LIFT PLASTIC SURGERY
More people than ever before are dedicated to looking and feeling their best. This desire has prompted many individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices. Some of the typical changes include implementing a well-rounded exercise routine and eating a wholesome diet full of fruits, and vegetables. While these positive changes are extremely beneficial, certain areas of the body tend to be resistant to diet and exercise. At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, seasoned plastic surgeon Dr. Shitel Patel uses liposuction (aka lipo) to remove these fat deposits. Once these fat deposits are removed, the patient enjoys a more defined, beautifully sculpted and well-contoured body.
Why Would Someone Want to Have a Houston Liposuction Procedure?
The inability to eliminate the excess fat in certain areas of the body frequently leads to frustration. However, plastic surgeons can use liposuction (aka lipo) to eliminate these unwanted fat deposits.
Following a lipo procedure in Houston, the patient has more attractive contours that are in proportion with rest of his or her body.
Who Should Consider Having Liposuction?
Healthy men and women who are interested in having the fat deposits that are responsible for creating bulges removed so their facial and physical characteristics are well defined.
Liposuction: Presurgical Requirements
Individuals who are interested in having this procedure must have a body mass index (BMI) that is close to that which the CDC recommends. Once the patient’s BMI and body weight are within the recommended range, the patient must maintain this weight and body mass index for at least six months before having lipo.
Good candidates for this procedure include individuals who:
- Are concerned about the excess fat they have accumulated in the areas that are resistant to diet and exercise.
- Have good skin quality and decent elasticity.
- Are healthy and in relatively good shape.
- Do not have any type of medical condition that could inhibit the body’s ability to heal itself.
Individuals with loose skin can still have liposuction, however, to attain the best results possible these patients may want to consider having their excess skin removed during the same surgical session.
Which Areas of the Body Can Be Addressed with Lipo?
At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, Dr. Shitel Patel uses lipo to sculpt areas of the face, and body.
Areas of the face that can benefit from this procedure include the:
Areas of the body where Dr. Patel performs liposuction to remove fat deposits include the:
How Much Weight Can Someone Lose with a Liposuction Procedure?
Lipo can remove up to 11 pounds of fat.
What Benefits Does a Liposuction Procedure Offer?
Although removing fat that is resistant to diet and exercise is extremely beneficial, patients receive even more benefits when they choose to have lipo in Houston.
Other potential benefits of a Houston liposuction include:
- Enhanced definition of the targeted treatment areas.
- A slender, beautifully sculpted physique.
- Long-lasting results. If the patient maintains a stable weight, the results achieved during this procedure are long lasting.
- Motivation to continue eating healthy and exercising.
Personalized Treatment Plans
To provide every patient with optimal results, each treatment plan is custom designed to meet the needs of a specific patient.
Can Liposuction in Houston Be Used for Generalized Weight Loss?
Unfortunately, lipo is not designed for use as a tool to help individuals with weight loss. Instead, once the weight is lost and maintained for at least six months, the individual may want to consider liposuction to address the areas that have been resistant to diet and exercise.
Excess Skin Following Weight Loss: What Patients Need to Know
If an individual has lost a substantial amount of weight, the presence of loose skin is likely and when a plastic surgeon uses liposuction to remove excess fat from troublesome areas additional loose skin will result.
Nonetheless, patients with skin that sags may still be good candidates for liposuction, however, to attain optimal results the plastic surgeon may recommend an additional procedure specifically designed to remove excess skin. If the patient chooses to have the additional skin-removal surgery, the two procedures can be performed together.
An Initial Consultation for Liposuction at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston
Patients should arrive approximately 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment time.
Patients need to remember to bring a list of their current medications (including dosage, reason for the medication and frequency taken). In addition, the plastic surgeon needs to know about previous surgical procedures, treatments and whether the patient has an ongoing medical condition (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.). Allergy information should also be provided at this appointment (including latex allergies).
The surgeon wants to know what the patient would like to accomplish with a liposuction procedure. Patients are always encouraged to be candid because the only way that Dr. Patel can provide the patient with the desired results is by knowing what those results are.
Patients should expect the surgeon to perform an examination of the areas that he or she would like treated.
If the patient decides to move forward, photos of the treatment areas may be taken. These pictures may be taken from a variety of angles.
Dr. Patel will use these photos while creating a personalized treatment plan that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the patient.
A Patient’s Options
The surgeon may make recommendations; however, any recommendations are only meant to inform the patient of his or her options. For example, since fat cells are excellent soft-tissue fillers, many lipo patients choose to have some of the fat cells that the plastic surgeon removes processed and then injected into an area of their body that lacks volume.
This procedure of harvesting fat, processing it and then strategically injecting the strongest cells into specific areas of the body this procedure is called autologous fat transplantation, fat injections or fat grafting. Common areas for fat grafting include the buttocks and the breasts.
