Body

Liposuction

This procedure is appropriate for patients in good health with excess subcutaneous fat which is resistant to diet and exercise. Best results are obtained in body areas with good skin tone, as this is important in skin contraction after surgery to remove underlying fat.

While fat may be removed in areas with skin laxity, if skin contraction is minimal, the aesthetic result will be suboptimal.

Ideal patients are near normal weight. While heavier patients may benefit from liposuction, this procedure is not a substitute for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

The most commonly treated areas are trunk, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, and under the chin.

In men with abnormal breast development (gynecomastia), liposuction may be of benefit, although removal of breast glandular tissue may require additional incisions.

Liposuction became popular starting in the 1980’s, and now is among the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures.

Dr. Casso performs limited liposuction procedures, such as submental liposuction (removal of fat under the chin) in his office under local anesthesia and light oral sedation. This procedure is helpful for patients with good skin tone who have fatty deposits in the front of the neck which are particularly unsightly on profile view. This procedure is relatively straightforward, and in appropriate patients, can yield dramatic results. In this procedure, oral sedation is administered. Dilute local anesthetic is injected into the submental region. A small incision is made under the chin. A syringe mounted suction tube (cannula) is then utilized to remove excess fatty deposits. The wound is repaired, and a small dressing and compression garment is applied. Most procedures of this type take less than one hour.

Dr. Casso performs other liposuction procedures at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. General anesthesia is used on procedures performed in the operating room. During the procedure, fluid is injected in areas to be treated to minimize bruising and bleeding. A small suction tube (cannula) is inserted through very short incisions made in inconspicuous locations near the fat deposits. Excess fat is removed via the cannulae, and the wounds are carefully sutured. Patients are generally discharged home later in the day.

Some patients desire augmentation of other body parts, such as the buttocks. In these patients, fat which is harvested through liposuction is allowed to separate into cellular and fluid layers. The fluid is discarded, and pure, viable fat is injected where desired. Much of this fat survives, leading to a natural and long-lasting augmentation.

Patients undergoing abdominoplasty may consider liposuction of the upper abdomen. In this procedure, loose skin and fat in the lower abdomen is removed. The skin and fat in the upper abdomen are stretched downward to allow for closure of the wound. In patients with undesirable fatty deposits in the upper abdomen, liposuction in this area can improve the final result of abdominoplasty.

After liposuction, there is some initial discomfort which is controlled with oral medication. A compression garment covering the treated areas is applied for at least one month to help reduce swelling and achieve the final result more quickly. Afterward, spandex exercise clothing will suffice. Bruising and swelling usually subside in two to four weeks. The final results will take shape over two to three months.

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