions are made near the treatment area. Dr. Diehl carefully places each incision to minimize visibility. A special tube called a cannula is inserted through the incision and used to suction out fat. The treated areas are carefully shaped, to ensure a smooth, even result after treatment. We offer both traditional liposuction and laser liposuction with SmartLipo.
After the fat is removed and ideal shape is achieved, the incisions are sutured closed, and the area is wrapped in bandaging. We often use compression garments to ensure proper healing.
Patients return home after the procedure. The level of post-operative recovery depends on the type of anesthesia selected. You will go home in compression garments.
What Is Recovery Like After Liposuction?
You’ll be back on your feet and enjoying sexier curves shortly after your treatment. Many patients are back to work within a week, often sooner. Bruising, swelling, and tenderness are common side effects during healing.
How Long Until I See Results from My Treatment? How Long Do They Last?
Liposuction results evolve over time. The most dramatic changes happen over the first month. Final results evolve over 6-8 months. Remain at a stable weight, and you may enjoy your results for years to come.
Trouble spots? Shape and contour your body to perfection with liposuction. Call our offices at 919-381-5540 to learn more about body contouring in Raleigh, NC.