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Liposuction

Liposuction is a popular procedure to help sculpt areas of the body with unwanted fat. It can be used almost anywhere on the body including the chin (see neck enhancement), arms, hips, thighs, abdomen and flanks. While liposuction is never a substitute for good diet and exercise, Dr. Gerstle can help you with those stubborn areas that just won’t seem to go away, a condition called focal lipodystrophy.

To find out more about Liposuction at Lexington Plastic Surgery, PLLC, request a consultation or call (859) 279-2111.

Benefits of Liposuction

  • Looking and feeling better in and out of clothing
  • Enhanced body contour & self-confidence
  • Can be used as a way to harvest fat to inject in other areas to be enhanced (see Facial Fat Grafting or Buttock Lift)

What to expect

First, you and Dr. Gerstle will have a detailed consultation that involves your medical history, your physical exam and your cosmetic goals. It is important to understand that liposuction can help sculpt the body, but it is not a weight loss strategy. Patients who are significantly overweight are typically not candidates for the procedure. The best candidates are people who are of normal weight with firm, elastic skin with pockets of excess fat in certain areas. Some people think that liposuction is what they need to achieve their cosmetic goals when, in fact, you may learn that an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck would actually be the best choice for you to get the look you want. This is why you and Dr. Gerstle will discuss what you are hoping to achieve, and how he can use his skills and expertise to help you reach your goals.

You have the option to undergo a state-of-the art digital imaging system called “Mirror Imaging.” Your own photographs are digitally enhanced to create the look you hope to achieve. Then, Dr. Gerstle will explain how to best help you achieve that look. We often say that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and this technique is a great way to ensure the two of you have similar expectations. This helps to ensure that the plan matches your desired outcome.

Once the two of you choose to move forward, your surgery will be performed either in Dr. Gerstle’s private office surgical suite or an outpatient surgery center. Small areas, such as a chin, can be treated in the office surgical suite under local anesthetic or sedation. If you undergo a small area of treatment, you can expect to return home right after the procedure and follow up within a few days. Larger areas, such as buttock, arms, thighs, hips, and abdomen will require a general anesthetic at an outpatient surgery center. (Dr. Gerstle operates in both the Kentucky Surgery Center as well as the Lexington Surgery Center.) You can expect to return home a few hours after the surgery is complete and follow up with Dr. Gerstle within a few days. Of course, Dr. Gerstle is always available by cell phone or email in between office visits. We want to make sure you are comfortable with every step in the process.

As you recover, foam bandages and an elastic support garment are placed on the surgical sites in order to decrease swelling and absorb fluid. It is normal for fluid to drain from the surgical incisions. Sometimes, a small tube will be placed to drain the fluid for a few days. It is common for patients to feel tired, or worn-out after the surgery. People are excited to have the procedure done and have a new look, then right after surgery can feel sore, swollen, and sometimes have bruising. This can make some patients feel down. The healing process takes time (generally less than two weeks). Once the swelling and discomfort have subsided, you can start to enjoy your new shape and feel better.

It is important to start moving right after your surgery to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. Any stitches that are on the skin are removed around 7-10 days following your procedure. You should avoid strenuous activity for about a month to allow your body to heal properly. By that time, most of the swelling should be gone, but it is not abnormal for some people to experience swelling for up to six months or more. Most people can expect to judge their final result at around 3-6 months after the procedure, once all swelling has resolved.

FAQ about Liposuction

I have read about different liposuction techniques. Which one is right for me?

There is a large amount of information online about liposuction techniques, which can be confusing. You may have heard of Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction, Tumescent technique, Super-wet technique, or Power Assisted Liposuction (PALS). There are advantages and disadvantages to every technique. Fortunately, you and Dr. Gerstle can discuss which is right for you during your consultation.

How much fat can be removed during liposuction?

It is not safe to remove more than 5 liters (5,000cc’s) during a single surgery. Dr. Gerstle generally does not recommend you undergo a procedure where more fat than that is removed. No surgery comes without risk; however liposuction is generally considered a low-risk procedure. Dr. Gerstle wants you to be satisfied with your new look, but wants to be safe, first and foremost.

When can I return to work?

Most people feel well enough to return to work about a week after the procedure. You may resume light activity after a few weeks but should avoid vigorous activity for at least six weeks.

Watch Your Guide to Liposuction

So many people feel self-conscious about their bodies after successfully losing weight, or after proudly giving birth to beautiful children. Some people are just suffering from the natural effects of time and gravity. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is talking to people about what would make them feel better about their bodies, and then helping them achieve their goals.

– Theo Gerstle, MD