Individuals who struggle to rid their bodies of stubborn fat deposits often turn to plastic surgery for assistance. Roxanne J. Guy, M.D., F.A.C.S. performs liposuction at her Melbourne, Florida practice, Brevard Plastic Surgery & Skin Treatment Center, in order to help patients achieve a slimmer, better-contoured shape. When visiting Dr. Guy, the owner and founder of the facility, you may anticipate a sensitive and welcoming environment.
"Liposuction is one of the country's most requested surgical procedures."
Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. During the past decade, liposuction, which is also known as "lipoplasty" or "suction lipectomy," has benefited from several new refinements. Today, a number of new techniques, including ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), the tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique, are helping many plastic surgeons to provide selected patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don't respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
During liposuction surgery ("lipoplasty" or "suction lipectomy"), the most commonly targeted areas include the cheeks, chin/neck, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, hips, and thighs. Dr. Guy offers a variety of methods for this procedure, such as traditional lipoplasty, tumescent liposuction, and VASER ® (ultrasonic) liposuction or liposelection. Based on your individual anatomy and goals, Dr. Guy will determine the best suited option to meet your needs. Potential results may be previewed with our 3D imaging system prior to surgery.
Dr. Guy prefers to use the VASER technique due to its smoother results, reduced bleeding, bruising, and tissue trauma, and ability to contract the skin with heat. Through small incisions made in the target area, Dr. Guy will use a long metal rod (cannula) with an ultrasound probe to break up fatty tissue. The liquefied fat is then removed in order to produce a slimmer appearance.
Candidates For Liposuction
The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations. Your age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.
Liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with medical problems such as diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.
Consultation & Preparation
In your initial consultation in Melbourne, Dr. Guy will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and assess the condition of your skin. Dr. Guy will explain the body-contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you. For example, if you believe you want liposuction in the abdominal area, you may learn that an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" may more effectively meet your goals; or that a combination of traditional liposuction and UAL would be the best choice for you.
Be frank in discussing your expectations with Dr. Guy. She should be equally frank with you, describing the procedure in detail and explaining its risks and limitations.
In deciding which is the right treatment approach for you, Dr. Guy will consider effectiveness, safety, cost and appropriateness for your needs. This is called surgical judgment, a skill that is developed through surgical training and experience. Dr. Guy also uses this judgment to prevent complications; to handle unexpected occurrences during surgery; and to treat complications when they occur.
Dr. Guy will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed.
Though it is rarely necessary, Dr. Guy may recommend that you have blood drawn ahead of time in case it is needed during surgery.
Also, while you are making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and, if needed, to help you at home for a day or two.
Various types of anesthesia can be used for liposuction procedures. Together, you and Dr. Guy will select the type of anesthesia that provides the most safe and effective level of comfort for your surgery.
If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. However, if you prefer, the local is usually used along with intravenous sedation to keep you more relaxed during the procedure. Regional anesthesia can be a good choice for more extensive procedures. One type of regional anesthesia is the epidural block, the same type of anesthesia commonly used in childbirth.
The Plastic Surgery Procedure
The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia and the technique used. Several liposuction techniques can be used to improve the ease of the procedure and to enhance outcome. They include:
Liposuction is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to recontour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump or a large syringe per Dr. Guy's judgment. If many sites are being treated, Dr. Guy will then move on to the next area, working to keep the incisions as inconspicuous as possible.
Fluid is lost along with the fat, and it's crucial that this fluid be replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. For this reason, patients need to be carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery.
FLUID INJECTION. This is a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into fatty areas before the fat is removed, is commonly used by plastic surgeons today. The fluid -- a mixture of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels) -- helps the fat be removed more easily, reduces blood loss and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.
The amount of fluid that is injected varies depending on the preference of Dr. Guy.
TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION. Large volumes of fluid–sometimes as much as three times the amount of fat to be removed–are injected in the tumescent technique. Tumescent liposuction, typically performed on patients who need only a local anesthetic, usually takes significantly longer than traditional liposuction (sometimes as long as 4 to 5 hours). However, because the injected fluid contains an adequate amount of anesthetic, additional anesthesia may not be necessary. The name of this technique refers to the swollen and firm or "tumesced" state of the fatty tissues when they are filled with solution.
