For some patients, localized fat deposits can be difficult, if not impossible, to improve regardless of their physical activity level and eating habits. Therefore, to assist patients in permanently removing stubborn fat and sculpting their figures, Houston liposuction specialist, Dr. Christopher Livingston, offers traditional liposuction and ultrasonic liposuction.
If you have localized fat deposits that are resistant to a healthy diet and regular physical activity, you may get rid of excess fat through liposuction surgery (“lipoplasty”)
During your consultation with our Houston liposuction surgeon, the two of you will discuss the following:
- Your expectations and goals
- Your medical history
- Additional procedures that may be performed to obtain optimal results, such as tummy tuck surgery (“abdominoplasty“) or breast augmentation surgery (“augmentation mammaplasty“)
- What to expect before and after a liposuction procedure
- The possible risks and side effects of liposuction
Also termed, “lipoplasty,” liposuction removes excess fat and tightens the skin through a variety of techniques. These techniques provide patients with envious curves on areas of the body and face such as the:
- Chin and neck
- Abdomen and waist
- Inner and outer thighs and flanks
- Buttocks and hips
- Arms and back
By thoroughly evaluating your body and concerns, Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Livingston, will be able to determine which liposuction method to utilize and the exact areas that need contouring to aid you in your journey toward a new figure.
Suitable Candidates for Liposuction
Not intended as a treatment for obesity or weight loss, liposuction is meant to improve upon the features that a patient already has. Ideal for patients within 30 percent of their healthy weight range and with a BMI less than 32, liposuction can help to produce defined curves.
Liposuction is designed to remove stubborn fat from various body regions. With the removal of this fat, your body’s outline will change, which will require your skin to have good elasticity. Ideal candidates for liposuction must have flexible skin so it can conform to your body’s new contour.
Another thing to consider is good candidates are in good physical condition and follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Liposuction is surgery, and as with all surgery, the risk for complications is minimal with good physical health.
Other factors defining optimal liposuction candidates include:
- Patients are non-smokers
- Patients understand all benefits and risks
- Patients have realistic expectation
- Patients will follow instructions for care before and after surgery
Traditional Tumescent Liposuction
We administer an intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, and Dr. Livingston performs tumescent liposuction by creating small, subtle incisions on the targeted areas of the body. Through these small incisions, a sterile solution of saline infused with an anesthetic and vasoconstricting medication will be infiltrated into the affected areas to minimize bleeding and reduce swelling and bruising after surgery.
Next, Dr. Livingston will insert a small hollow tube cannula through the access incisions that gently removes the loosened fat by suction, leaving the body with its new outline and slimmer shape.
Next, you will be cleaned up and we apply recovery garments to the treated areas. You will feel a bit drowsy, but the numbing agent should last the first day. We will prescribe pain medication for any discomfort experienced after the anesthesia wears off. When we are sure your recovery is going well, you will be allowed to go home with a family member, friend, or healthcare professional.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction
Ultrasonic liposuction (UAL) uses high-pitched sound waves to liquefy fat cells in a certain area before the fat removal. UAL is a great option for fat removal in hard-to-treat areas like the ankles, calves, knees, cheeks, neck, and chin. It can serve as an addition to tumescent liposuction for those who require more precise body shaping.
UAL fat removal begins by sound waves produced by a generator. A thin cannula will transmit ultrasonic waves which will contact fat cells and quickly liquefies them to be removed by vacuum power.
There are multiple benefits to be gained with UAL fat removal, including the ability to remove larger volumes of fat and to treat denser fat deposit areas. Ultrasonic liposuction is a great option to use with a body lift or tummy tuck surgery, which eliminates sagging skin as well.
Liposuction Aftercare and Recovery
After liposuction, you may experience tenderness, bruising, and swelling in the treatment areas. These effects will resolve with time. Oral pain blockers we prescribe before surgery will control any after-surgery pain. Dr. Livingston will make available comprehensive post-surgery instructions for you to follow.
You should rest for a few days after liposuction to begin your recovery. Light walking is encouraged to ensure good blood circulation, but there should be no strenuous movements, bending, or lifting.
Dr. Livingston will meet with you after surgery to monitor the healing process and clear your ability to return to work when applicable.
It’s important that your incisions avoid excessive force or abrasion during your recovery. Dr. Livingston will provide specific instructions on incision care.
