Traditional Liposuction in Houston, TX
The surgeons at Texas Center for Breast and Body perform liposuction in Houston, TX, on a regular basis, as a stand-alone procedure, or in conjunction with breast reshaping to help patients achieve the best possible results. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States today. The versatile and safe liposuction procedure can be used to trim most areas of the body, including the chin area, neck, jowls, cheeks, arms, inner and outer thighs, buttocks, knees, hips, and abdomen by drawing fat from the body with suction.
Liposuction Is Not a Weight Loss Technique
One thing to clear up right away is that liposuction is for reshaping, not for weight loss. Because liposuction reduces body fat, some think of it as a weight loss alternative. Weight loss can certainly be a side effect, but it should not be the primary goal. Liposuction is meant to sculpt and reshape the body, and can help you achieve youthful contours. To see real examples of patients’ traditional liposuction results, please visit our Before and After: Liposuction Surgery page.
Planning a Liposuction Procedure with an Office Consultation
There are three methods to performing liposuction: traditional suction-assisted lipoplasty, laser-assisted liposuction called SmartLipo or laser lipo, and radio-frequency liposuction known as BodyTite. You can read more about BodyTite Liposuction below or on our dedicated pages.
In traditional suction-assisted lipoplasty, fluid causes the fat to be removed more smoothly. This method requires injecting fluid into the treated areas prior to suctioning fat, in order to decrease side effects such as bleeding, swelling, and bruising. If a laser is used, the fluid enhances the effect of the laser on the fatty tissue. During a private consultation, Dr. Schusterman will determine which method is best for you, or even recommend a combination of methods, which is common when trying to maximize results.
Good Candidates for Liposuction
The best candidates for liposuction at our Houston plastic surgery clinic are healthy men or women with good skin elasticity (no loose skin), who have difficulty eliminating localized fatty deposits through other methods of diet or exercise. Although this procedure reduces body fat, severely overweight patients are not typically good candidates for liposuction. Even those who are good candidates must remember that after undergoing their liposuction surgery, it’s critical to follow a proper diet and exercise routine to maintain positive results.
The Traditional Liposuction Procedure
Depending on the area to be treated, our surgical team will use general, intravenous, or local anesthesia to prepare you for liposuction. The procedure is relatively short and typically requires 45 minutes per section. The original technique for liposuction, suction-assisted lipoplasty, works by drawing loose fat cells through a small incision via a tube called a cannula. If a laser is used to enhance the traditional liposuction, the laser will liquefy the fat prior to removal.
Recovery time can vary from one day to two weeks, depending upon the areas treated, the extent of fat suctioned, and the general condition of the patient. We recommend the use of compression clothing for a short time post-op to help reduce swelling. You may feel sore during this time, but our staff can recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain medications as needed.
During recovery, you must avoid strenuous exercise or rapid movement, but it’s important to continue to stand up, move, and walk as instructed by Dr. Schusterman. Safe movements can help speed up recovery, reduce swelling, and decrease the risk of DVT (blood clots) forming in the arms or legs.
When to Consider a Second Liposuction Treatment
The results of liposuction are long-term, meaning that follow-up treatments are not usually necessary. However, if you gain additional weight, you may need to have more fat suctioned. Other patients may require a touch-up to improve contouring. When multiple procedures are required, we recommend spacing the liposuction treatments at least six weeks apart to allow healing time between treatments. Because the final results aren’t immediately visible, our staff always counsels patients to wait for at least six months before deciding if they should undergo a second treatment.
BodyTite liposuction is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional liposuction, using smaller incisions for a shorter recovery time (typically just a few days). BodyTite liposuction relies on a safe radio frequency pulse to break up fatty deposits that exercise and diet won’t eliminate. You can learn more on the BodyTite Liposuction page, but always make your personal decisions based on a private consultation with our board-certified surgeon, as your individual needs and condition will influence the best option for you.
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Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Mark A. Schusterman, MD, FACS
Although his research and development of microsurgical reconstruction techniques established his reputation, his knowledge and understanding of the human body and the challenges associated with aiding patients suffering with head and neck injuries as well as breast cancer patients has made Dr. Schusterman an award-winning plastic surgeon.
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