A Ultrasonic liposuction is a method of removing fat from the subcutaneous space. The fat is first broken up by ultrasound and then removed by suction. At the same time the skin may be tightened. During ultrasonic liposuction ultrasonic waves sounds waves are produced by a generator. These waves are transmitted to the tip of a suction cannula or wand. When this tip contacts the fat cells the cells are broken up and the fat emulsified. This liquefied fat can then be removed.
To click below to view real patient before and after images.
Patients seeking consultation for abdominal re contouring should plan to meet with the Doctor for approximately 30 minutes for a comprehensive evaluation. First, the doctor takes a medical history. It is important to inform him of any medical conditions such as bleeding disorders, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, hernias, or a history of smoking. One should know that this is not an operation for obesity. Thus, any patient more than 50% over their ideal body weight should consult with a weight loss specialist prior to considering body contouring surgery. It is also important for women to know that they should only consider this procedure if they have no future plans for pregnancy. Pregnancy stretches the muscle wall of the abdomen, and often leads to weight gain. One would not want to go through with the procedure of abdominoplasty only to then stretch out the muscle and skin with pregnancy. Patients who have scars from previous surgery may not be candidates for this operation, because of the risk of surgical complications due to alterations in the blood supply to the skin.
Liposuction can be performed in the office operating room. The patient is marked pre-operatively to indicate the areas of that must be removed. Under anesthesia, fluid, mixed with drugs to reduce bleeding, is injected into the fat. This is the “Tumescent Liposuction” method. It is a safer way to perform Liposuction because it lessens the fluid loss from your body. Small incisions, one inch or less are made in body creases (in order to hide them) and then a tube is inserted to remove the fat. Liposuction can be performed on several different regions of the body during the same procedure. At the conclusion of the operation, absorbable sutures are placed in the wounds and a compression garment is applied. A slimmer more beautiful physique is now yours.
Two weeks prior to your operation, you will need to discontinue medications which can lead to surgical complications. You will meet with Dr. Parker and his nurse for a second visit, during which any remaining questions regarding the operation are answered. You will then be asked to sign a surgical consent which gives the doctor your permission to carry out the procedure of abdominoplasty, and allows for an Anesthesiologist to administer a general anesthetic.
Photographs will be taken of your abdomen and any other areas upon which Dr. Parker will be operating. You will be asked to sign a photographic consent prior to having any photographs taken.
A general physical examination will be done to ensure that no ongoing medical problems are present which might interfere with the success of the operation. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU REPORT ANY POSSIBILITY THAT YOU COULD BE PREGNANT.
Specific instructions regarding the date and time of your procedure will be given to you in writing. You will need to arrange for an escort to drive you to and from our office on the day of the operation and for the first post-operative visit. You should wear loose fitting clothing that will wash easily in the event they are soiled. Do not wear jewelry, contact lenses, or bring valuables to the operating room. Remove all body jewelry from pierced body parts; this can interfere with the procedure and may represent a safety threat to you because of the use of electrocautery during the procedure. DO NOT SHAVE OR WAX your abdomen prior to surgery; this may increase your risk of infection. Appropriate shaving will be done on the morning of your procedure.
Finally, Dr. Parker will write prescriptions for preventative antibiotics to decrease your risk of infection and a narcotic analgesic for post-operative pain relief.
On the day of your procedure, you will meet with Dr. Parker’s nurse and your vital signs checked. The doctor will place skin markings on your abdomen to direct him during the procedure. The anesthesiologist will review your medical history and he or she will then administer an anesthetic known as a general anesthetic. This implies that you will be completely unconscious during the operation, and will feel no pain whatsoever.
A full abdominoplasty usually takes 2-3 hours, depending on the extent of the work involved. During the procedure, the lower abdominal skin and fat are excised or removed. This tissue is discarded and will not return. The abdominal skin above the level of the navel is then lifted off the underlying muscle up to your lower rib cage, like lifting an apron. A cut is made around the navel , which is left alone.
The vertical abdominal muscles are then tightened with heavy sutures from your xiphoid (solar plexus) to your pubic bone. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and a narrower waistline. The skin apron is then pulled down to the pubic area and after a new opening is made for the navel, the skin is stitched. Drain tubes are placed under the skin apron to evacuate any fluid which may ooze after the operation. The drains exit in the area of the pubic hair through tiny holes and are stitched in place. These drains are removed approximately a week after surgery. The closure of the skin is done with dissolving-type suture material, which does not require removal.
An elastic belt or binder is placed to support your abdomen and provide comfort during the post-operative period. Almost always, patients are ready to be discharged from the recovery room an hour or two after the conclusion of their procedure, but it is necessary to have an escort to drive you home. Patients cannot be discharged to the company of a minor or to a taxi service. If you have no one to provide you with assistance, our office can make arrangements for medical transport at an additional charge. Out-of-town patients should plan to stay locally for approximately 7-10 days.
For the first few days, your abdomen will be swollen and you are likely to feel discomfort which can be controlled with medication. We will provide you with instructions for hygiene and activity. It is important for you to rest, but at the same time it is also important to begin walking as soon as possible to avoid complications such as deep venous thrombosis and/or pulmonary emboli. Occasionally, patients will be sent home with a Foley (urinary) catheter in place for their convenience, and for close monitoring of their fluid balance. This is placed after you are under anesthesia, and is usually not uncomfortable in any way. If used, the catheter is removed in 1-2 days.
You will be seen back in the office in 1-3 days, at which time the wound is checked, dressings changed, and if necessary, the urinary catheter is removed. On the next visit, usually at 7 days, sutures around the navel and the drainage tubes are removed. Most people return to work shortly after this, but in some instances, work cannot be resumed for 3-4 weeks. This depends on the occupation of the patient, and their individual pain tolerance and healing characteristics.
The abdomen does not usually feel “normal” for several months after surgery. There may be some temporary numbness, particularly just above the incision in the middle, that may stay permanently numb. The abdomen feels very tight, and one feels occasional twinges of pain from time to time during this later healing phase. The scars take at least a year to mature and fade, and may require additional treatment to optimize their appearance. While they will never disappear completely, the scars will not show under clothing, even bathing suits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can’t I have Liposuction instead of a Tummy Tuck?
Liposuction is a preferred technique for isolated pockets of fat on the legs, belly and hips. Therefore not all patients are candidates for liposuction. To be effective, there must be less fat to remove and little excess skin. However if the lower belly tissues are excessively stretched, abdominoplasty is indicated. Occasionally the two techniques can be used together, but this must be done very carefully.
I Want to Lose a lot of Weight. Can I have a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty should not be confused with a quick way to become slim for the overweight individual. On the contrary, many patients may need to diet before this surgery can be performed.
How Does Ultrasonic Liposuction Compare to Traditional Liposuction?
In some situations the procedure has advantages over traditional liposuction. Ultrasonic liposuction, also known as ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), is a modification of liposuction. Over the next few months you will probably hear a lot about this operation. It is unlikely that it will replace traditional liposuction but is an exciting development.