You should not rush to return to your daily activities. Recovery is unique to every patient, and it is important to listen to your body before returning to your normal lifestyle.
Results from liposuction can be permanent and long-lasting if the patient maintains a healthy lifestyle and eating habits. You can view our Houston liposuction before and after photos and watch some of Dr. Livingston’s videos in the media gallery to learn more about his practice and the procedures that he offers.
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon for Liposuction in Houston
There are certain criteria you should consider before choosing a plastic surgeon for liposuction. These include:
- Surgeon is board-certified
- Surgeon is well trained and has extensive liposuction experience
- Professionally staffed surgical facility
- Friendly and compassionate support staff
Why Dr. Livingston?
Liposuction is a procedure Houston plastic surgeon Christopher K. Livingston, M.D., F.A.C.S., P.A. performs with optimal results at Livingston Plastic Surgery. He is a popular liposuction doctor throughout Texas, attracting patients from The Woodlands, Sugar Land, and Pearland area.
When choosing a Houston liposuction professional, keep in mind that Dr. Livingston has impressive credentials and years of experience in his field. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), as well as a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Also, our doctor is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center – the Division of Plastic Surgery and Department of Otolaryngology, as well as a plastic surgery consultant for cosmetic procedures on WebMD.com.
How long is liposuction surgery?
Liposuction lasts from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours.
How many areas can be treated at once during liposuction?
For a single liposuction procedure, three to four areas can be done concurrently. Rarely are liposuction treatments done in multiple sessions, but if necessary, they can be done within 48 hours apart.
How soon can I exercise?
Dr. Livingston recommends each patient walk lightly the day after surgery to promote healing. Regular exercise routines can resume after a week or two although mild exercise can be implemented before that.
How soon will I see results?
Optimal results are realized from six months to a year, but you should see improvements after one month. Usually, after three weeks most of the swelling has subsided, and body appearance is better than before the surgery. Expectations will be discussed before surgery.
Can liposuction be performed with other procedures?
Although combining multiple surgical procedures is not always recommended in many cases, liposuction is used in concert with other procedures like tummy tuck, mommy makeover, and butt lift to provide optimal results.
What happens during my consultation?
During the consultation, Dr. Livingston will thoroughly assess your body contour, answer all of your questions and discuss what results might realistically be expected. A surgical plan will be designed and discussed, and schedule your surgery will be scheduled.
What happens before liposuction surgery?
Once a decision is made to move forward with liposuction, we schedule a pre-op appointment with you approximately ten days before the procedure. The visit will include instructions, medical evaluations, and allow you to ask additional questions.
How much fat is removed during liposuction?
During liposuction, Dr. Livingston will remove sufficient fat volume for a natural and proportionate result. The amount will depend on your unique anatomy and situation. The goal is to remove just the right amount to achieve the right results, not to remove as much fat as possible.
What are liposuction’s limitations?
Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is designed solely as a contouring procedure for areas where genetic fat deposits have proven to be resistant to a fitness regimen. Optimal outcomes are realized when liposuction occurs in areas where fat is not excessive, the skin is elastic, and there is reasonable muscle tone. In cases where there is a significant loss of elasticity, proper aesthetic results may require a combination of surgical skin tightening to remove excess skin and liposuction.
What happens if I gain weight after liposuction?
If Liposuction is done correctly, the resulting body shape is a permanent improvement. If weight is gained after the procedure, the contour will remain the same, just less visible.
Is there an age restriction on liposuction?
If the physical criteria are met for liposuction surgery, liposuction can be performed technically on suitable candidates between the ages of 15 – 78 years old. Skin elasticity is the main factor when considering liposuction. As we age, skin elasticity gets weaker. If Dr. Livingston feels the skin’s elasticity is not strong enough to conform to smaller contours after liposuction, he may recommend another procedure to help you reach your aesthetic goals.
What about liposuction touch-ups?
The best approach to liposuction is to get it right the first time. Nationally, there is a 25% revision rate, and in rare cases, there is the need for an additional procedure to attain optimal results.
Will I have loose skin after liposuction?
No, when liposuction is done correctly, the skin retracts and re-drapes to conform to the new shape of underlying tissue. This question is where skin elasticity comes in. For this reason, Dr. Livingston will determine your skin elasticity. If results suggest skin elasticity will not support new contours after liposuction, we will explore other options.