Patients Are Encouraged to Ask Questions
Since Dr. Patel believe that an educated patient is more comfortable and confident about his or her procedure than an uninformed patient is, both surgeons encourage patients to ask questions. The doctors are always happy to answer their patients’ questions.
Preparing for a Liposuction Procedure at Lift Plastic Surgery
Before their surgery patients need to purchase a compression garment. This garment is worn directly after surgery and for six weeks during the recovery process. The compression garment must be worn continuously, taken off only long enough to shower. Wearing the compression garment is an essential part of recovery because the garment keeps inflammation down, which reduces pain, aids in the healing process and improves the patient’s overall results.
Getting ready for surgery:
Dr. Shitel Patel wants his patients to be as healthy as possible before they have any plastic surgery procedures or cosmetic treatments.
Patients who use products that contain nicotine must stop using them for at least four weeks before their surgery and four weeks after. Following this recommendation is vital because the nicotine in cigarettes, smoking-cessation products and chewing tobacco negatively affects the body’s healing ability.
Patients need to eat a healthy diet and continue exercising to ensure their body is in the best shape possible before surgery.
There are certain medications that patients must stop taking before their liposuction procedure. These medications include aspirin, blood thinners and NSAIDs. However, before discontinuing any prescription medication, patients must speak with their plastic surgeon and/or the prescribing physician first.
Schedule at least five days off work or school.
Create a recovery area at home that has everything the patient may need within arm’s reach.
Find a driver and someone to remain with them for the night of their surgery.
Wear loose clothing and avoid wearing any tops that need to be pulled over the head. Instead, wear button-down tops.
Patients who have animals that move freely throughout the home or small children should ask someone to care for them during the first three days of recovery.
Is There More Than One Lipo Procedure Method?
Yes, there are four:
- Tumescent liposuction.
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL).
- Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL).
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL).
On the Day of Surgery, Patients Need to Arrive with a Capable, Licensed Driver
Patients receive general anesthesia during these fat removal procedures; therefore, after surgery they are unable to drive for at least 24 hours. As such, patients who do not have a driver present on the day of their surgical procedure will have to reschedule.
Lift Plastic Surgery’s Transportation Policy
Dr. Patel cares deeply for their patients, which is why they have a transportation policy in place stating that patients are not permitted to use public or private transportation services (e.g., Uber) following procedures requiring sedation. This policy is designed to protect patients because the medications used during surgery frequently make patients feel groggy, which means they are vulnerable.
The surgeon may visit the patient in pre-op. At this time patients should ask any last-minute questions they have. During this discussion, the surgeon may be making markings on the areas of the patient’s body that are being addressed. While performing the lipo procedure, the plastic surgeon uses these markings as a guide.
Performing the Procedure
Once the anesthesiologist administers the medications and the patient is comfortably resting, the procedure begins.
Liposuction Procedures, Explained
The Tumescent Procedure
The surgeon makes small incisions. These incisions are used as access points.
To minimize scarring, these incisions are usually no more than ¼ of an inch in length. Additionally, to ensure the incisions remain well hidden, the surgeon creates them within the patient’s natural creases and folds.
The surgeon uses these access points to inject a fluid consisting of Lidocaine, which is a pain reliever, and epinephrine, which reduces the likelihood that the patient will bleed during the procedure.
After Dr. Patel injects the tumescent fluid into the targeted areas, the fat swells, making it easier for the surgeon to create the contours the patient desires. In addition, reducing the blood flow while performing the liposuction procedure benefits the patient because fewer bruises develop. Furthermore, due to the pain reliever that is in the tumescent fluid, for 18 to 24 hours after surgery the patient should experience very little pain or discomfort.
Removing the Tumescent Fluid and Fat
The surgeon uses a hollow metal tube to remove the tumescent fluid as well as the fat deposits. This hollow metal tube is referred to as a cannula.
The cannula is attached to plastic tubing, which connects to a container that stores the tumescent fluid and fat as it is being removed during the collection process. All of these connect to a vacuum that is specifically designed for this purpose.
To remove the fat and tumescent fluid the surgeon turns on the lipo machine and begins moving the cannula back and forth just beneath the skin. This back-and-forth motion allows the surgeon to remove fat and tumescent fluid from the entire area that is being treated.
Once Dr. Patel believes that enough fat has been removed to provide the patient with his or her desired result, the cannula is removed and the incisions are closed with sutures.
To control drainage from the incision sites, Dr. Patel places gauze over the incisions.
Drains may be used to reduce fluid buildup, which decreases inflammation and bruising.
The surgeon or another medical professional applies the patient’s compression garment.
The Other Liposuction Procedure Methods
All three of these procedures are performed in much the same way as the tumescent procedure. The only real difference is the change in the consistency of the fat and the ease of removal.
