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Liposuction, Lipoplasty and Liposculpture

Frustrated because diet and exercise are not producing the results you want to achieve? Are stubborn areas of disproportionate fat persisting despite your best efforts? Liposuction or Lipoplasty is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure designed to remove bulges caused by fat. “Lipo” is not an effective means of weight loss, but it can spot remove stubborn areas that do not respond to exercise. This ability to reshape the body is why Liposuction is often called Liposculpture.

Joseph A. Mele, MD, FACS—our experienced plastic surgeon—has helped many individuals shape their bodies through cosmetic plastic surgery. At his practice, many Liposuction patients have benefited from his body sculpting procedures. Dr. Mele can help you slim specific areas of your body, providing a better-sculpted, and toned physique. The areas of the body that most people complain about are the abdomen, back, buttocks, hips, thighs, and chin. Liposuction gives men and women a means to achieving their goals and feel better about their appearance.

Liposuction Before and After Photos (Liposculpture, Suction Assisted Lipectomy or SAL)

Results shown are specific to each patient and individual results will vary

The Liposuction Procedure

Tumescent Liposuction is the most commonly used type of Liposuction. Tumescent Liposuction works by removing disproportionate fat, which is located between the skin and the muscle. Dr. Mele performs this outpatient procedure in a fully accredited surgery center. After the skin is prepped and draped sterily, small incisions are made just large enough to allow a three to four millimeter diameter cannula to pass beneath the skin. The tumescent fluid is instilled, and small ports are inserted to protect the skin from the liposuction cannula. The cannula inserted through the port and the disproportionate fat is vacuumed out.

Liposuction begins with getting the information you need to make an informed decision. While the Internet is great for getting a general idea of what is involved and what is possible, the process really starts with a private consultation at our conveniently located office in Walnut Creek, California. Dr. Mele will discuss your options during an initial visit, and will evaluate your health and goals, and determine if Liposuction is right for you. A medical history and physical examination are often all that are needed for proper patient selection. Once the areas to be addressed are selected, a focussed evaluation determines if any additional preparation is necessary. The method, cost and recovery for your specific procedure are reviewed. When you are ready to proceed, the dates for your pre-operative visit, liposuction surgery and follow-up are scheduled. At your pre-operative visit, detailed pre-op instructions are discussed, such as which medications to take and which to avoid around the time of surgery.

During Liposuction, every effort is made to provide you with the utmost results using the safest and most predictable Liposuction techniques. Dr. Mele will first make a small incision adjacent to the targeted area. Often, a small port is first inserted into the skin opening to protect the skin edges, and provide accelerated healing. Using a narrow tube (cannula) in the targeted area, Dr. Mele can effectively remove excess fat. The abdomen, hips, back, buttocks, thighs, chin and the male chest, are common regions where liposuction is performed. A specific technique will be used for each patient, such as Tumescent Liposuction or Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction. Once the fat has been sculpted, a stitch is placed to close the small openings, and a light compression garment is placed to keep the contours smooth, reduce swelling and provide post-operative comfort and support.

Liposuction Recovery

Follow-up after your Liposuction procedure is designed to speed healing and smooth the skin. You are allowed to shower the day after surgery, and Dr. Mele will see you back in the office a few days after your procedure to check your progress. Sutures are removed at the first post-operative visit, scar massage is instituted, and compression garments are continued. The garments are used continuously for two weeks after Liposuction, and then “halftime” for four more weeks. While most patients see results right away, it takes several weeks for the majority of the swelling to resolve, and a few months to see the “final” results. Improvement in your contour can be expected to continue for six to twelve months. It is important to remember that Liposuction is not a form of weight loss, and excellent results can be undone if ones weight is not maintained.

Liposuction Videos

Alternate Methods of Liposuction

Since the introduction of Liposuction to the United States in the early eighties, many new techniques have emerged. The most effective and versatile technique remains Tumescent Liposuction. Lasers (”Smart-Lipo“), ultrasound (Vaser-Lipo) and freezing may provide some enhancement in carefully selected cases, but the majority of patients will notice no difference in results with the additional insult, and there is an increased cost and risk associated with using these high energy, cellular stressors. Even more important for great results than the technique used is the person performing your procedure. For the best results choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with years of experience treating a diverse range of liposuction patients.

The tumescent technique for liposuction provides the most effective fat removal, which is both safer, and more predictable than its predecessors. Tumescent Liposuction is associated with less post-operative discomfort and a shorter downtime. All new modalities require tumescent liposuction to work.

Liposuction is not a substitute for weight control, and no matter the technique, or the claims made, Liposuction does not provide significant treatment for loose skin. When you visit our office for a consultation, Dr. Mele will determine if you are a good candidate for Liposuction or perhaps another more effective body sculpting procedure.

Alternatives to Liposuction

Alternatives to Liposuction are needed when skin is loose. For example, the belly is a common area for Liposuction. When the skin is tight, the abdomen responds well to Liposuction, with drastic improvement in profile. However, the abdomen is also area that may develop loose skin. Liposuction may not be recommended as the primary treatment after massive weight loss or pregnancy. The amount of skin laxity is important to determine prior to Liposuction, because loose skin can fold irregularly or droop without the support of the underlying fat. Performing liposuction beneath loose skin may be an uneven post-operative contour, rather than the smooth result desired. If the abdominal skin is too loose, a Tummy Tuck or Mini Abdominoplasty may be recommended. Click the following link for more information: Choosing between Liposuction, Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck.

Liposuction Presentation

Commonly, Liposuction is performed in combination with other procedures, such as:

Mommy Makeover Presentation

When a combination of one or more of these procedures is performed after childbirth, this is often termed a “Mommy Makeover.”

Schedule a Liposuction Consultation

Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the American Board of Surgery (ABS), Dr. Mele has the qualifications and experience to perform Liposuction on San Francisco Bay Area patients. He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Dr. Mele has published articles regarding cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, and lectures locally and nationally at plastic surgery conferences.

To schedule a consultation at the practice of Dr. Mele, please call (925) 943-6353. You may also reach us by filling out a contact form.

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