Liposuction: Get Rid Of The Fat That Just Won’t Go Away!
Before & After
Timeless Cosmetic Surgery‘s before-and-after pictures of real patients.
Liposuction in Houston
What is liposuction?Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which excess fat can be removed therefore sculpting the body and improving its contours.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?During your consultation, your Houston liposuction surgeon Dr. Mehta will discuss the different liposuction techniques and options available. The MOST important thing determining if someone is a good candidate for liposuction is their overall health and the second most important is how much fat is present. If a person is healthy or their medical issues are very well controlled then liposuction should be possible. In regards to the amount of fat present….Patients with very little fat are not good candidates because a fatty layer of a certain thickness needs to be left behind to decrease the risk of seeing irregularities. Patients that have a large amount of fat can be good candidates, however, they need to understand they may require removal of excess skin, such as a tummy tuck or an arm lift. Also, they may need more than one round of liposuction to achieve noticeable results because the maximum amount of fat that can be removed in an outpatient setting is 5 liters.
What is the maximum limit of the amount of fat that can be removed in one setting?
The maximum amount of fat that can be removed in an OUTPATIENT setting is 5 liters. This is a significant amount of fat! This number has been chosen because it has been shown to be safe to remove 5 liters of fat and still SAFELY be able to send someone home the same day instead of staying in a hospital.
What are the most common areas where liposuction is performed?
Although liposuction can be performed on almost any part of the body where excess fat is present, the areas most frequently requested are the abdomen, hips, lower back (flanks), upper back/bra region (axillas), neck, arms, inner and outer thighs.
What are some other areas liposuction can be performed?
As stated previously, liposuction can be performed on almost any part of the body where excess fat is present such as ankles, knees, calves, buttocks, chest, breast and jowls.
What do you do with the fat?
I look at fat as liquid GOLD!!! Fat can be a very valuable commodity because of how it can be used to improve the appearance of other body parts. The fat that is liposuctioned from your body can be put back in to improve the volume, shape or contour of almost any part of the body! Most people choose to inject the fat into the face, hips or buttocks but other areas can include, but are not limited to the calves, chest, breast, ankles etc…
What type of liposuction system do you use?
Power assisted liposuction also known as P.A.L.S. This allows for increased efficiency of liposuction and a greater amount of fat removal.
Do you do laser lipo?
No. I have seen other surgeon’s complications from laser liposuction and I believe power assisted liposuction is the safest method of liposuction.
What is a “muffin top” and can liposuction help with that?
What people are referring to when they use the term “muffin top” is the fat along the waistline that hangs over jeans/pants leading to a muffin type appearance. Liposuction can assist with getting rid of the muffin top, however, with some people liposuction may just leave them with loose skin and in this case a tummy tuck will also be needed.
Do men undergo liposuction?
Yes!!! Plastic surgery is not only for women but also for men. Almost any surgical procedure that women undergo man can also undergo. In men, the most common problem area tends to be the lower back, A.K.A “love handles.” However, excess fat of the chest, neck, abdomen, and hips are also common areas of complaint.
What about diet and exercise?
I always tell my patients that if they feel like they can lose the extra fat with diet and exercise they definitely should! Liposuction is great for areas that are just resistant to diet and exercise and many times these areas tend to be the hips, lower back, neck and inner thighs.
Will gaining or losing weight after surgery effect my results?
Fluctuations by a couple of pounds won’t effect your results much but if your weight changes by 5 pounds or more then you will start to see changes in your results. Losing weight typically makes the results look even BETTER whereas gaining weight will ruin the results.
Will fat “come back” in the areas that were liposuctioned?
NO!!! Once fat is gone it is gone because fat cells do not regenerate…However, the fat cells that are left behind can always increase in size, like what normally happens when one gains weight, so it is very important to at least maintain your post-surgical weight.
What about other non-surgical methods like coolsculpting, tru-sculpt, kybella etc…?
These are definitely great non-surgical tools for fat reduction, however, you have to understand that liposuction is considered the GOLD standard in fat reduction. Here are some pros and cons of non-surgical fat reduction compared to liposuction:
- No incisions
- No scars
- No downtime
- Minimal to no pain
- No guarantee on amount of fat reduction
- Can end up being more expensive than liposuction if many treatments needed
- Best for small pockets of fat and not for generalized areas
- Works differently on different people
After liposuction will I need drains?
This is always a possibility, however, it’s only on a VERY rare occasion that I place drains after liposuction.
Why is having liposuction safer with Dr. Mehta?
I perform all my surgical procedures under IV sedation (twilight) and do not use general anesthesia. No breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is needed because you are able to maintain all your protective reflexes, breath completely on your own and your blood flows better. The post-operative risks of using IV sedation (the way I do my surgeries) compared to general anesthesia are MUCH less including but not limited to decreased risk of nausea, vomiting and MOST importantly a significantly DECREASED risk of forming blood clots. Your heart, lungs and blood pressure will be monitored during the entire operative procedure and no pain will be felt during the procedure. Studies have shown IV sedation to be much safer than general anesthesia.
