As one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries, liposuction is effective in removing unwanted body fat, which has been resistant to diet and exercise on various parts of the body, with a steel tube (cannula). The result is a slimmer physique. As a leader in liposuction, Charlotte plastic surgeon, Dr. Vincent Voci, was the first plastic surgeon to perform the surgery in Seattle, WA and one of the first surgeons in the county to do liposuction. As a result, Dr. Voci has revolutionized the procedure and now he refers to his process as “Liposculpture” where he can treat the smallest of areas.
Traditional liposuction is usually used to remove fat from the stomach, waist, back, hips, arms, face, neck, chest, legs and buttocks, but with Liposculpture, the ankles, calves, knees, jaw line and under the chin can be treated as well. Exceptional results are achieved with a series of tiny incisions that reduce healing time. With Ultrasonic Liposculpture, the fat is liquefied in tougher to penetrate areas, such as the upper abdomen and waist. The liquefied fat is easier to remove and tightens the skin in the process.
Dr. Voci also offers SmartLipo, CoolSculpting and Cellulaze. With SmartLipo, liposuction is laser-assisted which significantly reduces downtime with less pain. Since tissue is tightened in the process, there is less concern about the skin sagging or dimpling afterwards. CoolSculpting is non-invasive and targets and reduces fat through advanced, cooling technology. Cellulaze treats cellulite in one, convenient treatment. This procedure targets the root cause of cellulite: structural bonds beneath the skin. Dr. Voci works with patients to choose the most appropriate course of treatment.
Liposuction Surgical Technique
Tumescent liposuction is a common approach used by surgeons. It is a suction-assisted (SAL) form of lipo that first injects a liquid agent into the area that is to be treated. The liquid agent includes saline, Lidocaine (a numbing agent) and Epinephrine (a medication that controls bleeding). A cannula is then inserted and passed through the fat deposits, suctioning them out. An attached power-aided motor allows the surgeon to control the speed of the fat removal, which can be as great as a few pounds or as little as several ounces.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (known as “ultrasonic”) is a technique used on areas where a greater amount of dense fat resides. It’s a dual process using ultrasound and suction. First, ultrasound waves transmit energy through a special device aimed to help loosen and melt the fat. This liquid is then suctioned out using a cannula. UAL liposuction is commonly used on men seeking a higher level of muscular definition. You may hear this type of liposuction referred to as hi-def liposuction or VASER® Lipo, or simply Vaser hi-def.
Laser-assisted liposuction uses laser technology to introduce a burst of energy to the specified area of fat. The laser loosens and melts the fat for removal. This particular type of liposuction includes brand names such as SmartLipo, SlimLipo, Lipolite Laser Liposculpture, LipoLite, and ProLipo PLUS.
Liposuction During/After Surgery
Liposuction is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility. It is considered an outpatient procedure. On average, each body part (i.e. tummy, thighs, etc.) will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. After surgery, patients will wear a compression garment on the treated areas. It takes about a full week for the bruising and swelling to dissipate, and can take several months for the final results to appear. Liposuction will produce scars where the cannula incision was made, but these are usually small and will fade over time.
"Thrilled!! – I have been a very satisfied patient for over 10 years and have had several procedures including face lift, blepharoplasty, laser resurfacing, liposuction, botox, and various other fillers. I have had only the greatest results. Now I look 20 years younger...thanks to Dr. Voci's skill as, not only a surgeon, but also an artist. I had no complications and virtually no pain. His consults were very informative and addressed only the things he felt were needed and practical for me.I have complete confidence in this doctor's ability and have recommended him to many friends."- M. / Citysearch / Oct 18, 2009
Plan Your Procedure
How Safe is Lipo?
The media sometimes tells stories of liposuction patients who have endured bad results at the hands of inexperienced surgeons. Today’s liposuction techniques are much safer and more predictable than ever before, but surgeon skill still remains the number one factor when researching this procedure. The goal is to attain a natural and smooth result. An experienced surgeon will be able to provide this outcome.
Is it Permanent?
Fat cells that are removed during liposuction do not come back. Unfortunately, patients can still gain weight after surgery because the remaining cells can expand and become larger. However, patients who adhere to a healthy diet and exercise program will continue to see results years after surgery.
How Much Fat?
The amount of fat removed really depends on the size of the patient and their aesthetic goals. From a safety standpoint, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends roughly 10 pounds of fat or less. Otherwise it is considered a high-volume liposuction, which does present an increased set of risks. It’s advised to get down to your ideal weight before undergoing a liposuction procedure.
Skin Tautness (Laxity)?
Liposuction is a surgery that removes fat and enhances the actual shape of the body. It does not address skin imperfections caused by sagging skin or cellulite under the skin. During your consultation, a discussion can be had regarding the available procedures, which address and improve skin texture. Some procedures recommended to correct skin laxity include abdominoplasty, thigh lift, neck lift, and butt lift surgeries.