Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comparisons of Body Contouring Procedures: Which One Is Best for You?

Comparisons of Body Contouring Procedures:
Which One Is Best for You?

by Dr. Diane Gibby • M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S 
While recent media attention may leave one with the feeling that liposuction procedures are simple operations, liposuction remains a surgical procedure that requires serious consideration, pre-operative preparation, with post-operative recommendations that must be followed for a complete and healthy recovery.

It is important to have a good understanding of the different liposuction procedures available when considering body contouring surgery when exercise and diet have lost their “battle with the bulge.” Currently, three of the most popular choices available are
traditional, tumescent and ultrasonic-assisted liposuction.

Traditional liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to remove localized fat pads. A tubular instrument or cannula is inserted through small incisions into the problem area. A suction unit is attached to the outside of the instrument, where the fat is suctioned.

General anesthesia is usually required for this procedure, unless only small areas are suctioned. Recovery time is four to six weeks and requires wearing support garments to reduce swelling. Typically, patients can return to work in three to six days. After several weeks, the patient may resume regular exercise.

Another option is the tumescent technique, which requires local or general anesthesia. With this technique, “numbing” fluid made of sterile saline, mixed with a dilute solution of anesthetic and medication to constrict blood vessels, is injected into the problem area. This shrinks the blood vessels and loosens the fat.

With this procedure, a small incision is made and the fluid and fat are suctioned out by the cannula. This technique allows for a much smaller cannula than used with traditional liposuction, resulting in less blood loss, bruising and less risk of contour irregularities. Most
patients will require three to six days off work, unless only a small area is treated.

Syringe liposuction, often referred to as “syringe liposculpture,” applies the above techniques. However, a hand-held syringe is used to create suction rather than a mechanical suction machine. Proponents of the techniques claim it is less traumatic to the tissues, resulting in less blood loss and better contour. The ideal patient for this procedure would have small areas of localized fat to be removed.

Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL), yet another option, uses high-frequency sound waves to “melt” fat into an easy-to-extract liquid. Ultrasonic waves are transmitted to the tip of the
specially-designed suction cannula. When the tip contacts the fat cells, they implode, allowing for removal by a low-pressure suction. There is less blood loss with UAL, probably resulting in less bruising and swelling and a faster recovery time.

Patients don’t have to be at their optimum weight for the UAL procedure. In many cases, patients may have twice the amount of fat removed with UAL than traditional liposuction.

The benefit of both tumescent and ultrasonic-assisted liposuction is that the fat cells are “adjusted” or “treated” before they are removed. As a result, more fat can be suctioned and better postoperative results can be achieved.

For more information see http://www.drgibby.com

No comments:

Post a Comment