Power-Assisted Lipo (PAL)
During this procedure the surgeon uses a cannula that vibrates rapidly while removing excess fat. This technique is supposed to be gentler on the body than the other options that are available.
Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
During an ultrasound-assisted lipo procedure the surgeon uses an ultrasound machine to liquify the patient’s fat. Once liquified it is easy to remove using the lipo vacuum.
Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL)
Just like the ultrasound-assisted technique, the laser-assisted method, liquefies the patient’s fat before it is removed via the liposuction machine.
Typical Side Effects Associated with Lipo
Some postoperative inflammation, bruising and discomfort is common.
Drains Can Help Reduce a Patient’s Pain Level After Surgery
Some patients will receive drains. By providing the excess blood and fluid a place to exit the body, inflammation is reduced, which means the patient’s pain level decreases.
Some Patients Stay Overnight
If Dr. Patel removes more than 5 liters of fluid and fat during a patient’s procedure, he or she is required to remain in the hospital overnight for monitoring. However, patients who have less than 5 liters removed can return home following their procedure.
Patients Can Shower the Day After Their Procedure
The day after surgery patients are permitted to shower. However, they need to avoid scrubbing, using a loofah or exfoliating scrub on the areas where the surgeon made the incisions.
Incision-Site Drainage is Expected
Patients should expect to have incision-site drainage. This drainage continues for several days, is absolutely normal and nothing to be concerned about.
Patients can use gauze pads to absorb the drainage and prevent soiling their clothing.
Vigorous Activity Must Be Avoided
Vigorous activity and exercises must be avoided for a few weeks following surgery. This precaution is extremely important because these activities can increase inflammation, which may lead to unnecessary discomfort and pain as well as a delay in realizing the patient’s results.
It is important for patients to keep their follow-up appointments at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston. During these appointments, the surgeon makes sure that recovery is moving along as planned.
Although complications are extremely rare, recognizing the issue early on is vital to reducing the likelihood that it will negatively affect the patient’s final result, which is why the follow-up appointments are so important.
Returning to Work or School
Although some patients choose to return to work or school right away, others need a few days off to recover.
Dr. Patel recommends that patients request from five to seven days off work or school. Of course, these recommendations are for individuals who are only having liposuction performed. Patients scheduled to have multiple procedures during the same surgical session may need to take some additional time off to recover.
Will the Body Replace the Fat That Has Been Removed?
No, however, neglecting to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen could lead to fat accumulation in other areas of the body.
It takes several months for the inflammation to resolve and until it does, the final results cannot be realized.
How Long Will the Results Last?
The issues that could negatively affect lipo results include weight gain and pregnancy. However, with proper care, the results achieved during this procedure can last indefinitely.
Are There Any Other Procedures Frequently Performed During the Same Surgical Session?
Yes, when fat is removed from the abdominal area, many patients choose to go ahead and have a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
Patients who are interested in addressing several issues during a single surgical session should mention this to the plastic surgeon during their initial consultation.
At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, patients are never pressured into having additional procedures, whether they have asked about them or not.
Possible Risks Associated with Liposuction Procedures
Although complications following lipo are rare, risks must always be considered.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Reaction to the anesthesia.
Contour irregularities: What Patients Need to Know
At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, Dr. Shitel Patel strives to give each patient beautiful, long-lasting results. To accomplish this, every precaution is taken to prevent complications, nonetheless, there are times when contour irregularities result due to the movement of the cannula just beneath the skin. For the most part when irregularities are present, they dissipate on their own however, if they do not, steps are taken by Dr. Shitel Patel to correct any irregularities.
Correcting these irregularities may require an autologous fat transfer. During this procedure, lipo is used to harvest fat. The harvested fat is processed and then strategically injected into the areas that look irregular.
How Much Does Lipo in Houston Cost?
To determine how much an individual’s procedure will cost, the patient needs to schedule an initial consultation with one of the surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston.
If you have areas on your body that are resistant to diet and exercise, let our experienced, compassionate and caring plastic surgeons help you attain the physical characteristics you desire.
To schedule an appointment with one of the surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery, contact the office today.
Questions? Book a Consultation Now.
Contact Houston / Webster, Texas Plastic Surgeon Shitel D. Patel, MD at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Serving patients in Houston Texas, Webster, League City, Pearland, Galveston, Kemah, Seabrook and all other surrounding Greater Houston, Texas communities and more.
I have very full cheeks, could Facial Liposuction be used to address this?
If I stop wearing my compression garment after my Liposuction procedure, will I ruin my results?
Why do I have to wear a compression garment after my Liposuction procedure?
How long does the pain last after a liposuction procedure?
Is there anything I can do to eliminate the bruising I developed after my liposuction procedure?
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?