Liposuction Mistakes  
Liposuction & Your Health
By: Nathan Newman, MD

Are you tired of dieting and exercising without desired results? Are you self-conscious of your body? Maybe you are not happy with how your clothes look and fit. Then you may be a good candidate for liposuction; Liposuction can help sculpt your body by freeing you from the stubborn fat pockets.

Liposuction has become the most popular procedure worldwide today. It is a phenomenon because it is safe and requires little recovery time. 

The Integrative Approach

I believe in integrative medicine, treating the person from inside and out.  I first examine my patients and test them for medical conditions such as high cholesterol, Insulin Resistance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and skin conditions that may be related to the cause of the excess fat that you may have on your body.  If such medical conditions exist, I start a treatment program to address the problem.  I also like my patients to have a healthy diet and a reasonably active physical routine to improve their health and ensure good and long lasting results from the liposuction that they invest in.  I work on the nutritional and dietary needs, give tools to address cravings and individualize the program to fit in each person’s lifestyle.

Tumescent Technique

The next step is to discuss what areas of the body need to be contoured and with which method of liposuction we can achieve the best results.  The safest and best results from doing liposuction procedures are achieved with Tumescent Technique.  This technique uses a special solution consisting of large amounts of salt water and small amounts of local anesthetic that is injected with a specially designed blunt infiltrating needle into the fat that is going to be removed by liposuction.

Choosing the type Anesthesia

The next most important subject to discuss is anesthesia.  With the Tumescent Technique, liposuction can be safely done under local anesthesia.  Depending on each person’s fear, anxiety level and desires twilight anesthesia can be given to alleviate anxiety.  With this kind of anesthesia patients are comfortable, sleepy and do not remember the procedure.  Only in rare cases do I recommend general anesthesia for a liposuction procedure.  

Liposuction Methods

After the tumescent solution is injected, the undesired fat is removed through specially designed syringes of various shapes and sizes.  The Liposuction technique used by me is also individualized to each patient’s needs.  The different methods may include one or a combination of the following techniques:

  Suction Assisted Lipoplasty (SAL)
  Power Assisted Lipoplasty (PAL)
  Ultrasound Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL)
  Soft-Tissue Advanced Rotary Sculpture (STARS)
  Vaser System

After Liposuction

With these advanced methods, my patients are able to go home the same day. They are able to resume activity the very next day and can return to work in one to four days.  The areas that were treated will feel sore, as with a good workout that leaves your muscles sore for about two weeks.  Most patients do not require pain medications beyond Tylenol for the first few days.  In order to relieve the soreness, optimize the liposuction results and stimulate skin re-draping over your new shape and decrease swelling, I recommend my patients to have special therapeutic treatments during these two weeks.  You should also avoid strenuous exercise for two weeks.

The Skin

What happens to the skin is dependant on the area of the body, the condition of the skin and the amount of fat that is removed.  Liposuction stimulates some skin tightening and most people will have a shrink-wrap effect of the skin over the area liposuctioned.  If some loose skin is noted after surgery, we can try to tighten the skin with laser, ultrasound and rarely, if need be, mini-skin tucks.

Serial Liposuction

If large volumes of fat are to be removed, I recommend the procedure be done in series.  First you debulk the area to the safe limit of up to five liters of fat.  Let the area heal and in three to six months remove more fat from the area.  In addition to safety, this allows the skin to contract in stages and leaves less loose skin.

In individuals who desire many areas to be liposuctioned, I recommend that they do two or three serial liposuction procedures.  The reason to do this would be to allow the body to concentrate its limited resources to heal the areas treated, optimally giving the best results possible.  In general, I treat from one third to one half of the body’s total surface area at one time, and when it is healed the other areas are treated.  Serial liposuction can be done about one to three months apart. 

My Philosophy

Liposuction surgery should be done with an integrated approach to your health and well-being.  Healthy eating habits, physical activity regiment, coexisting medical conditions should be addressed to ensure your vitality from within and use of the safest and most advanced techniques to ensure the best results for your beauty from without.