It’s important for patients to know that liposuction is not the easy way out when it comes to getting rid of excess body fat. In fact, the ideal patient for Liposuction is one who has decreased their physiological fat through diet and exercise. What remains is diet-resistant structural fat—the true target of the Liposuction procedure. Diet and exercise do things that Liposuction can’t. Conversely, Liposuction can do things that diet and exercise can’t.
In general, younger, pre-menopausal women tend to accumulate excess body fat in what’s called the subcutaneous compartment—the layer of fat immediately beneath the skin that you can pinch and feel. In contrast, men tend to accumulate excess Body Fat in the visceral compartment, deep within the abdominal cavity. Visceral fat cells are more easily influenced by diet and exercise; subcutaneous fat cells are more structural in nature, and don’t respond to those methods as well. That’s why men tend to lose weight fairly easily by dieting…and a lot of women don’t.
Liposuction is designed to physically remove fat cells from the Subcutaneous Compartment and is most commonly used to treat the abdomen, hips and thighs, arms, and chin and neck. All of our Liposuction procedures are done under IV sedation (general anesthetic is not required), so the patient can be moved into multiple conditions and we can take a 3-dimensional approach sculpturally removing excess body fat.
There are a lot of other ways to treat excess body fat (like ultrasonics, cooling, heating and direct tissue injections), but these most often require multiple treatments and have less of a direct effect. Tumescent Liposuction remains the gold standard for spot reduction of excess body fat deposits.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Dramatic weight loss can create a situation where despite good diet and exercise habits, patients become discouraged by excess volume around the tummy area and give up on good habits, thinking their bodies will never change. What’s not commonly known is that their problems are often not excess fat but a hernia…something that can be repaired by abdominoplasty (but that isn’t recognized as such by insurance).
Abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure designed to flatten and tighten the abdomen in patients who have lost skin elasticity and muscle tone due to pregnancy, cesarean section, or significant weight loss. It’s designed to address three distinct problem areas: excess skin, excess diet-resistant subcutaneous fat, and abdominal (rectus) muscle separation. Note that not every patient has all three of these problems, making a ‘mini’ abdominoplasty an option in some cases.
Brachioplasty & Arm Liposuction.
Think of brachioplasty as a tummy tuck for the arms that removes excess skin and fat from the upper parts of the appendages. It’s not a surgery for everyone, however. Truth be told, we probably talk more people out of this procedure than into it. For most, arm liposuction alone is enough to make a significant improvement (without scars). But for a very select group of patients with large amounts of skin and subcutaneous fat excess (typically those who have experienced dramatic weight loss), the dramatically reduced arm circumference created by brachioplasty can outweigh the drawback, including visible scars that run down the inner arms to just above the elbows.