Liposuction is one of the cosmetic surgical procedures among both men and women, removing stubborn pockets of fatty tissue in the belly, flanks, “love handles”, back, arms, neck, breasts (including male breasts), thighs, and other areas to reveal a slimmer, sleeker profile. Often performed as an outpatient procedure, liposuction is popular among men and women who are close to their goal weight and want to refine and improve their results.
Liposuction is also popular among people who are fit and physically active but have isolated areas of fat that haven’t responded to diet and exercise. As a top-rated plastic surgeon, Dr. Baumholtz is skilled in performing liposuction in San Antonio patients wanting a way to look slimmer and feel more confident. Liposuction is not weight-loss surgery (also called bariatric surgery); rather, it’s part of a collection of procedures known as body contouring (or sometimes body sculpting).
How should I prepare for liposuction?
If you’re considering having liposuction in San Antonio, your first step is to schedule a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Baumholtz. During your office visit, you’ll be asked to provide a complete medical history, including information about chronic disease you, your parents, or your grandparents have had, any surgeries you’ve had, and any medications or supplements you may be taking, as well as any allergies you have. Dr. Baumholtz will discuss your concerns and what you hope to achieve with your procedure, and he’ll also perform a physical exam to determine the best approach for your liposuction procedure.
During your consultation, you will need to point out – literally – the areas that are bothering you most so Dr. Baumholtz can design a treatment specifically for your needs. Before your appointment, it can help to look at yourself carefully in the mirror so you’ll be able to show the specific areas and issues you’d like to have addressed. Depending on your treatment goals and other factors, Dr. Baumholtz also may recommend additional procedures, like a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation, a tummy tuck or complete body contouring, and he will take photos during your visit to help guide your treatment.
If you’re very overweight, Dr. Baumholtz may suggest losing weight prior to your procedure. If you’re a woman, you should also discuss whether you plan to become pregnant in the future since pregnancy and weight gain can have an effect on the long-term results of your liposuction procedure. Liposuction is best-suited for patients who are already at or near their ideal weight.
Six weeks prior to your surgery, you’ll need to stop smoking and stop taking aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and Dr. Baumholtz may provide other pre-surgical guidelines based on your needs. You may need blood tests, an EKG, or other tests. You’ll also need to arrange to have someone drive you home after your liposuction procedure, and because you’ll be sore and taking pain medication, you should have someone stay with you the first night after your surgery as well.
Can I have more than one area treated during one procedure?
Yes, Dr. Baumholtz can perform liposuction on multiple areas in a single surgical session. Your time in surgery will be longer, and your recovery time and experience will also vary. For instance, people who have a single, smaller area treated generally will have less discomfort and a faster return to full activity compared to someone who has several larger areas treated. Dr. Baumholtz will review your options during your initial consultation visit. For most patients, liposuction is performed as an outpatient procedure. However, for patients who need or want larger amounts of fat removed, an overnight hospital stay may be required in order to monitor the patient and provide observation during the initial stages of recovery. In other cases, where multiple surgical procedures are desired these may be staged or divided over different days.
What happens during a liposuction procedure?
Liposuction in San Antonio is often performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia or, less commonly, with sedation and local anesthetics to keep you comfortable throughout your procedure. When you arrive for your surgery, your vital signs will be taken and you’ll meet with Dr. Baumholtz to go over your procedure once more. He may use a special marker to make marks on your skin to guide your procedure, and he’ll be able to answer any last-minute questions you may have about the procedure or your recovery. Then you’ll be given medication to help you relax before the procedure begins.
Liposuction is performed using a tube-shaped instrument called a cannula. The cannula is inserted into the treatment area through a small incision and the liposuction machine creates the suction that actually draws the fat out. The specialized tip of the cannula also helps dislodge the fat so it can be removed more easily. Depending on the size of the area being treated, more than one incision may be made. Before the procedure begins and fat is suctioned out through the cannula, a special fluid will be administered to the treatment site to help reduce bleeding and post-procedure discomfort.
Most liposuction procedures take under two hours, but if you’re having many areas treated, it can take longer. Dr. Baumholtz will be able to give you an idea of how long your procedure will take following your initial consultation and evaluation. Once your procedure is complete, the incisions will be closed and a special compression garment will be applied to reduce swelling and help the skin “shrink” to fit your new contours. Occasionally this garment is given at a post-operative visit depending on the amount of swelling anticipated. Then you’ll be taken to a recovery area for a little while for observation and monitoring before being discharged.
What will my recovery be like?
To some extent, your recovery will depend on how many areas you’ve had treated and how much fat has been removed. In general, you can expect soreness, bruising and redness in the treatment area, and you’ll probably want to take some painkillers to help you stay comfortable. Use the medications prescribed to you and don’t take aspirin or other NSAIDs which can cause bleeding and additional swelling in the area. You may have some drainage from the incisions sites for a few days, and in some cases, Dr. Baumholtz may insert a drain to prevent fluids from building up and causing pressure and discomfort.
During the first week, you’ll need to rest, but you’ll still need to walk around to prevent blood clots. If you can, try to elevate the treatment area to reduce swelling. Your compression garment will help reduce swelling as well, and you’ll need to wear it for several weeks. Most of the swelling from your procedure will disappear within three to four weeks, but some residual swelling can persist for months. Bruising is typical and usually resolves within a week or two. You’ll be able to go back to work within a week or so and resume most of your activities within a couple of weeks. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks or longer if additional procedures are performed and you should also limit your time in the sun to prevent scarring.
Because it can take some time for swelling to resolve, it can be a few months before you see your final results. Any scars from your procedure will be small, and they’ll continue to fade over time. Avoiding sun exposure during recovery will help scars fade more completely.
Liposuction removes fat cells, which means the results of your procedure are permanent. You can still gain weight in other areas of your body, including the areas around your treatment site, and maintaining a healthy weight is the best way to prolong your results and prevent additional fat deposition that can detract from your slim appearance.
Undergoing liposuction in San Antonio can be a very good option for men and women who have stubborn areas of fat that just don’t respond to diet and exercise. You’ll get the best results if your skin is still elastic and able to contract well to your new contours, and you should also be within 20 pounds or so of your ideal weight.
If you’re thinking about having liposuction in San Antonio, it’s very important to select a skilled surgeon with plenty of experience in performing the procedure. Dr. Baumholtz is a board-certified plastic surgeon with in-depth expertise in liposuction procedures, tailoring every procedure to the specific needs and goals of the patient for the highest levels of satisfaction. Liposuction can be used alone or in combination with other procedures, making it a very versatile option. To find out if it’s a good choice for your needs, call the office at 210-880-3708 and schedule an office visit today.
To learn more about the Baumholtz Plastic Surgery treatments and procedures performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Michael Baumholtz please contact us.
Dr. Baumholtz receives patients from San Antonio, Shavano Park, Texas and surrounding areas.