Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that suctions excess fat from areas that have resisted diet and exercise.
Areas safely treated with liposuction include:
- Flanks (love handles)
- Outer thighs (saddle bags)
- Inner thighs
- Anterior thighs
- Upper arms
Liposuction is often performed as part of abdominoplasty, post-bariatric surgery, mommy makeover, body lift, and fat grafting (Brazilian butt lift). Dr. Sato, brings years of experience and skill to each Houston liposuction procedure she conducts.
During your liposuction Houston consultation with Dr. Erika Sato, she will learn more about which areas of your body are concerning you in order to form a plan that is specific to your body.
It is important that patients have realistic expectations as liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, but instead, helps to contour the body to achieve a slimmer, more balanced appearance.
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
You may be a candidate for liposuction if you are healthy and over the age of 18. Dr. Sato does perform liposuction on patients younger than 18, but this is decided on a patient to patient basis. Dr. Sato will examine you and review your medical history in order to determine whether liposuction is right for you.
For those patients with some skin laxity, loose skin can remain where fat has been removed by traditional liposuction. Skin that does not have stretch marks will tighten on its own ~8-12% after traditional liposuction. Smartlipo Triplex laser body sculpting is laser-assisted lipolysis that tightens skin from collagen production where the lasers are used. Smartlipo leads to ~12-19% skin tightening and takes ~3-6 months to see the result.
Profound RF treatment or BodyTite can be combined with liposuction and leads to ~30% skin tightening and takes ~6-9 months to see the result.
If you are more concerned about cellulite versus actual fat reduction, the minimally invasive procedure, Profound RF treatment, is a potential Houston liposuction alternative that can minimize the appearance of cellulite.
What happens during liposuction?
Liposuction is usually an outpatient procedure performed in our in-office operating room under IV sedation and a local anesthetic or under general anesthesia in an ambulatory surgery center. If a very large volume (greater than 5L of lipoaspirate) of liposuction is planned, then this might require general anesthesia in a facility with overnight capabilities.
Dr. Sato will make several tiny incisions and inject a local anesthetic into the area to help expand and firm the fat, making it easier and safer to remove. A cannula is then inserted through the incisions to suction out the fat.
The most popular technique is tumescent liposuction, which uses a saline solution mixed with medication to keep post-operative bruising, swelling, pain, and blood loss to a minimum. In many cases, power-assisted or laser-assisted liposuction can be advantageous because it breaks down fatty tissue that is particularly fibrous such as repeat liposuction sites.
In most instances, liposuction takes 1-2 hours but it can take longer if you wish to treat multiple areas.
What can I expect while recovering from liposuction?
Our Houston liposuction patients may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the treated area. Compression garments are used to help promote healing and should be worn for 4-6 weeks.
Houston liposuction patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which usually takes a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities can be resumed immediately as long as the compression garment is worn during the exercise or activity. This can lead to chaffing, so patients must protect their skin appropriately
Dr. Sato will provide you with full instructions for making your recovery period as comfortable as possible.
It can take 3-6 months for all of the post-operative swelling and bruising to resolve. However, pleasant results may be seen in about 6-8 weeks.
Are the results of liposuction permanent?
To maintain results from liposuction, it is important to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Any significant weight gain (greater than 5 lbs) following the procedure will lead to fat deposits in other areas of the body that were not treated by liposuction.
Are you interested in liposuction in Houston? Contact Dr. Erika Sato today for a consultation.