THE SUPER-WET TECHNIQUE. This is similar to the tumescent technique, except that lesser amounts of fluid are used. Usually the amount of fluid injected is equal to the amount of fat to be removed. This technique often requires IV sedation or general anesthesia and typically takes one to two hours of surgery time.
ULTRASOUND-ASSISTED LIPOPLASTY (UAL). This technique requires the use of a special cannula that produces ultrasonic energy. As it passes through the areas of fat, the energy explodes the walls of the fat cells, liquefying the fat. The fat is then removed with the traditional liposuction technique.
UAL has been shown to improve the ease and effectiveness of liposuction in fibrous areas of the body, such as the upper back or the enlarged male breast. It is also commonly used in secondary procedures, when enhanced precision is needed. In general, UAL takes longer to perform than traditional liposuction.
Recovery & Results
After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. Occasionally, a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Dr. Guy may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Don't expect to look or feel great right after surgery. Even though the newer techniques are believed to reduce some post-operative discomforts, you may still experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding and temporary numbness. Pain can be controlled with medications prescribed by Dr. Guy, though you may still feel stiff and sore for a few days.
Healing is a gradual process. Dr. Guy will probably tell you to start walking around as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed or dissolve on their own within the first week to 10 days.
Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more. Melbourne liposuction surgeon, Dr. Guy will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and to see if any additional procedures are needed.
You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery. Your incisions will be relatively small and strategically placed to minimize visible scarring. Improvement will become even more apparent after about four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible.
Suction-Assisted Lipectomy Basics
Improve body shape by removing exercise-resistant fat deposits with a tube and vacuum device. Can be performed using the tumescent technique, in which targeted fat cells are infused with saline containing solution with a local anesthetic before liposuction to reduce post-operative bruising and swelling. Common locations for liposuction include chin, cheeks, neck, upper arms, above breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees,
For larger volumes of fat or for fibrous body areas, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) may be used. UAL is a new technique in which a ultrasound probe is inserted beneath the skin to "liquefy" the fat before it is suctioned.
1 to 2 hours or more. UAL: 20-40 percent longer than traditional liposuction.
Local, epidural, or general.
Usually outpatient. Extensive procedures may require short inpatient stay.
Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation. Tumescent: Temporary fluid drainage from incision sites. UAL: Larger incisions for cannula.
Asymmetry. Rippling or bagginess of skin. Pigmentation changes. Skin injury. Fluid retention. Excessive fluid loss leading to shock. Infection. UAL: thermal burn injury caused by the heat from the ultrasound device.
Back to work: 1 to 2 weeks. More strenuous activity: 2 to 4 weeks. Full recovery from swelling and bruising: 1 to 6 months or more. Use of tumescent technique or UAL may decrease post-operative bruising and swelling.
Duration of Results:
Permanent, with sensible diet and exercise
Contact Us For A Consultation
Viera, Melbourne, and Vero liposuction patients who would like to achieve an overall body enhancement may wish to learn more regarding other body contouring procedures, such as the total body lift. Melbourne plastic surgeon, Dr. Guy also specializes in tummy tuck surgery ("abdominoplasty") and breast augmentation ("augmentation mammaplasty") at her practice. Women may regain their pre-pregnancy figure with the help of our cosmetic plastic surgery professional.
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), as well as a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Dr. Guy has the experience and qualifications to meet your cosmetic surgery goals. In addition, she was President of ASPS in 2007 and has made several media appearances, including Oprah, Leeza, the Today Show, and Jenny Jones.
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), as well as a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Dr. Guy has the experience and qualifications to meet your cosmetic surgery goals. In addition, she was President of ASPS in 2007 and has made several media appearance, including Oprah, Leeza, the Today Show, and Jenny Jones.
Those in the Vero, Melbourne, and Viera areas interested in liposuction may schedule an appointment with Dr. Guy by calling (321) 727-1600. You may also send us an e-mail. Patient registration forms are available to fill out prior to your visit.