Liposuction is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to remove localized areas of fat from the body through tiny, imperceptible incisions. The fat from the targeted area is suctioned from the body through a small thin tube called a cannula. This surgical technique is a method of body contouring which creates a slimmer, more defined appearance for the body, and helps patients achieve a better balanced appearance. Dr. Hutchinson offers liposuction in the privacy of her certified Operating Room at her plastic surgery practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City.
New liposuction technology has allowed for a number of different techniques that improve the accuracy and reduce the pain associated with this procedure. Today, liposuction is usually performed via the tumescent technique, or with the assistance of power, laser, or water-jet. These new technologies have transformed liposuction into a much safer and less invasive procedure.
Candidates for Liposuction
The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in good overall health and maintains a healthy lifestyle, but has one or more problem areas with fat deposits that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. It is also important for patients to have realistic expectations, and remember that liposuction cannot be used as a means for weight loss. It is instead used to remove localized areas of stubborn fat after the patient has attempted other healthy and natural weight loss methods. Liposuction is an excellent minimally invasive technique for body contouring and body sculpting to reshape the body and create a more beautiful and defined physique.
Liposuction can be used to treat localized fat deposits in the:
For certain women, liposuction may be one the preferred surgical technique for breast reduction, and this option is often the best alternative for breast reduction in teenagers. Conversely, men who are interested in gynecomastia correction may benefit from liposuction of the chest. In most patients who are appropriate candidates for liposuction, the procedure may be performed alone, or it may also be combined with autologous fat grafting to correct contour irregularities and other cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, or tummy tuck, or cosmetic procedures on the face such as eyelid lift or facelift. Dr. Hutchinson will discuss all procedures you are interested in, and explain which ones may be safely performed in her surgical facility or at one of the hospitals in New York City where she operates.
There are several different techniques currently available for patients seeking liposuction treatment. New technologies have improved the accuracy of this procedure, and allow patients to achieve their desired results through a less invasive procedure. Liposuction is performed with a tumescent infusion solution, which is comprised of local anaesthetic solution (lidocaine) and medication to reduce bruising and bleeding (epinephrine). Excess fat is removed in order to both reshape your body and sculpt a better contour to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Liposuction is a minimally invasive outpatient cosmetic surgery procedure which requires only local anaesthesia with intravenous sedation. Dr. Hutchinson will make several tiny incisions and inject a local anaesthetic solution into the area to help expand and firm the fat, making it easier to remove. Various liposuction cannulas are then inserted through the incisions to suction out the fat. Minute stitches are used to close liposuction incisions and optimize healing.
Recovery and Results from Liposuction
After the liposuction procedure, patients may experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Compression garments or elastic bandages may be used to help reduce these symptoms while the area heals. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for 2 weeks.
Dr. Hutchinson will give you special instructions on how to care for your treated areas and reduce any complications after your liposuction procedure. The results of your liposuction may not be visible until after swelling and bruising subside, and the skin shrinks back down to accommodate the smaller volume. This may take several months, and results will appear gradually throughout this time.
The results of liposuction can be permanent, as long as patients maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. If substantial weight is gained after this procedure, the results may be altered.
Risks of Liposuction
Although liposuction is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any type of procedure. Some of these risks may include infection, scarring, hematoma, irregular contour, or unsatisfactory results. Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures and serious complications are extremely rare.
You can minimize potential risks by choosing an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Hutchinson who specializes in aesthetic procedures such as liposuction. Best results are achieved by following her instructions before and after your procedure. Dr. Hutchinson will develop a bespoke individualized surgical plan based on your anatomy and desires, and perform your surgery in her private office in Manhattan or one of the New York City hospitals in which she has privileges.
The Liposuction Patient’s Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
A: Both men and women may benefit from liposuction if they satisfy the following criteria:
- are dissatisfied with fat accumulation in certain areas of their body such as their belly, flanks, thighs, hips, arms, back, love handles, saddle bags, ankles, or under their chin
- have excess fat deposits that stubbornly do not diminish despite proper nutrition and exercise
- maintain a healthy diet and regular physical activity
- have good skin tone and quality, with elasticity and without significant stretch marks
- are interested in body contouring for cosmetic purposes and not as a method of weight loss
Q: What should I expect during my liposuction consultation?
A: Your initial consultation with Dr. Hutchinson includes the following:
- a comprehensive in-person discussion with Dr. Hutchinson when she will obtain your medical history and you will have time to explain what bothers you about your body and what results you hope to achieve with surgery
- after your conversation, you will be seen in a private examination room where she will perform a detailed physical examination and assess your unique physical characteristics
- she will also take medical photographs which provide additional information when discussing your surgery
- following your examination, Dr. Hutchinson will explain surgical options, determine the best customized surgical plan for you to achieve your goals, and review your medical photographs with you
- Dr. Hutchinson will also provide you with specific details regarding the bespoke operation she creates for you as each patient’s plan is based on individual features and desired outcome
- she will also inform you of what is required from you before and after your surgery to ensure a successful operation and smooth recovery
- you will be given ample time to ask any questions you have in order to feel comfortable with your decision
- you will also have an opportunity to schedule your surgery once you have decided to proceed
Q: What size will I be after my liposuction surgery?
A: Liposuction is a plastic surgery method of body sculpting and body contouring for both men and women, but is not intended as a means of weight reduction, nor is its purpose to achieve a specific size. In order to help you understand what results are attainable with liposuction, Dr. Hutchinson will discuss with you specific details of your current body size, shape, and physical characteristics. Factors that may impact your results include the following:
- the amount of fat that needs to be removed
- the number of areas that can be treated
- quality, tone, and elasticity of skin
- amount of fat under the skin as opposed to deep (e.g. intra-abdominal) contributing to your appearance
- prior surgery in areas to be treated
- existing scars
Q: How should I prepare for my liposuction surgery?
A: Dr. Hutchinson provides her patients with detailed and precise instructions to be followed prior to surgery, which include the following:
- Dr. Hutchinson will make recommendations for each patient including:
- advice on appropriate weight management, diet, and nutrition
- requirements for medical clearance and bloodwork prior to surgery
- patients should be active participants in optimizing their wellness, including:
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise
- avoiding smoking
- not taking medications that can increase risk of complications
Q: What should I expect after my liposuction surgery?
A: Every patient will have their own personal experience and recovery after liposuction, although some common aspects of their post-operative course include the following:
- removal of fat cells is immediate and permanent; skin retraction and reshaping will occur over time
- some discomfort, swelling, and bruising are normal in the first few days after surgery
- you should wear the compression garment provided after surgery
- it is essential you refrain from strenuous physical activity after surgery and closely follow the detailed instructions provided by Dr. Hutchinson
- final results depend on your body healing and your skin shrinking and recontouring after fat is surgically removed