What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a safe, effective way to remove stubborn, isolated fat deposits in key spots, helping patients sculpt an improved body shape and contour. It’s one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries available, with over 200,000 people undergoing liposuction every year in the US alone.
Some of the most commonly targeted areas include:
- Love handles
- Spots around the chest
- Neckline (and areas around the chin)
It’s important to understand that liposuction is not a weight-loss solution and can’t remove cellulite, stretch marks, or dimples. Instead, liposuction is meant to aid you on the last stretch of your journey—enhancing your shape and getting rid of undesirable fat in cosmetically important areas.
Why Do People Undergo Liposuction Surgery?
The most common reason people undergo liposuction is to do away with unshakeable fat that they have not been able to lose through healthy dieting and exercising.
Liposuction can also be used to address conditions including:
- Gynecomastia: In some cases, men can experience an abnormal enlargement of their breast tissue caused by an accumulation of fat. This problem can cause significant social stress and body-image anxieties. Liposuction (as part of a male breast reduction) can relieve nervousness and restore confidence.
- Lymphedema: This chronic condition causes excess fluid to collect in tissues, which results in swelling especially in a person’s extremities (arms and legs). In some cases, liposuction can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Lipodystrophy Syndrome: This causes fat to be gained in one part of a person’s body while being lost in others. Liposuction can target these affected areas to create a more natural looking distribution of body fat.
- Lipomas: These types of benign fatty tumours can sometimes be removed (or at least minimized) with liposuction.
Whatever the individual reason, the thread connecting anyone interested in liposuction is a desire to eliminate unwanted fat in one or a few spots and reshape their figure.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Liposuction isn’t suitable for people whose aim is to lose weight. It works by targeting subcutaneous fat, which is located directly under the skin. It can’t remove visceral fat, the hard abdominal fat that surrounds the organs, or tighten skin.
The ideal candidates are people have already reached or neared their desired weight, but find themselves dogged by:
- Fat deposits on their chest, belly, hips, thighs, or arms that haven’t responded to exercise and diet regimens.
- Certain areas of their figure that seem out of proportion. Reducing fat in specific spots will help balance your body’s shape.
Patients undergoing liposuction also need to have good skin elasticity to ensure their body will have enough natural tone to adjust to its new contours. If loose skin is a concern for you, it might make sense to think about a procedure like a tummy tuck.
Dr. Sleightholm’s Approach to Liposuction
Dr. Sleightholm has been performing liposuction at the Brampton Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa for over twenty years, helping hundreds of people achieve their sought-after shape.
Dr. Sleightholm performs three types of liposuction:
- Super Wet Tumescent Technique: During traditional (or tumescent) liposuction, Dr. Sleightholm injects fluid into the area he’ll be treating. This solution contains both a local anesthetic (lidocaine) and adrenaline (epinephrine) to numb the area and reduce blood loss by temporarily shrinking blood vessels. Super wet tumescent liposuction follows these same principles, but uses more fluid (roughly equal to the amount of fat that will be removed) to make the procedure easier, safer, and better for you.
- Power Assist Liposuction (PAL): In addition to using tumescent techniques (numbing fluids), PAL enables Dr. Sleightholm to use a special cannula. This device relies on small, quick vibrations to dislodge fat before suctioning it out. The process overall is gentler, provides smoother results, and allows Dr. Sleightholm to precisely target specific areas.
- SAFE: SAFE is an acronym for separation (of the fat), aspiration, and fat equalization. During the first step (separation), Dr. Sleightholm uses a basket cannula to gently break up and separate targeted fat without damaging the blood vessels responsible for providing support in the area. During aspiration, Dr. Sleightholm will remove emulsified fat with a smaller cannula that is similarly softer on blood vessels. This is one of the main reasons SAFE liposuction results in less bruising. Equalization involves shifting and grafting fat to smooth the layer that’s there and give you the best outcome.
Dr. Sleightholm will work with you to assess your needs and provide guidance on which kind of liposuction will be best for you.
As with any surgical procedure, one of the most important things to take into account is scarring. Dr. Sleightholm uses his expertise and skill to make sure incisions are small and located in discreet areas, making them very difficult to see once healing is complete. Typically, liposuction scars are too thin to be noticed.