Tumescent Liposuction

The ideal candidate for liposuction is a person who is in good health physically and mentally and not severely overweight.

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Liposuction remains one of  the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures. Its increase in popularity is attributed to the refinement in the surgical technique and the dramatic results that can be achieved.

The History of Liposuction

Before the advent of liposuction patients who sought treatment for unwanted areas of excess fat had to resort to lipectomy.  Lipectomy involved the excision of skin and fat in the treatment area leaving long visible scars that were difficult, if not impossible, to hide.  This changed in the late 1970's when a French surgeon, Dr. Pierre Fournier, developed liposuction,a technique whereby the unwanted fat was removed through small "button-hole" incisions through a hollow tube(cannula) connected to an aspirator(suction apparatus) under general anesthesia.  The tiny incisions in inconspicuous folds and were closed using on a few sutures.  When Dr. Fournier introduced the technique to U.S. surgeons it was poorly received largely because ithe surgery as it was performed then resulted considerable loss of blood requiring transfusion.  The risk of transfusions at that time in medical history was magnified by the fear of AIDS as the tests for the HIV virus were not widely available.

The popularity of liposuction rose exponentially after a California dermatologist, Dr. Jeffery Klein, pioneered tumescent liposuction.  Tumescent liposuction involves the injection of a large volume of normal saline with a dilute concentration of lidocaine(a local anesthetic) and epinephrine( a medicine that causes constriction of blood vessels) into the areas to be treated.  This innovative advancement allows the fat to be extracted with much less trauma, less bleeding, and much less pain during and after the procedure. This results in a smoother skin contour over the treated area and a much faster recovery.   Furthermore, because Dr Chu performs the procedure in the surgical suite of his clinic, the risks and costs of general anesthesia are avoided.

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Who is a candidate for tumescent liposuction surgery?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is a person who is in good health physically and mentally and not severely overweight.  The goal of liposuction is to contour specific areas of the body where localized fat deposites occur.  These contours are commonly genetically determine and create unsightly contour irregularites that are resistant to diet and exercise.  Common areas treated are the neck, hips, thigh & waist.  Less common areas Dr. Chu has treated successfully are the chest of men, the back, knees & ankles.  During the initial consultation Dr. Chu will determine if the deposits are amenable to liposuction surgery and the how much the area(s) can be expected to improve.  He will further assess is the elasticity of the skin is adequate to shrink and conform to the postoperative contour.  If the elasticity of the skin is inadequate it may result in sagging skin after liposuction.Dr. Chu may refer you for alternative treatments such as facelifting or tummy tuck.    

What can one expect after tumescent liposuction? 

Swelling, bruising & numbness is to be expected following liposuction surgery, but usually subside rapidly when using the tumescent technique. However, swelling may persist in some areas for several months.  Dr. Chu will insist that a surgical compression garment designed for the treated area is worn continuously for one week.  After the first week a thinner, more comfortable compression garment such as Spanx may be sufficient.  Wearing a compression garment decreases welling and assists the skin tighten to the newly shaped contours. 

Are the results following liposuction permanent?  

 Liposuction is not an alternative to weight loss as it is a contouring procedure. In many patients the cause of their abdominal bulges is the fat underneath the muscle which only responds to dieting.  it is important to realize that fat cells removed by liposuction will not regenerate.  If considerable weight gain following surgery occurs, however, the results of liposuction will be negated. Liposuction is best  utilized in conjunction with a program of exercise and healthy diet to insure the best results.

 

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 Patients who have had liposuction have confirmed to Dr Chu over 25 years that the minimal discomfort following the procedure is insignificant compared to the dramatic improvement in the way that they look. Liposuction enhances the natural contours of the body and gives a person a more supple, youthful appearance.

Dr. Chu believes that any person interested in liposuction should have realistic expectations of what the procedure can and cannot achieve. If this is accomplished tumescent can lead to optimum results which not only improve one’s appearance, but their self-esteem as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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