Body Contouring FAQ
For your convenience, we have compiled answers to some of the most common questions that we hear about body contouring at our Omaha practice:
If you live in or near Omaha and body contouring is something you are considering, request a complimentary cosmetic consultation at Aesthetic Surgical Images. Or you can call our office at (402) 390-0100 or (800) 331-5001 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is the removal of unwanted fat through incisions that are usually less than a quarter of an inch in length. Through these small incisions a device called a cannula is inserted. A cannula is a narrow tube of varying lengths and widths. The cannula is moved back and forth thereby breaking up the fat. The fat is then suctioned through the cannula, through a tube and into a container.
What is the main difference between liposuction of the abdomen and a full tummy tuck?
Liposuction of the abdomen removes only excess fat. A tummy tuck will remove excess fat, redundant skin, many stretch marks and will usually tighten the abdominal wall muscles. These muscles may have been stretched from pregnancy or significant weight gain. Your doctor can help determine which procedure will best achieve your goals.
How is liposuction performed?
On the day of surgery you will be marked in a standing position because we know that skin and fat shifts when you are laying down. Your surgeon will determine at that time approximately how much fat will be removed. You are then taken to the operating room and either general anesthesia or local anesthesia will be administered. The fat to be removed is first injected with a special fluid. The fluid contains epinephrine (adrenaline), saline solution and in some cases lidocaine (a local anesthetic). The fluid is intended to create pressure in the fat to reduce bleeding. In addition, the adrenaline will shrink the small blood vessels in the fat which also reduces any bleeding. A cannula is then placed through incisions less than a quarter of an inch in length. With a back and forth movement, the fat is broken up and suctioned into a canister.
Is the fat removal considered permanent?
Although there are exceptions to every rule it is very rare to see re-accumulation of fat in areas which have undergone liposuction.
What is tumescent liposuction?
The word tumescence means "tenseness." In tumescent liposuction enough fluid is placed into the fat to make the fat feel quite tense and almost hard to the touch. This pressure in the fat will cut down on some bleeding that may occur during liposuction. The fluid may also contain epinephrine (adrenaline) which shrinks blood vessels and further prevents bleeding. It may also contain a local anesthetic in order to remove feeling from the area. Tumescent liposuction can be done under a local anesthetic or under general anesthesia.
Is general anesthesia safe?
Yes, general anesthesia is safe. Our anesthesia is performed by a physician who specializes in anesthesia and is skilled in taking care of the patient undergoing liposuction. We are fortunate to have the same anesthesiologists each day. With the focused experience they have in liposuction and other cosmetic procedures they are ideally suited to perform anesthesia.
What can I expect in the first 24 hours?
In the first 24 hours after surgery you will need to be accompanied by someone who will stay with you throughout the day and the night. On the next day we will see you back in the office for a postoperative check.
What about the rest of my recovery?
During the first few weeks we will expect you to wear the compression garment we have selected for you. Compression is important because the cannula creates small hollow areas which we want to collapse and be molded into an optimal shape. You can shower with the garment on and blow dry it with a blow dryer on a low setting. At the end of the week we will see you and remove the few stitches you have in. You will then be expected to wear your compression garment continuously for those first few weeks.
When can I resume normal activity?
This depends on the type of activity you plan to return to, the amount of fat removed and the number of sites liposuctioned. Going on a walk the next day should not be a problem. We recommend, however, that you refrain from aerobic exercise for approximately three weeks. Some people return to work the next day; many people however prefer two more days of recuperation before they return to their work place.
When will I see my final result?
During the first week to ten days you will notice swelling. Following this the swelling subsides and your final result gradually unfolds. Everyone is different. Some people retain their swelling longer than others. In any event, you should notice a significant improvement a few weeks after the operation. We would expect continued improvement over the next 2-3 months.
What are the risks associated with liposuction?
