8911 Shady Grove Ct. Gaithersburg, MD 20877
One of the most common of all cosmetic procedures, abdominal liposuction is a technique for recontouring the body by permanently removing fat deposits from the abdomen. The tendency to accumulate fat in the abdomen may be inherited, and this fat is often especially resistant to diet and exercise.
Many patients become discouraged at having lost unwanted pounds without seeing a flatter abdomen. The overall proportions of the body may be unbalanced, or the abdomen may simply have retained areas of fatty tissue that cause it to protrude. In these cases, liposuction can successfully trim excess fat in the abdomen for a flatter abdomen and more slender, balanced shape.
Keep in mind that the higher your goals, the more you will have to actively participate in this process in order to achieve those goals. If you are just concerned about removing fat, liposuction alone will achieve that goal. But if you want an athletic, sculpted look, and you want to look great in a bikini, you may need to incorporate extensive exercise into your plan.
Questions and Answers
What will happen at the initial consultation?
During the consultation, your surgeon will talk with you about the changes you would like to make in your appearance. He/she will explain the different options available to you, the liposuction procedure itself, its risks and limitations, and costs. Your surgeon will begin with a physical examination to evaluate your overall weight, your skin and muscle tone, and the pattern of distribution of fat deposits. He/she will also record a complete medical history, including your diet, exercise, and weight history. You will need to let him or her know about any medications that you are currently taking. Be sure to ask all the questions you have about the procedure, and ask to see photos of the doctor’s recent patients, before and after treatment. Also ask for, and follow up on, patient references. Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision.
How is abdominal liposuction performed?
Before surgery, the surgeon will mark the precise areas of the body where the fat is to be removed. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in a vein in your arm to make sure the fluid level in your body stays within healthy limits throughout the procedure. If you are not undergoing general anesthesia, you may be given a sedative for relaxation.
During abdominal liposuction, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the skin, typically in the navel or just below the bikini line, and inserts a thin tube called a cannula into the fatty area. The cannula is used to break up the fat deposits and sculpt the area to the desired proportions. The unwanted fat is removed with a powerful vacuum, leaving the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact.
In the super-wet liposuction technique, a saline solution containing a local anesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the area to be treated, which makes the fat deposits easier to break up and extract. This extra fluid also minimizes trauma to the surrounding tissue, reducing swelling and post-operative pain. The administration of adrenaline also decreases bleeding during surgery, further reducing risks.
The tumescent technique, in which even larger amounts of liquid solution are injected, has similar benefits.
A newer method, ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), uses sound waves to liquefy the fat after the injection of fluids. UAL also minimizes trauma, causing less bruising and blood loss. UAL is particularly useful on fibrous areas of the body, such as the male breast, the upper abdomen, and the upper back, which are difficult to treat with traditional techniques.
How long does the procedure take?
On average, abdominal liposuction takes 1-2 hours per area treated.
What is the recovery period like?
Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. To speed the healing process your surgeon will probably tell you to begin light activity as soon as possible.
You should be able to return to work within a few days if your work is fairly sedentary. You should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks as your body heals, but within 4 to 6 weeks you should be able to resume all normal activities. It’s important to continue wearing the compression garment, which should be easily hidden under your clothing, until your doctor tells you that it is no longer necessary.
What is the long-term outcome like for most people?
You should see visible results of your surgery within two or three weeks, but the full effects may not be evident for six months to a year. The more fat that you had removed, the longer it will take to achieve optimal results, because the skin has to adapt to a more radical change in shape.
Most people are pleased with the new contour of their abdomen and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence. Although liposuction cannot alter skin quality or muscle tone, and should not be a substitute for regular exercise and a balanced diet, your waistline will always be slimmer than it would be if you hadn’t had this procedure.
How long do the results last?
Because a portion of the fat cells are permanently removed by liposuction, so you will not tend to regain weight in that area. It is important to note, however, that abdominal liposuction does not guarantee that you won’t gain weight or fat deposits in other areas of your body. Moreover, since fat cells have been removed from the treatment site but not from surround areas, this weight gain can appear uneven. It is important to maintain your weight and contour with exercise and proper diet.
Risks and limitations:
Although liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the United States, and the majority of these operations are successful, there are risks and limitations to the procedure, as with any surgery.
After surgery, some patients experience dimpling, lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area. Follow-up surgery may be needed to correct these problems.
Photos Courtesy of Dr. Marco Pelosi
Flank and hip liposuction
|Dr. Yan offers abdominoplasty, liposuction,
gluteoplasty and other female cosmetic medicine in Maryland, and Virginia,
including Bethesda, Rockville, Shady Grove, Potomac, Reston, Fairfax, and