Will I have to stay in the hospital?As long as the amount of fat removed is 5 liters or less then a hospital stay is not necessary. This means you will get to recover in your own home and in your own bed!
Is it safe to go home after liposuction?It can be VERY safe to recover at home after liposuction as long as you have a responsible caretaker to be with you for at least the first 72 hours. I believe a loved one will take much better care of you in your own home, than someone who doesn’t know you taking care of you in a hospital. Also, it is VERY likely that there are fewer germs in your home then in a hospital setting.
What if I need to speak to someone after hours?Immediately after surgery you and your caregiver will be given my personal cell phone number to call on weeknights and weekends with any questions or concerns.
How do I prepare for liposuction?
Detailed post-operative instructions will be given during your pre-operative evaluation, which usually takes place about 2 weeks before your planned procedure. Here are some general helpful guidelines:
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Start an iron supplement along with a stool softener at least a month before surgery.
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Stop all herbal medication, Aspirin products (Alleve, Ibuprofen, Advil etc…), vitamin E and fish oil/Krill oil at least 1 month before surgery as long as it is approved by your physician.
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Stop ALL tobacco products AT LEAST 6 weeks before your surgery to decrease the risk of healing complications associated with smoking. (This includes patches and gum)
- VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Stop all hormone-based medications if approved by your physician at least 1 month before surgery. If stopping birth control please use non-hormonal methods for continued birth control.
- Arrange for someone to look after you for at least the first 72 hours after surgery. (This can be a dependable and capable family member, friend or a hired caretaker)
- Arrange transportation for your clinic appointments and for your family members because you will not be able to drive for at least 1 week.
- Help will be needed for housework and for small children because heavy lifting or strenuous activity will not be allowed for 6 weeks.
- Adult or puppy pee pads to place in the bed.
- 4×4 gauze
- Milk of magnesia
- Light foods and plenty of fluids are recommended after surgery with the following as examples: Electrolyte replacement drinks, soups, yogurt with acidophilus/lactobacillus, jello, pudding, crackers etc…
What will my postoperative care for liposuction involve?
- You will be given all the prescriptions needed during your pre-operative visit. That way you will have plenty of time to have them filled prior to surgery.
- No showering until ok’d by Dr. Mehta (usually post operative day #5)
- No driving for at least 1 week or while on pain medication/muscle relaxants
- No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks
- No working out for 6 weeks
- No sexual activity for 6 weeks
- Wear only surgical garments provided unless directed otherwise by Dr. Mehta
Does Dr. Mehta charge patients for follow up visits?
NO!!! I have an open door policy and do not charge my patients to come and see me after their surgery. If for any reason you feel like you need to be seen sooner than your scheduled appointment you can always call the office and the staff will fit you in.
Will my liposuction be covered under insurance?
No, it won’t. This is considered a cosmetic procedure and cosmetic procedures do not get covered under insurance. Also, Timeless Plastic Surgery is a completely cosmetic based practice so we do not take insurance.
What will be provided for me?
- During your pre-operative evaluation (approx 2 weeks before surgery) you will be given prescriptions for a muscle relaxer, pain medication, antibiotic, stool softener and anti-nausea medications.
- Along with other medications during surgery you will get the appropriate dose of IV antibiotics.
- Immediately after surgery you will be provided with and dressed in the appropriate garments needed during your recovery period.
- Immediately after surgery you and your caregiver will be given my personal cell phone number to call on weeknights and weekends with any questions or concerns.
How long is the recovery?
- No driving for at least 1 week or while on pain medication/muscle relaxants.
- At least 1 week off work.
- No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 4- 6 weeks.
- No sexual activity for 6 weeks.
- No working out for 6 weeks.
How often will I need to be seen for follow up?
Patient care is of the utmost importance to my staff and I. Therefore, I tend to keep a very close eye on my patients to make sure the recovery goes as smoothly as possible so that any issues can be prevented or taken care of as soon as possible. I will call you the same night of your surgery, once you are at home, to make sure everything is going well and that you and your caretaker have no questions or concerns. The following is a general schedule of appointments but can be changed at any time:
- Once a week for the 1st 2-3 weeks
- Once a month for the next 2 months
- At your 6 month mark from surgery
- At your 1 year mark from surgery
- Once a year after your 1 year mark
There is no charge for follow up appointments. If for any reason you feel like you need to be seen in between appointments or sooner than your scheduled appointment you can always call the office and the girls will fit you in.
Are there risks for this surgery?
With any surgical procedure there are risks, however, these risks are very rare and one usually is at higher risk of getting into a car accident than these risks. Some of the most common, but still infrequently occurring risks include, but are not limited to:
- Fluid collections (seroma)
- Blood collection (hematoma)
- Poor wound healing
- Irregular contour
As stated before, many precautions are taken by my staff and I to prevent these things from occurring in the first place.