As with any operation a risk of infection is present. This, however, is extremely rare in patients undergoing liposuction. Bleeding is also a risk which is equally rare. Problems with blood pressure can develop if too much fat is removed. At Aesthetic Surgical Images we closely adhere to the guidelines suggested by the American Society of Plastic Surgery. If a person for some unusual reason requires the removal of more fat it will either be done in a separate operation or possibly in the hospital with an associated hospital stay.
Can more than one area be liposuctioned at the same time?
Yes. The number of areas to be liposuctioned is not as important as the total amount of fat removed. Many patients undergo liposuction with a total amount well below the upper limits of safety recommended by the American Society of Plastic Surgery. What this means, is that you can safely have your hips, thighs, buttocks and abdomen all contoured at the same operation. This cuts down on your recovery time and markedly reduces your cost.
What is the difference between a mini-tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck?
The basic difference between a mini-tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck is that the belly button is not repositioned during the course of a mini-tummy tuck and the muscles may not be tightened. In a mini-tummy tuck the improvement is generally restricted to the lower part of the abdomen between belly button and the pubic bone. The incisions for a mini tummy tuck are shorter and a limited amount of skin is removed. In a full tummy tuck the tightening goes up to the rib cage margin and allows the surgeon to tighten the muscle layer from the rib margin down to the bottom of the abdomen. When this operation is performed it requires that the navel is kept at the same level and be brought out through a new incision after the skin is pulled down.
How do I know if a mini-tummy tuck is best for me?
Your surgeon will carefully evaluate you during your consultation. If he or she feels that liposuction alone will leave you with loose skin but does not feel that you need a full tummy tuck, then a mini tummy tuck may be recommended.
Why are the muscles tightened?
Many women who undergo child bearing develop a separation of their abdominal muscles. Unfortunately this separation cannot be improved with exercise and sit ups. In order to correct this problem, specialized stitches in the muscle area are required. Once the muscle is tightened the excess skin and fat is removed, the abdomen has undergone the maximum amount of recontouring.
What is the recovery with a full tummy tuck?
Complete recovery from a fully tummy tuck may take 6-8 weeks. During the first ten days to two weeks you will usually remain at home resting comfortably. During this time patients are encouraged to walk around the house. After the initial recovery you will ease back into your daily activities during the next 2-3 weeks. You should refrain from heavy exercise for 6-8 weeks after the operation.
What is the cost of a consultation?
Cosmetic consultations are complimentary. This gives you the opportunity to meet with the doctor and have your questions answered with no obligation.
What hours are available for consultation?
Cosmetic consultations are offered most afternoons and evenings until 8pm.
What is a cosmetic consultation?
Any procedure that may be run through insurance is not considered cosmetic in nature. The following procedures are often considered cosmetic (exceptions may apply): Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, Liposuction, Tummy Tuck, Facelift, Brow Lift, Eyelid Surgery and Rhinoplasty.
What happens at a consultation?
Your Consultation Will Include:
- Discussion with your physician
- Evaluation with your physician
- Computer imaging (except breast surgery)
- Fee quote
- Financing options discussed
- Tour (when operating room is available)
Consultations usually last an hour to an hour and a half. During your appointment, you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns and goals with your physician and have your questions answered. You may discuss as many procedures as you wish at your appointment, as it is quite common, and safe, for patients to have more than one procedure performed at the same time. Your physician will evaluate you for the procedure(s) you are considering and inform you about all of the associated benefits and risks with surgery.
Computer imaging may also be used to help you have realistic expectations regarding your post-surgical result. Unfortunately, the computer technology is not capable of breast imaging, but for most other procedures the imaging is very helpful.
At your initial consultation, you will meet with your own individual patient care coordinator. Throughout your experience at Aesthetic Surgical Images, she will always be available to take your calls, answer your questions, and assist you in any way she can. Feel confident when you visit Aesthetic Surgical Images, you will receive an honest opinion regarding your concerns.
Appointments are available from 1:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday (some exceptions can be made based on the physicians' surgical schedules if you have limited availability). Request a complimentary cosmetic consultation at Aesthetic Surgical Images. Or you can call our office at (402) 390-0100 or (800) 331-5001 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.