Liposuction


Liposuction/ Salt Lake City, Utah

Suction assisted lipoplasty, also called liposuction, liposculpture or “lipo” is performed to remove unwanted fat in defined regions of the body. Liposuction has evolved tremendously over the past thirty years and is now the most common cosmetic surgery in the U.S.  Advancements in liposuction technique include the use of small, blunt cannulas as well as tumescent liposuction wherein solutions are infiltrated before the procedure to limit bleeding/ swelling and allow liposuction to be performed safely in an office operating room under local anesthetic.

What is traditional liposuction?

Traditional liposuction is the gold standard for liposuction that all other forms of fat removal should be compared to.  The procedure varies from surgeon to surgeon. Common to all procedures is injection of tumescent fluid into the treatment area and suction with atraumatic cannulas. The tumescent fluid consists of a combination of lidocaine (anesthetic) and epinepherine (to limit bleeding). The incisions are less than 1/2 cm in length and placed in well hidden locations. Superficial liposculpture is a modification of traditional liposuction using smaller cannulas close to the skin. There is some skin tightening with this superficial technique but great caution must be used to prevent skin irregularities.

Do the new alternatives to traditional liposuction work?

Liposuction technology comes down to 1) effectiveness, 2) risks, and 3) cost.  The ideal alternative to traditional liposuction should maximize effect and minimize risks and cost.

  • Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) such as Vaser uses ultrasonic energy to “loosen” or “burst” the fat cells prior to removal.  Higher cost, increased risks, controversial benefits.
  • Laser liposuction (Smartlipo), uses a laser at the tip of the cannula to help remove the fatty tissue. The fat is basically burned and then suctioned.  Higher cost, increased risks such as burns and contour irregularity.  There may be some slight skin tightening that occurs with the laser, the studies have been underwhelming. Very few plastic surgeons are recommending or using smartlipo. Most physicians currently using Smartlipo are not trained or skilled in the fine points of liposuction. Liposuction can be dangerous in untrained hands. Here in Salt Lake City, Utah, there are numerous billboards and ads for laser liposuction by non-plastic surgeons in medical spas. Please be very careful and choose only a board certified plastic surgeon.
  • Water assisted liposuction (Body-Jet) – At the tip of the liposuction cannula a small stream of tumescent fluid is used to loosen the fat before removal with suction. Very similar to traditional liposuction with the advantage that large areas can be treated more easily due to the larger volumes of local anesthetic available by this technique.
  • Mesotherapy (lipodissolve) – involves injections of various substances beneath the skin with the purpose of removing fat. This procedure does not allow for a measurable, consistent amount of fat removal.  A dead “fad”.  The photo to the left below is one of many lipodissolve patients we have seen for revision (right).

  • Zerona – external ultrasound claims to melt the fat which is absorbed.  Initial excitement has lost popularity.
  • CoolSculpting – cold pads are placed resulting in freezing of the fat. This is absorbed by the body over time.Too early to tell for sure how effective or safe this option is.  The verdict is out.  The safety and effectiveness of CoolSculpting has been proven and we are proud to announce that as of April 2013 we are offering this exciting nonsurgical option.  The results are not as dramatic as liposuction but it is unquestionably a safe and effective nonsurgical option for fat removal.  
  • Liposonix – High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is placed externally on the skin and the fat cells are disrupted.  This is also looking quite safe and effective.  This is currently the head-to-head competition with CoolSculpting.  Dr. Yates chose CoolSculpting over Liposonix for his practice as it is less painful and the fat cells die without creating scar tissue.

For nonsurgical options we currently offer CoolSculpting as in our opinion this is the best thing out there.  For patients who are not a good candidate or want more dramatic results Dr. Yates prefers a traditional form of liposuction (power assisted) as it has an excellent track record of safety and effectiveness in the right hands.

What type of liposuction does Dr. Yates prefer?

Dr. Yates prefers power assisted liposuction, a modification of traditional tumescent liposuction. The cannula is attached to a vibrating hand piece. The fat is suctioned with assistance of vibration of the tip. This results in more efficient fat removal. Dr. Yates prefers the artistic control he feels with this technology.  Other technologies such as laser assisted liposuction that result in heat injury to the cells can cause skin burns, excessive scar tissue resulting in nearly irreparable irregularities and loss of control of the amount of fat that is injured.

What kind of anesthetic is given for liposuction?

