The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S., liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat that has not responded to diet and exercise from areas such as the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks, neck and upper arms. Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used, and the procedure can last anywhere from one to five hours depending on the amount of fat being removed.
There are several different methods surgeons use when performing liposuction, including ultrasound-assisted lipectomy (UAL) and suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL). In both types, fluid is injected into the area to be treated. Then a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible, and a cannula (small tube) breaks up the fat layer and suctions it out.
Abdominoplasty helps to flatten and shape the abdomen and waist by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles. The best candidates have pockets of fat or loose skin that haven't responded well to diet and exercise. The procedure can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy.
The procedure takes approximately two to five hours and can be performed with general anesthesia or local anesthesia with a sedative. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months. With a balanced diet and regular exercise, results are long-lasting. Abdominoplasty will likely leave a permanent scar stretching between the hips, although it should be low enough for even a bikini to conceal it.
Candidates for body lifts typically suffer from loose (inelastic) skin on many or most areas of the body as a result of age, childbearing or significant weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breast lifts, arm lifts and liposuction to retain a proper body proportion. Body lifts tighten and tone the abdomen, back, buttocks, hips and thighs.
During the procedure, skin is lifted from underlying tissue, muscles are tightened and stitched and fat is removed where necessary, and the skin is sutured closed. The navel is often removed and replaced in its new position. Surgical tubes may be needed for a few days to drain any fluid, and patients may need to wear compression garments for a few weeks to facilitate faster healing.
After surgery, patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able, although strenuous activities must be limited for about a month. Results are visible immediately.
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
After substantial weight loss, weight gain or simply from the effects of aging, skin on the upper arms can become inelastic, loose and flabby. Arm lifts, also known as brachioplasty, remove that excess skin and fat. Patients who have significant amounts of fat may want to consider combining the procedure with liposuction.
The results of arm lift surgery will be long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.
A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper legs. Candidates typically suffer from loose, inelastic skin after extreme weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breast lifts, facelifts and arm lifts to retain an attractive body proportion.
In a medial thigh lift (inner thigh lift), the surgical incision is made in the inner thigh along the line where the leg meets the groin. In a lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift), the incision is made from the groin around the back of the body, so that the buttocks are lifted along with the thigh.