Body Procedures » Liposuction a.k.a. Suction Assisted Lipectomy

Liposuction in Seattle

Procedure Illustrations

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Liposuction a.k.a. Suction Assisted Lipectomy

Trunk Liposuction

This healthy 41 year old had liposuction of his chest and abdomen and then was inspired to actually use his gym membership. I say that I did about 50% of the work and he did the other 50%. I call that a win-win.

Quick facts:

  • Costs:  $4000 – $15,000 depending on how many area are done and how long it takes.
  • Time in post-op bra and compression garment:  3 weeks.
  • Time off work or school: 2 days – 1 week .
  • Time off driving the kids to lacrosse: 2 days – 1 week or once you are off narcotic pain meds.
  • Time off the gym:  2 – 3  weeks.
  • Time off the slopes:  4  weeks.
  • Time off the kite board: 6 weeks.
  • Time off house work:  forever! Just kidding. Usually 1 – 2 weeks depending on how many areas were treated and how vigorously you scrub your floor.
  • How long it lasts:  The fat that is removed is gone forever. But if you gain weight, new fat will accumulate in other areas.
  • Patient satisfaction:  high.

You may want to read my blogs on liposuction.

CAST Liposuction

This 48 year old lady was at a reasonably healthy weight but had always had heavy upper arms. She was healthy and had good skin tone and reasonable expectations. I performed a procedure called CAST liposuction and her upper arms are now more in balance with the rest of her body.

The fine print:

Even though Seattle is one of the fittest cities in the country, liposuction is one of my most frequently performed procedures. It is an effective treatment for localized deposits of fat. The best candidates for liposuction are healthy individuals who are at a relatively normal and stable weight and who have good skin elasticity. The most common areas for liposuction in women are the lateral thighs and abdomen and for men, the flank region. Fat in these areas is often determined by gender and heredity and can be very resistant to diet and exercise. Other areas that can be treated include the hips, the ankles and calf region, the upper arms, the upper back and mid back. Liposuction can also be used in the lower face and neck to improve the contour of those areas.

The results of liposuction are long lasting if the patient is able to maintain a stable weight. Weight gain can result in fat accumulation in the treated area or in untreated areas and is not predictable. Patients with major fluctuations in their weight are not good candidates for this procedure.

Liposuction is performed in our brand new state-of-the-art and fully certified Madison Tower Surgery Center or at Seattle Surgery Center (located a block away).   For small areas, local anesthesia with sedation can be used.  For large or multiple area, general anesthesia assures maximum patient comfort and , because the airway is controlled, maximum safety.  An anesthesiologist is in attendance for patient comfort and safety.  This allows me to concentrate on the surgery.

I use a tumescence technique where I inject a dilute solution of local anesthetic and epinephrine into the fatty area to be treated. The tumescence technique helps break up fat and it constricts blood vessels in the area(s) to be treated. This reduces bruising and swelling and speeds recovery.

I use a power assisted liposuction (PAL) device that speeds the removal of fat and reduces surgeon fatigue by providing vibration to the liposuction cannula.    I do not use liposuction devices with other energy sources such as laser or ultrasound.  The chance of any damage to the skin or subcutaneous structures with the PAL is very, very low.

And this brings me to a word of caution about various clinics offering the latest and greatest liposuction devices.  These come with adjectives in their names like Ultrasonic, Smart, Smooth, Cool, etc.  These devices are outrageously expensive and aggressively marketed, often to non-plastic surgeons.  Once a doctor has invested in one of the devices, he/she must use it a lot to pay for it.   It is important for patients to understand that the physician doing the liposuction is much more important that the device.  Liposuction looks like a rather low skill procedure to a casual observer but I can tell you, as the person doing the procedure, there is a lot of skill and judgment involved, not just in the actual operation but also the selection of patients and preoperative and postoperative care.  Wow, I’m glad to get that off my chest!

Most patients take about a week off following the surgery. During this time, you are up and about but avoiding any vigorous activity and heavy lifting.  Patients wear a postoperative compression garment day and night for about three to six weeks following the surgery. The garment can be removed for short periods of time for showering.

Light exercise such as walking can be resumed in one week. After three weeks, most patients can resume their normal exercise routine.

At the initial consultation, I interview and examine the patient and determine if they are a good candidate and whether or not their expectations are likely to be met. I show before and after photos to demonstrate what liposuction can achieve.

Check out my photo gallery to see examples of my work.
Check out this blog entry on Laser Liposuction.

To schedule a consultation, please give my office a call at 206 467-1101.