Surgery performed by Dr. Elswick
Concepts of beauty have continuously evolved throughout history. With fashion promoting body-revealing attire and the emphasis on fitness and good health, people have sought to reflect these trends by demonstrating youthfulness and vitality in their bodies. Lifestyle, diet, genetics, pregnancy, and the aging process contribute to alterations that result in the loss of the individual’s body image.
Our objective is to provide you with cutting-edge surgical approach that combines safe and efficient surgical techniques, resulting in a high degree of patient satisfaction. This is exemplified by our approach to liposuction, which gets rid of excess or unwanted fat while contouring the body so it has a nice shape. Our precise methodology for liposuction is to individualize the surgical technique while optimizing aesthetic outcome, safety, and down-time.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove excess or undesired fat. It can be used on most parts of the body. Liposuction is not a surgical treatment for being overweight. Individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight.
There are a variety of different techniques used by plastic surgeons for liposuction. Liposuction can be combined with other forms of body-contouring surgery, including abdominoplasty. If you are interested in augmenting another part of your body, for example the breasts or face, the removed fat can even be processed and injected into these areas for additional volume (fat grafting).
THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR LIPOSUCTION
The best candidates for liposuction are men or women who have attempted diet and exercise to improve areas with excess fat but have not been successful. Liposuction can help by removing the unwanted fat. Patients with good skin elasticity can generally experience shrinking of the skin after liposuction, which accentuates the improved body contour. However, patients with a lot of excess skin will likely not experience this shrinking and are not good candidates for liposuction. Patients should be relatively healthy to undergo liposuction.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
During the consultation your areas of concern, previous treatments, and plans for weight loss should be discussed in great detail. Patients will have the best long term result from their liposuction if their weight is stable and they are at their goal weight. A thorough physical examination of your areas of concern will be performed, including an analysis of the amount of excess fat and the quality of the skin.
Any major medical problems will be evaluated and should be optimized prior to surgery to minimize complications.
Dr. Elswick will ensure your questions are answered and your goals are understood. Patient expectations are important to discuss at the consultation. Surgical technique is individualized for each patient based on location of fat deposits.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
It is important to maintain a healthy diet prior to your surgery to optimize the healing capabilities of your body. Dr. Elswick will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure, including guidelines on diet and medications. Patients using tobacco or other nicotine-containing products must stop at least four weeks before and after surgery. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery and your recovery proceed more smoothly.
WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
Your surgery can be performed at Columbia Surgery Center (our private outpatient surgical suite adjacent to our office) or at one of the local hospitals. Dr. Elswick has privileges at William Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, William Beaumont Hospital of Troy, and McLaren Macomb Hospital. If you have significant medical problems or will be undergoing large volume liposuction, your surgery will be performed at the hospital. Liposuction is usually an outpatient procedure unless you have a large amount of fat removed, then you will require an overnight stay in the hospital.
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
Liposuction can be performed under sedation or general anesthesia depending on your preference and amount and location of liposuction to be performed.
There are various types of liposuction machines, but the techniques and results of liposuction are generally the same. To access the fat, several small incisions are made surrounding the area that will be liposuctioned. The incisions are typically about 5 mm in size and are hidden in normal skin creases. A solution called tumescent is injected in the fatty deposits to help break up the fat, provide anesthetic (numbing of the area), and help minimize bleeding and bruising. After the tumescent solution takes effect, the liposuction cannula is used to break up and remove the unwanted fat. Taking the appropriate amount of fat and blending it with the surrounding tissue is extremely important so you end up with a nice contour. The small incisions are then closed with sutures which are usually removed one week after your surgery.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
Dressings typically consist of gauze, absorbent pads, large pieces of foam, and a compressive garment or ACE bandages. The gauze and pads can be removed 48 hours after surgery at which point you may take a shower. If you have large pieces of foam over your liposuction sites, these should be replaced after you shower and should be worn for one week after the surgery. The compressive garment or ACE bandages should be worn for one month after surgery at which time you can switch to Spanx or another gentle shapeware garment for an additional two weeks (or longer if desired for comfort). The compressive garments are an essential component of the surgery as this minimizes fluid buildup in the surgical sites, which facilitates skin contraction, limits scarring, and speeds up the healing process.
Moderate discomfort, pain, and numbness at the liposuction sites is to be expected after surgery, which will usually subside in the first few days to weeks after your surgery. You will likely to feel tired and sore for 1-2 weeks after liposuction. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication prescribed by your doctor in addition to taking regular Tylenol.
Bruising and swelling is expected after surgery. Generally the major bruising and swelling subsides 2-3 weeks after surgery. However, the final result of your liposuction will not be evident until 6 months after surgery.
You should not participate in any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Strenuous exercise includes any activities where your heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute. We highly encourage our patients to remain active post-operatively, doing activities such as walking. You should not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (about a gallon of milk). It is okay to type and work at a computer. You can slowly work back into your normal activities at 4 weeks post-operatively and should be back to your normal self at 6 weeks post-operatively.
When you can return to work depends on the location and volume of the liposuction, how you are healing post-operatively, and what you do for work. Patients with sedentary jobs can return to work as early as 1-2 weeks post-operatively. Patients with active jobs may require up to four weeks off work.
We highly encourage you to maintain a stable weight, healthy diet, and consistent exercise plan after surgery to maintain your aesthetic outcome.
YOUR NEW LOOK
The removal of the excess fat may help your self-esteem and improve your confidence. The scars can usually be placed so that they are well hidden. Your clothes will fit better. You should wait at least six to 12 weeks after surgery before purchasing new clothing because this will give time for the swelling to resolve.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LIPOSUCTION
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand these risks and the possible complications associated with them. In addition, every procedure has limitations. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit.
The most common complication after liposuction is contour irregularities. This can manifest as hollowing, inadequate removal of excess fat, lumps and bumps, or asymmetries. It is important to wait at least six months after liposuction to let these issues resolve as sometimes they are secondary to swelling and will improve on their own. Occasionally non-invasive modalities such as the Velashape or Endoermoloie
devices can be used to improve contour irregularities; both of these devices are available in our medical spa. Other complications of liposuction include bleeding, infection, seroma (fluid accumulation), and unfavorable scarring. Rarely you may require additional surgeries to address these complications.
INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A CONSULTATION?
Dr. Elswick is highly trained and skilled in Liposuction surgery. She personally meets with all of her patients in our office located in Troy, Michigan. Please call 248-524-0620 today to set up your consultation with Dr. Elswick.