At times, getting rid of excess, stubborn fat through traditional weight loss methods can be very difficult. Fortunately, there are cosmetic enhancement procedures like liposuction that are designed to help you get rid of excess pockets of fat for a more contoured appearance. Since its inception in the 1980’s, there have been many improvements in the technique. Advanced liposuction techniques can be performed in virtually any body area with beautiful results.

The ideal candidate is the patient with reasonably good skin elasticity and localized fat deposits. Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity.

Benefits of Liposuction

Liposuction procedures can be very effective at helping you eliminate stubborn areas of fat that have been resistant to diet and exercise. This procedure can be performed in a number of body areas, including:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Hips
  • Flanks (Love Handles)
  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Back
  • Neck

Liposuction can also be performed in conjunction with other cosmetic enhancement procedures such as breast augmentation or tummy tuck. During your initial consultation with Dr. John Zimmermann—our plastic surgeon in Napa Valley—you are encouraged to ask any questions you may have. He will explain all aspects of liposuction and talk with you about the best options for your needs.

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Liposuction Procedure

During a traditional liposuction treatment, a small incision is made in the targeted area. A narrow tube (cannula) is then inserted into the area to gently vacuum out excess fat cells.

Dr. Zimmermann uses the tumescent liposuction technique, where a saline based fluid is first injected into the targeted areas of fatty tissue. The fluid contains a local anesthetic and a vessel constricting medication which enable the fat cells to be very gently and easily extracted from the target area. This approach often diminishes the recovery time associated with liposuction. It typically reduces the amount of blood loss that was seen in early procedures.

There have been many technologies that have been introduced over the last decade in the attempt to improve the shrinkage of the overlying skin in areas that are treated, from the earliest ultrasonic assisted liposuction to the more recently developed laser assisted liposuction. Unfortunately upon close scrutiny, however, none of these techniques have made any real inroads toward that goal. In our mind, these technologies do not offer any real benefit to offset the increased cost and potential increased complication rate that they engender. A recent poll of the members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that only 3% used laser assisted techniques, for the above reasons.

Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons who utilized any technique other than the classic liposuction cannula most often use Power Assisted Liposuction (“PAL”). This consists of a gently reverberating cannula that limits the trauma to the fatty tissue. Dr. Zimmermann uses this technique, and is an instructor for the company that developed the technology. We have noted improved results with diminished bruising and swelling, leading to improved contour and more rapid healing.

The length of liposuction treatment depends on how many areas are being treated, but typically takes about two hours or less to complete. Anesthesia is dependent on the surface area treated. Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Since each patient is different, exact recovery information will depend on your unique needs. However, most patients who have liposuction can return to normal daily routines within a week or two. Again, recovery time will depend on the size of the treatment area, your individual physical requirements, and the liposuction technique that is used. Any residual scarring is typically very faint, as the incisions for liposuction are very small.

Contact the Aesthetic Surgery Center of Napa Valley

For more information on liposuction, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zimmermann, please contact the Aesthetic Surgery Center of Napa Valley today.