What is Liposuction?
Liposuction or Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) is a procedure that removes deposits of fat from localized areas on the body using a vacuum-powered tube or cannula. Another type of liposuction is Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL). The Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction technique uses an ultrasound probe inserted beneath the skin’s surface to liquify the fat before it’s removed. Click here to learn more about UAL. The heat produced from this technique causes better skin retraction than standard liposuction. UAL also produces less bleeding and therefore less post operative bruising. Click here to read more about liposuction surgery
Am I A Candidate for Lipo?
Candidates for this procedure are physically healthy and psychologically stable. The best candidates are within 20-30 pounds of their ideal body weight , have healthy eating habits and good skin tone , but have pockets of localized or excess fat. Liposuction regardless of the type (UAL, SAL, Laser Lipo etc) are NOT intended as weight reduction procedures. Liposuction is utilized to improve contour. Some patients are candidates for high volume liposuction, which generally refers to the removal of more than 2,000 cc’s of fat at a single setting. For patient safety reasons, liposuction is limited to 5,000 cc’s of fat removal at a single setting. Anything in excess of this volume should be done in a hospital setting with an overnight hospital stay for monitoring purposes. Dr. Bradley will not perform liposuction procedures in excess of 5,000 at his facility for patient safety reasons. Click here to view before/after. For a private consultation, please call Dr. Bradley at 618-355-0993.
How Much Time Does The Procedure Take?
The procedure usually takes 1 to 3 hours depending on the volume of fat removed and the areas being treated.
How Do I Prepare For Surgery?
Dr. Bradley will give you guidelines on eating and drinking and on avoiding medications, herbal supplements, vitamins, and smoking. Following the guidelines is very important for a smooth surgery. Make sure someone will be able to drive you home after the procedure .
What Does Surgery Involve?
Patients are pre-medicated immediately prior to surgery to help relieve anxiety and to help relax. Each patient t will have the areas being treated marked with indelible ink felt tip pen in the holding area. Once the patient is sufficiently relaxed they will be taken to the O.R. Depending on the patient’s needs, they will either under go IV sedation or general anesthesia. Limited or small volume procedures can be safely and comfortably done with only oral medication and the local anesthetic solution. Regardless of the anesthesia technique being utilized, each patient will have the area(s) being treated injected with an anesthetic solution containing epinephrine ( “tumescent” technique or ” super wet” technique). This will numb the area as well as reduce the tendency for bleeding. Most patients will experience no pain immediately after the procedure because of the anesthetic solution which was injected in the O.R. The numbness can last several hours which aids greatly in pain control post-operatively. After the patient is adequately anesthetized, a small incision stab wound is made (about 3-5mm in length). I use UAL technique. The UAL cannula is first inserted to “melt’ or emulsify the fat, then a SAL cannula is used to removethe fat and provide final smooth contouring of the area being treated. The wounds are sutured close. Some surgeons prefer not to close the wounds, instead they deliberately allow the wounds to drain. Dr. Bradley tried this technique early on, but it was way too messy for the patient and he went back to closing all of my incision. Closing the wounds make for a nicer scar long term as well. All incisions are placed so they are as inconspicuous as possible. Many times the incisions are placed in naturally occurring skin creases to hide them better. All patients then will be placed in some type of post operative compression garment which aids in healing but also provides the patient with a significant amount of comfort. Drains are sometimes used , but only when the amount of fat removal requires drainage to help prevent post-operative fluid accumulation.
Will I Spend The Night In Your Facility Or Be Released After Surgery?
No. ALL liposuction procedures done at Dr. Bradley’s facility are done as out patient, which means the patient is discharged home once fully recovered from anesthesia. This is usually within 20 to 60 minutes from the completion of the surgery. Click here to learn more about Dr. Bradley’s facility
When Can I Return To My Normal Lifestyle?
You will feel sore for 1 week, and the pain gradually lessens within the second post operative week as to feel like a bruise. It is often stated that the pain from liposuction feels like “you got beat by a rubber hose” for those of you unfortunate enough to be able to identify with such an analogy. Most patients should be back to work within the first week. Even is a drain is utilized, this will not preclude most patients from returning to work provided their job does not entail heavy physical activity. If a patient does have a demanding job then it may be wise to take off of work for a full two weeks to allow sufficient time for uncomplicated healing. Drains come out when they drop to about thirty cc’s (an ounce) of fluid output over 24 hour period. The time it takes for this to occur depends on the volume of fat removed, the location of fat removal and on the person. Figure five to ten days until the drains are pulled. There is no showering, only sponge baths while the drain is in. Don’t want to tempt an infection! Take it easy and avoid strenuous activities for about 3 weeks, and within 6 weeks swelling should subside. Bruising usually fades by the end of the second week. Many times bruising is minimal to non existent when UAL is utilized. It usually takes a full three months before the patient realizes the full benefits of the procedure in that there are subtle changes in the skin and deeper tissue which takes up to three months to fully resolve. The more extensive the liposuction, the more protracted the healing. Small areas may not demonstrate any bruising and may look great at two weeks post operative. The compression garment is usually worn 24 hours/day except to shower for the first three weeks then at night time for another two to three weeks. Dr. Bradley will discuss an individualized recovery and activity plan for you.
Will I Need A Follow-Up Visit?
With every procedure, Dr. Bradley strives to provide personal follow-up visits to monitor your progress and answer any post-operative questions.