What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is the procedure that allows the removal of stubborn, localized areas of fat. Sometimes no matter how much diet and exercise, you just can not seem to get your body where you want it to be. Sometimes it is a genetic disposition that causes you to have fat in localized places. Liposuction can be used as a tool to help you reach your body goals.
Dr. Samimi is also proud to be the first plastic surgeon in San Diego to offer the latest in liposuction technology, Lipo AI. This a three pronged approach to liposuction that performs fat extraction, skin tightening, and lymphatic massage. It is a more intelligent laser-assisted lipolysis procedure for smoother, tighter body contouring results.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that Dr. Samimi uses to help contour your body by removing excess fat. There are a number of different terms used to describe liposuction such as liposculpture, Lipo 360, which means you are turned during the procedure so the front and back of your body is treated., Smart Lipo, Laser Lipo, Ultrasound Lipo and others.
We are excited to be one of the first plastic surgery offices to offer LipoAI for our surgical patients! It allows Dr. Samimi to help you achieve better body contouring results because it can be used across large and small, hard-to-treat areas to efficiently destroy fat. Adding LipoAI to your liposuction procedure means that you will have less bruising, minimal pain, less recovery time, and tighter skin afterwards.
It is important for you to understand that the body has two types of fat; visceral fat and subcutaneous. Subcutaneous is the stubborn fat that lies between your body’s muscle and skin and this is the fat that liposuction can treat. Your results also will depend on your skin’s elasticity. If you have a lot of stretch marks your skin may not tighten up the way that you want it too. Adding LipoAI to your procedure can help make sure that your skin responds the way you want it to.
There are numerous areas that can be treated with liposuction and LipoAI. Common areas that has stubborn fat deposits include (I have to say, all the different terms for these areas are pretty amusing):
- Neck and chin area - the ‘double chin’,
- Abdomen and Flanks - smooths ‘love handles’ and ‘muffin tops’ and creates curves.
- Breasts - the ‘side boob’
- Hips - to create curve and eliminate ‘square pants’
- Arms - to treat ‘bat wings’ and sculpt to create toned upper arms
- Thighs - smooth ‘saddle bags’ and put legs in proportion
- Back - sculpt and define to create a more sleek physique
Dr. Samimi is a board-certified plastic surgeon and only preforms surgeries on patients that are medically cleared by their primary care physician and in facilities where patient safety is of primary importance. Tumescent liposuction is very safe. Dr. Samimi may recommend general anesthesia depending on the amount of areas that you want addressed. Otherwise, the majority of our liposuction procedures are done with local anesthesia in our Gaslamp office. The procedure is non-invasive, the cannula is a narrow stainless-steel tube that removes subcutaneous fat through a very small incision in the skin.
Liposuction is not meant to treat obesity and it is not a weight-loss treatment. It is a fat reduction procedure but is meant for sculpting areas of stubborn fat. Even the max amount of liposuction will only remove a couple pounds.
Liposuction removes the excess subcutaneous fat between the skin and muscle. However, it does not tighten abdominal muscles or remove excess skin that results from massive weight loss or childbirth. Several small incisions are made for the cannula to be inserted.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) includes liposuction, but it also corrects and tightens weakened abdominal wall muscles (rectus diastasis), and removes excess skin. Excessive skin and stretch marks may determine if a tummy tuck is a better option.The incision is horizontal along the pubic area.
Dr. Samimi will examine you to help you determine which procedure will give you the results that you want.
We schedule a pre-operative appointment for you to go over any before and after instructions. We encourage you to avoid taking blood thinners two weeks before surgery and to take Arnica and Bromelain one week before surgery. Those can be found at most health food stores. We will also prescribe you all of your medications before the surgery and sometimes we need you to do blood work or other medical tests before your surgery to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery.
If you are having surgery under general anesthesia at an offsite surgical center, you can not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. However, if you are having the procedure in our Gaslamp location, you can.
The first step is numbing. Dr. Samimi injects tumescent fluid that contains lidocaine to numb the areas he is going to treat. If the procedure is in the Gaslamp location, he then treats the area with the LipoAI, which heats and liquifies the fat and tightens your skin. Afterwards, he uses a cannula, which is a thin, stainless steel tube, inserted through tiny incisions, attached to a tube to suction out the fat. Afterwards you are put into a compression garment and are able to go home.
Recovery is fairly simple. We encourage you to rest and make sure you stay well hydrated. Have someone to drive you to and from the surgery and have them spend the first night with you. You are able to shower two days after the procedure. Additionally, you should wear the compression garment 24 hours (except when taking a shower or washing the garment) for the first six weeks. This will help decrease the swelling and encourage your skin to heal tight against your body. Pain is minimal/to moderate and you will have some bruising in the treated areas. Most patients return to work within a few days and resume most normal activities within a few weeks. You can start exercising within two to four weeks afterwards.
The incisions are very small and Dr. Samimi discusses the ideal location for the insertion points with you. They are usually red at the beginning and over time they fade. We recommend using Biocornium ointment twice a day and RF Microneedling three times (scheduled a month apart) to improve incisions following procedures.
We recommend that you use compression garments to reduce swelling and increase healing. We also encourage RF Microneedling at the time of liposuction and monthly for the next two months. Liposuction foam can help keep consistent pressure over targeted areas to help smooth the skin and reduce bruising and swelling after the procedure. BBL pillows can be used if your procedure includes fat injections to the buttocks. They can help prevent you from putting pressure on your buttocks for the first three to four weeks after the procedure. You can look at recommendations on our Amazon store.
We provide pre and post-treatment lymphatic massage, using the LipoAI machine’s lymphatic handpiece, to help with lymphatic drainage and to promote healing. The first step is opening the pathways which are done in the Gaslamp OR just prior to your procedure. Afterwards you can come into the office for a 40 minute lymphatic massage to help decrease swelling, bruising, and fibrosis (scar tissue formation). We schedule these sessions a week, 10 days, and 30 days after your procedure.Some patients choose to do more sessions if they have had extensive liposuction, such as liposuction 360.
Dr. Samimi will discuss with you what realistic results that you can expect. There will be significant swelling and possibly some loose skin immediately after the procedure but this will improve during the healing process. The majority of the swelling is gone within a few weeks, but small amounts of residual swelling can take several months to fully dissipate. The final result will be a beautiful, slimmer, and smoother contours.
This is one of the most frequent questions we get in consults. Fat cells that are removed by liposuction are permanent, however if you gain weight your body will be able to put fat into any remaining fat cells. We encourage you to stay exercising and continue eating a healthy diet to help maintain long-lasting results.