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What is body contouring (tumescent liposuction)?

Tumescent liposuction is a virtually painless surgical procedure that is utilized to remove localized deposits of excess fat from the body. Advancements in liposuction technology utilized by dermatologic and cosmetic surgeons, specifically tumescent technique, have made this procedure safer for patients. This procedure makes use of a localized form of anesthesia, which reduces bleeding (therefore reducing recovery), enhances patient comfort and eliminates the need for general anesthesia. Sometimes we will use a RF probe (Thermi RF™) to heat the fat before performing liposuction. This often helps to tighten the skin and even out contour irregularities.

What areas can be treated?

Many different areas of the body may be treated using this method of fat removal. At the Derm Institute, we specialize in contouring of the chin, neck, upper arms, abdomen and flanks.

How much improvement should one expect to see with this procedure?

Although we often see dramatic results with surgery, a patient should expect about a 50-75% improvement in overall body contour. It usually takes several months to complete the healing process. Final measurements are not taken for three to six months after the procedure.

How much “down time” can I expect, and what is the after care?

A snug elastic dressing garment, or body stocking is recommended to be worn over the treatment site(s) for several weeks. This helps to control swelling, facilitates drainage and minimizes the risk of bleeding. Furthermore, compression will help your skin to establish and adapt to its new contour. It is also important to take your antibiotic and pain medications as directed to minimize infection risk and maximize comfort. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activity for two to four weeks after surgery. Sutures are removed in five to ten days depending on the body site treated. Patients can return to work in as little as 3 to 7 days. Though most swelling and bruising resolves within a few weeks, some swelling and skin numbness can persist for a few months post procedure.

What are the risks?

Risks Include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bruising
  • Change in skin sensation that may persist
  • Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs and abdominal organs
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Infection
  • Irregular contours or asymmetries
  • Irregular pigmentation
  • Need for revision surgery
  • Poor wound healing
  • Rippling or loose skin, worsening of cellulite
  • Swelling

About the Procedure:

Before Treatment:

  • A preoperative history and physical must be performed and surgical clearance given by your primary care doctor.
  • Start oral arnica or vitamin K therapy as directed 1 week before your procedure.
  • Avoid aspirin and blood thinners or like products, for 2 weeks prior to your scheduled surgery (see list)
  • Get all prescriptions filled prior to your procedure.
  • Pick up your compression garments before your procedure. They will be fitted to your body’s measurements. We recommend that two be obtained to wash and wear.
  • Make sure that someone is available to drive you to and from the office and to stay with you for 24-48 hours after surgery.

After Treatment:

  • Take your prescriptions as directed.
  • Wear your fitted compression garment as directed.
  • Avoid intense physical activities for two weeks or as directed by our staff. Usually one can return to work in as little as 2-5 days.
  • Use an antiseptic soap (Chlorhexidine™) to wash your skin
  • Apply antibiotic ointment as directed to your incisions.
  • Avoid alcohol or blood thinners for 72 hours after surgery.
  • Return to our office in 7 days for suture removal
  • Please be aware that final results can take up to six months to be seen. Initial improvement is usually seen within 4 weeks. We ask for your patience during this time.
  • Call our office (770-400-8400) if you develop, fever, chills, bleeding, persistent swelling, rash, excessive or foul smelling drainage, shortness of breath, chest pain, or intense pain.
  • Massage or ultrasound treatments may be used after surgery (about two weeks out) to minimize skin irregularities and “dimpling”.
  • A touch up procedure may be needed in up to 10-20% of cases. There is a reduced fee for this second procedure.
Liposuction Before & After
Liposuction Before & After

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