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Wide Awake Liposuction

Posted in Cosmetic Procedures, Liposuction

Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed.  Most patients that maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise (3-4 times/week) and a controlled diet (low fat and moderate proportions) but still have small amounts of fat in subborn areas are candidates.  Certainly, realistic expectations and nonsmokers are mandatory in my practice.  Traditional liposuction utilized larger diameter canulas with suction and general anesthesia.  Bruising, swelling, several weeks of restricted movement, and the possiblity of irregularities were common.  In addition, general anesthesia added to the total cost of the procedure.  With the introduction of ultrasonic liposuction (as well as laser liposuction), the canulas have become smaller and the amount of suction has diminished.  Tumescent anesthesia (combination of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine infiltrated into the target areas) can be performed without general anesthesia in certain instances which reduces the cost and allows patients to literally walk into and out of surgery.  Yes, you are awake during this minor procedure and able to communicate with the surgeon as he/she operates.  I have found that ultrasonic liposuction reduces swelling and bruising as well as post-operative pain.  Most importantly, the results are improved over traditional liposuction (in my practice).  I recommend this technique to my patients that have only small target areas and BMI (body mass index) less than 30 and are otherwise healthy individuals.  Certainly, these areas can include the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, hips, back, and arms.  Males with large breasts (gynecomastia) can also be candidates. If considering this procedure, make sure that your plastic surgeon is board certified and has experience in liposuction and ultrasonic techniques.  Each patient is different as is each doctor that advertises liposuction.  DR L