Did you know that by the time we reach 8 years of age we have formed all of our fat cells? It’s true! Unfortunately, we can also make new fat cells in life if we become obese. Our fat cells are like small storage containers, and most people have more of these storage containers located in “trouble areas” on there bodies. These trouble areas include: chest and love handles in men, and abdomen and thighs in women.
Liposuction Patient Photos
Click the thumbnails below to see the before and after photos in sequence. Please note that all photos are actual patients of Dr. Parson.
As we continue to age we are also faced with decreasing overall metabolism. This is especially true in women when they pass milestones like pregnancy and menopause. Americans also tend to exercise less and have richer diets as we age. This all leads to something called lipodystrophy or unwanted fatty tissue collections.
So how do we get rid of this unwanted fat? Certainly diet and exercise is key. However, as we age, due to all the issues listed above, this sometimes is still not enough to address those “trouble spots”. That’s where liposuction comes in.
Liposuction surgery uses small narrow tubes that are carefully placed under the skin to remove these stubborn fat cells by suction. Plastic surgeons are generally able to remove nearly all the fat in a person’s trouble areas and leave a smooth skin contour behind. Dr. Parson tries to insert the cannulas in very inconspicuous locations so there are no obvious scars when the procedure is complete. Patients are normally able to return to previous activity with slimmer shapes in 10-14 days.
The First Office Visit for Liposuction
The first office visit is a time when both you and Dr. Parson can become acquainted with one another. Dr. Parson will listen to your specific concerns and goals with regards to your body. You will also have a chance to meet with other members of Dr. Parson’s team. During the visit a thorough medical history and physical examination will be obtained. Dr. Parson will also use the state-of-the art TouchMD system. TouchMD is designed to help you, as a patient, be better informed and aware of your medical experiences. You will be given access to the mytouchmd.com web portal, which will allow you to relive the experience you had in the doctor’s exam room.
Dr. Parson will then develop a surgical plan that is specific to each patient. He will explain, in easy to understand terms, why certain procedures are better “fits” for each patient’s various situations. The approach that Dr. Parson recommends will depend on the degree of fatty tissue present, the fibrosity of the fat, and the overall quality of each patient’s skin.
The Pre-Operative Liposuction Period
It is important that plastic surgery patients take certain measures in the pre-operative period to decrease chances for potential complications. All of your medications will be reviewed prior to this period. Any medications that may cause surgical complications will be stopped 2 weeks prior to your liposuction surgery. Any illness or infection will need to be immediately reported to Dr. Parson. A baseline mammogram should also be obtained prior to the operation if any liposuction is being done on a female patient’s breast.
Appropriate prescription medications will be written well prior to your procedure. Pre-operative photographs are taken at this appointment. These photos will be recorded in the TouchMD system so that you will also have access to them from home. These photos will serve as a marker for you to measure the improvement from your liposuction surgery afterwards. You will be asked to sign surgical release forms that detail the potential risks and possible complications associated with this procedure. Some of these risks have been explained here, but a more detailed discussion will occur at the consultation.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery center. It is mandatory to have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery for your comfort and safety. If you don’t have help available Dr. Parson’s office will be able to assist you.
The Day of Liposuction Surgery
Dr. Parson performs liposuction surgery with a general anesthetic. Our board-certified anesthesiologist feels that this method of anesthesia provides the greatest degree of patient satisfaction for this procedure. The time it takes to perform the surgery will vary depending on the areas that you and Dr. Parson decide to address. Dr. Parson will utilize one of several techniques depending on the fibrosity of fat and the patient’s skin quality. When the amount of fatty tissue is small, Dr. Parson will employ standard tumescent liposuction. For more severe forms of lipodystrophy (fatty tissue), use of ultrasonic or laser assisted liposuction may be necessary. Following the surgery a snug “pressure” dressing will be applied to the areas that have been operated upon.
The Post-Operative Liposuction Period
Following the surgery Dr. Parson will apply a “pressure-type” dressing. We will ask that you leave this dressing in place for approximately 48 hours. At that point in time you will return to see Dr. Parson and we will remove your dressings. It is normal to have bruising and swelling at that point in time. Your procedure will cause some discomfort but it is usually well controlled with the pain medicine prescriptions that Dr. Parson will provide. You will be able to shower after this first post-operative appointment.
Dr. Parson will see you back in the office in the next 10-14 days. He will closely follow your progress and be available to answer any specific questions at any point through your recovery period. Dr. Parson, depending on your healing and overall appearance, will direct scar therapy. We will ask that each patient refrains from any exercise for a period of 3-4 weeks. Some numbness is also normal and this will gradually improve over the following few months. Typically patients are fully healed by 3-6 months, however, complete scar improvement may take up to a year.
Risks of Liposuction Surgery
Complications of liposuction procedures are uncommon. When complications do occur they can include: bleeding, seroma formation, infection, areas of unevenness, or a reaction to the anesthetic or sedative medications. You may experience temporary or even permanent numbness in areas. Differences that were present in a particular area prior to surgery may not be able to be completely correctable following surgery. Although the cannulas that Dr. Parson uses are very small, they will leave very minute permanent scars. Dr. Parson will focus on placing these scars in inconspicuous locations like the belly button. Dr. Parson will also attempt to minimize these scars as much as possible, however, part of the final scar appearance will be dependent on how each patient individually heals.
Dr. Parson will discuss your particular scarring potential in more detail at the time of your consultation.
Contact Board Certified Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Dr. Parson
Dr. Shaun Parson is a board certified plastic surgeon Scottsdale patients trust to provide safe, effective care and beautiful, natural-looking results. If you are interested in learning more about liposuction, or other procedures he offers such as tummy tuck, breast augmentation or buttock lift in Phoenix, contact him today at 480-282-8386.