Dr Yates prefers IV sedation which can be light or deep depending on the patients desires.   The fatty bulges are infiltrated with tumescent solution consisting of diluted numbing medication to eliminate pain and minimize bleeding.

What areas are commonly treated with liposuction?

Areas commonly treated with liposuction include:

How do I know if I need liposuction or a tummy tuck?

Liposuction removes fat, a tummy tuck removes loose skin, stretch marks and fat while tightening the abdominal muscles. The ideal candidate for liposuction of the abdomen has excess fat with good skin elasticity, no stretch marks, and flat abdominal muscles. To determine how much abdominal muscle separation contributes to abdominal bulge “hold in” and let go of the abdominal muscles while standing and notice the degree of change.

Can liposuction correct laser lipo/ Smartlipo deformity?

There is an increasing number of patients with subsurface burns and irregularity of the skin from laser liposuction techniques.  This is a difficult problem to treat.  A very helpful approach is using a special liposuction cannula to break up the scar tissue and any remaining fat allowing some of the fat to “graft” beneath the scar and smooth out the result.  This technique has been elsewhere described as “SAFE” liposuction.

Can liposuction be combined with other procedures?

Liposuction is commonly combined with other procedures such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast augmentation. The risks associated with liposuction increase when combined with more invasive procedures.

Who is the ideal candidate for liposuction?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is at or near his/ her ideal body weight with fat bulges in unwanted areas. It is not a treatment for obesity but can decrease fat bulges and create aesthetically pleasing contours.   It is not a treatment for loose skin.

What should I expect after liposuction?

You will recover in the recovery suite for as long as necessary (usually less than an hour). You will be given antibiotics and pain medications. Pain following this procedure is generally moderate and lasts for a few days. The liposuction incisions may continue to leak some fluid for a couple of days. Resume showering when this drainage has stopped. You will be placed in a surgical garment. On our Facebook business page, other patients have discussed their recovery and experience after liposuction as well as other procedures.

When can I return to work/exercise after liposuction?

Desk work can be resumed as soon as you feel up to it, usually around 3-5 days. Vigorous exercising and running may be resumed at 4-6 weeks.

How long do I need to wear a garment after liposuction?

Most plastic surgeons, including Dr. Yates, ask that you wear compression garments after liposuction for a period of time to limit swelling in the treated area. After the procedure, a first stage compression garment will be placed. This will be worn 24/7 (except showering) for 1-3 weeks followed by a second stage garment (Spanx, Under Armour, or equivalent) for a total of 6 weeks.

Does liposuction treat cellulite?

Cellulite is difficult to treat with all modalities, including liposuction.  A new FDA approved laser treatment Cellulaze is showing promise for improvement of cellulite but the treatment is expensive and results underwhelming.

Does the removed fat simply come back if I gain more weight?

No. Except in cases of morbid obesity, our adult bodies have a fixed number of adipocytes (fat cells). As we gain weight those cells expand and enlarge but their number does not change. In other words, the removed fat cells are gone for good. Of course, it is still possible to gain weight after liposuction. If one were to gain weight following liposuction, the overall contour achieved with surgery stays fairly proportionate.

Will I lose weight?

Liposuction is not a procedure aimed at weight loss. You may find that you lose a small amount of weight, however the aim of the procedure is improved contour.

What risks are associated with liposuction?

Liposuction has become so common that it is easy to forget that there are real and significant risks associated with the procedure. The risks associated with liposuction are much greater when combined with other procedures or when large volumes of liposuction are performed. These risks can be best minimized by trusting only a board certified plastic surgeonwith your safety. Dr Yates will thoroughly discuss the rare but potential risks at the time of your consultation.

How much does liposuction cost?

The fees associated with liposuction include 1) surgeon’s fees, 2) anesthesia fees, and 3) facility fees. These fees are relative to the number of areas treated. As Dr Yates has an in-office operating suite, the facility fee is minimal. This is a cost savings directly to the patient. For a list of the costs of common procedures performed by Dr. Yates click here.

How do I schedule a consultation or schedule surgery?

Contact Dr. Yates Layton, Utah office or feel free to email him any additional questions you may have.

Before & After

Procedure: breast augmentation, modified mini tummy tuck and abdominal liposuction.

33 year old presents for mommy makeover. Before and one year after breast augmentation, abdominal liposuction and modified tummy tuck. Implants were moderate plus profile smooth round silicone 325 cc on the right and 300 cc on the left. Cup size went from a B cup to a C cup.   View More.

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