What is liposculpture and am I a candidate?

Liposculpture is a means of using liposuction for body sculpting. Liposculpture accomplishes volume reduction in areas of fat deposition resistant to diet and exercise. Liposculpture is used to recontour various areas of the body. An appropriate candidate is healthy, near his or her ideal body weight, with discrete areas of unwanted fat.

What areas of the body can be treated with liposculpture?

Many areas of the body, and even face, can be improved with liposculpture. The upper and lower abdomen, back, arms, hips ("saddlebags"), flanks ("muffin top"), inner and outer thighs, knees, calves and ankles all can be successfully treated with body sculpting. The neck area yields excellent results in correctly chosen candidates, redefining the chin and jawline. The jowls in select patients may also benefit from very small areas of liposculpture.

What is the procedure like?

The procedure itself takes between 1-3 hours depending on how many areas are being treated. After numbing is completed in the treatment area, fat is removed using micro-cannulas—very small instruments that extract fat using vacuum pressure. The cannulas are introduced into the fat compartment using several very small, 3 mm incisions called adits. These sites heal extremely well, becoming imperceptible scars within around 3-6 months.

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Is liposculpture uncomfortable?

Liposculpture is completed with only local anesthetic, and if needed, an oral anti-anxiety or calming medication. Large volumes of dilute numbing medicine (lidocaine) are delivered to the areas to be treated using a few injection points. This provides complete local anesthesia, making the procedure virtually painless. The numbing medicine also provides comfort and pain control for around a day following treatment.

Is liposculpture using tumescent anesthesia safe?

Yes. Liposculpture using the pure, tumescent anesthesia technique has been used with an outstanding record of safety for over 20 years. No patient deaths have occurred using purely tumescent anesthesia for liposculpture. Patients are awake and comfortable during liposculpture using the purely tumescent technique. General anesthesia can increase the risk of complications or death during surgery. Tumescent anesthesia removes the need for moderate sedation or general anesthesia.

Can liposculpture be combined with other procedures?

Yes. Liposculpture can be combined with laser technologies (laser-assisted lipolysis or CoolLipo™) to increase the degree of skin contraction in areas such as the abdomen, arms, or neck. Areas of fat that are fibrous or tough such as the back or flanks sometimes respond more easily to fat removal if laser lipolysis is used first in the treatment area prior to fat extraction. Liposculpture is an excellent time to harvest fat to replace volume loss in other areas of the body or the face. Fat transfer can correct facial volume loss or used to correct skin irregularities or depressions from prior liposuction or long-standing scars.

What can I expect during my recovery following liposculpture?

Patients recover quickly following liposculpture. Patients walk out of the clinic following the procedure. Compression garments are usually worn in place for at least 1 week. Soreness, similar to an intense aerobic workout, is normal and lasts several days. This level of discomfort is successfully treated with extra-strength acetaminophen (Tylenol®).

What are Dr. Palm's qualifications in liposculpture?

Dr. Palm completed a cosmetic surgery fellowship through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery that included a strong foundation in liposuction. Additionally, Dr. Palm completed additional training on purely tumescent liposculpture. Dr. Palm is a co-author for a review article on liposuction technology, and she has lectured on and published research in regards to laser-assisted liposuction.

Laser Liposuction or Laser-Assisted Lipolysis

Laser energy may be used alone or in combination with traditional liposculpture to aid in the removal of unwanted fat. Laser liposuction, including CoolLipo™, help to melt fat. This increases the ease of removal and is useful in areas of fibrotic tissue (flanks, back) or prior liposuction. Recovery following laser-assisted lipolysis is similar to that of liposculpture.