Liposuction is the single most popular plastic surgery procedure in America, and for good reason. It is extremely safe when performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. The procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t leave much scarring while producing significant results. If you have areas of stubborn fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise, chances are very high that liposuction can achieve the body contouring you desire.
Dr. David Bottger is a liposuction surgeon in Philadelphia with years of experience helping men and women obtain a better body shape and feel better about themselves. Contact Dr. Bottger at 610-355-1929 today to schedule your initial liposuction consultation.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a cannula inserted through small incisions to remove unwanted fat. It is much more effective than non-surgical fat reduction devices on the market, as it physically removes fat and is able to remove larger quantities of fat than non-surgical devices can manage.
It is important to remember that liposuction is not a way to lose weight. Liposuction can remove fat, but it will not remove pounds. Fat is very light, and the amount removed will weigh only a few pounds at most. If you are looking for a quick way to lose weight, liposuction is not the answer.
The best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan, or see a bariatric surgeon for more extreme weight loss surgery.
How Does Liposuction Work?
There are a variety of liposuction techniques available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Dr. Bottger prefers to utilize the simplest and most effective technique, which is suction assisted liposuction. Using this technique, the surgeon uses a thin cannula in a back and forth motion to break up the fat and then suction it out. Because the manual back and forth motions are done by the surgeon himself, results are more predictable and the surgeon has higher control over the end contour.
Other liposuction methods include:
- Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL)” This method of liposuction utilizes a cannula which emulsifies fat with sound waves. While this method is touted as making the fat easier to remove, Dr. Bottger does not feel that it offers any significant benefits over the standard suction assisted technique. In addition, UAL is associated with higher risk of complications.
- Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL)” This technique uses a vibrating cannula to help automate the breaking up of fat. While it may reduce the work of the surgeon, it offers no appreciable benefits in terms of results.
- Tumescent Liposuction: This method involves the injection of a diluted solution of adrenaline, which constricts the blood vessels and reduces potential bleeding. A diluted solution of xylocaine can also be added in order to numb the area to be treated, depending on the method of anesthesia utilized. Tumescent liposuction is considered the safest method, and is utilized in conjunction with the standard suction assisted liposuction that Dr. Bottger prefers as well as power assisted liposuction.
When undergoing liposuction, the technique of the surgeon is more important than the type of liposuction chosen. Each surgeon will have a different preference, so the best thing to do is look at how much experience they have and what their before-and-after photos look like.
Depending on the extent of your liposuction procedure as well as personal preference, either local anesthesia with sedation, general anesthesia, or epidural anesthesia can be used. Dr. Bottger will discuss anesthesia options for liposuction with you during your consultation.
What Areas Can Liposuction Treat?
The most common perception of liposuction is that it can help slim down the waist and abdomen. While this is true, there are many other areas that liposuction can also help treat. Liposuction can remove small, precise amounts of fat as well as being used for larger areas.
Some of the most common areas of the body that Dr. Bottger performs liposuction on in Philadelphia include:
- Facial Liposuction: The face is actually a fairly common area to have liposuction on. Many people have significant amounts of fat underneath their chin that they want to reduce in order to obtain a clean, sculpted neck and jawline. Neck liposuction is safe and can produce beautiful results for men and women, and can be performed in conjunction with a facelift for optimal results in the right candidate.
- Upper Body Liposuction: Excess fat in the arms, “bra bulge,” and some cases of excess fat in the chest causing “man breasts” can be treated effectively with liposuction. Men who want a flatter chest, women who want to get rid of fat bulges around the bra area, and anyone with flabby upper arms (but not loose skin on the upper arms) could be liposuction candidates.
- Lower Body Liposuction: This is the most common area for liposuction to be performed, and can include the abdomen, waist, “love handles,” thighs, buttocks, lower back, and hips. On occasion, liposuction can be performed on the calves or ankles, but these areas can be very tricky. Ask Dr. Bottger if you are a suitable candidate.
Are You A Good Liposuction Candidate?
In general, the best candidate for liposuction is a person who:
- Is in good health
- Is close to his or her ideal weight
- Has one or more areas of localized body fat deposits that have not been responsive to diet or exercise
- Has good, firm skin tone without a lot of laxity
Skin tone is an important factor to consider if deciding between liposuction and a tummy tuck. Liposuction can remove fat, but it does not address loose skin. If you have skin that is loose or sagging, liposuction may make that sagging worse. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, addresses both loose skin and excess fat in the abdomen.
Liposuction is a common procedure, but it is still surgery, and it is important to be in good health before undergoing any elective surgical procedure. If you suffer from a chronic condition such as diabetes, please make sure that it is under control and get clearance from your primary doctor before deciding to undergo liposuction.
In addition, smoking greatly increases the risk of complications from liposuction. If you are a smoker, you should be able to quit for at least a month prior to surgery.
Does Liposuction Treat Cellulite?
It is a myth that cellulite is caused by fat. Women (and some men, although cellulite predominantly affects women) of all ages and weights can be affected. The main risk factors for cellulite are:
Liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite, stretch marks, or sagging skin. It is solely designed to help contour areas of stubborn fat. In some cases, fat reduction may help improve the appearance of cellulite, but this is not guaranteed.
While there are many non-invasive technologies on the market that claim to reduce cellulite, there is so far no real evidence that any of these technologies are actually effective.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
Liposuction costs vary depending on a number of factors, including the skill of your surgeon, the area you live in, and how many areas you are having treated. Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. David Bottger will give you an exact quote with all fees included during your consultation. If necessary, we do offer affordable plastic surgery financing plans to help you meet your budget.
Choosing your surgeon is the most important part of the liposuction process. It is absolutely essential to choose a surgeon who has board certification in plastic surgery and has extensive training and experience.
Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, state law requires only a medical license to perform liposuction. Therefore, unqualified physicians have begun offering cut-rate liposuction procedures at significantly reduced costs. People seduced by what they perceive as a great deal often come to regret it when they have to spend much more on revision surgery to correct bad liposuction outcomes done by these unqualified doctors.
Are Liposuction Results Permanent?
One of the questions Dr. Bottger frequently hears from his patients during a liposuction consultation is, “Will the effects of my procedure be permanent?” Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question.
In some ways, liposuction results are permanent. However, this does not mean that you cannot gain weight after a liposuction procedure. One of the most important requirements for maintaining liposuction results is to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle following your procedure.
Here’s a general overview of what long-term results you can expect from liposuction:
- Fat cells do not return: The good news is that fat cells removed by liposuction will not return. Your body contains a fixed amount of fat cells that grow larger or smaller due to fluctuations in weight. Therefore, your fat cell reduction after lipo is permanent.
- You can still gain weight: A permanent reduction in fat cells does not mean a permanent change to your body shape. Surrounding fat cells and any fat cells left behind after liposuction can still fluctuate in size, and weight gain will make them bigger. If you gain a large amount of weight, it’s common for other areas of the body other than the area you had liposuction on to be affected first. If you continue to gain weight, even the liposuctioned area can end up being affected.
We highly recommend that people interested in liposuction be at a stable weight that they are able to maintain through diet and exercise. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, and must go hand in hand with a conscious effort to lead a healthy lifestyle in order for results to stick.
Recovery After Liposuction
Recovery time following liposuction varies by individual. In addition, the number of areas you had treated also affects recovery time. One area will recover more quickly than multiple areas. Generally, recovery is very tolerable. As long as you follow Dr. Bottger’s post-op care instructions, you should be able to return to work within the first week.
You will have some bruising and swelling after your liposuction procedure. The bruising and majority of swelling will usually disappear within a few weeks; however, residual swelling can last for up to six months. Patients generally have a good idea of what their final appearance will be at around 3 months.
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Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
Liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are both very popular and effective, but they accomplish different things. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, addresses loose skin and muscles as well as excess fat in the abdomen. Liposuction, on the other hand, does not address loose skin.
Mothers with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy and people who have lost massive amounts of weight tend to be good tummy tuck candidates. In addition, older men and women with lax skin may benefit more from a tummy tuck or body lift than liposuction alone.
In some cases, liposuction combined with a tummy tuck may be the best option. In addition, Dr. Bottger performs procedures to trim and tighten loose skin on the arms, thighs, and back. A tummy tuck only addresses loose skin on the abdomen, but many people would also benefit from an arm lift, thigh lift, back lift, or full body lift.
Schedule Your Philadelphia Liposuction Consultation
If you are interested in liposuction to obtain a better body contour, don’t hesitate to contact experienced Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. David Bottger at 610-355-1929 to schedule your initial consultation. He will answer any questions you have and let you know if you are a good candidate for liposuction.
Dr. Bottger serves patients in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania. Get directions to our lipo surgeon from Google Maps.