What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States. Invented in the late 1970’s, it was introduced in 1982 to the United States, where it is now performed on more than 400,000 people annually.

Liposuction is also known as “lipoplasty” or “suction-assisted lipectomy.” All of these refer to the removal of unwanted lumps, bulges, and areas of fat using a thin suction metal tube or a “cannula.” This instrument is inserted into subcutaneous body fat through small incisions. A strong vacuum is then applied through a hose attached to the cannula, which draws fat from under the skin

Who Is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

Men and women who have diligently tried diet and exercise to reduce their size, and who have been frustrated time and again because they cannot achieve their ideal size and figure, are good candidates for liposuction. Often, these are people who have gained disproportionably large amounts of weight and fat due to pregnancy, or prescribed drugs such as hormone replacement therapies or cortisone. Also, those who have stubborn areas of localized fat such as “saddlebags,” “thunder thighs,” “love handles,” and “double chins” are good candidates.

Can I Undergo Liposuction If I Have Diabetes, or Other Chronic Conditions?Men and women who have chronic health conditions, such as thyroid disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis can still undergo liposuction – provided that their conditions have been successfully optimized by their physician. Even as the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure, liposuction is still major surgery, and must be treated as such in all cases. A responsible plastic surgeon will perform blood tests, and take a comprehensive medical history to assure that all risks of surgery are minimized.

How do I know that I have enough fat to be liposuctioned?
Pinch an Inch! If you can get an inch or more of tissue between your thumb and index when you pinch an area of your body, that means that you have enough fat there to be liposuctioned. This is only an approximation, since the thickness of skin and subcutaneous fat varies through out the body. The rule of “pinch an inch” applies mostly to the trunk and extremities.

Does the Fat Removed Through Liposuction Come Back? What Will Happen If I Gain Weight After Liposuction?
We develop all of our fat cells by the time we reach puberty. When fat cells increase in a part of your body, you gain weight there. Although the total number of fat cells remains stable in most people, in cases of extreme obesity the body can actually increase the number of fat cells in order to be able to store increased fat. Therefore, the common belief that patients who undergo liposuction will become “fat” in other parts of their body is to some extent true.
Fat cells that are removed from a body area do not return. Rather, fat cells in the remaining parts of the body, not treated by liposuction, will fill up with fat, thus causing one area to become disproportionately larger! Therefore, patients who have undergone liposuction need to avoid gaining significant amounts of weight -- thirty or more pounds.

Does Liposuction Remove Stretch Marks?
No. In fact, the stretch marks can possibly become more noticeable after liposuction. Stretch marks are caused by excessive stretching, breakdown, and separation of the deep layer of skin, which is indicative of poor skin elasticity. Therefore, areas that have many stretch marks will not have the smoothest and tightest look after liposuction.

What Are the Major Risks and Potential Complications of Liposuction?
Like any non-cosmetic major surgery, liposuction has potential risks and complications. Therefore, you should consider it as seriously as you would any major surgery.

How Painful Is Liposuction?
Because liposuction only involves the fat beneath the skin, and not entry into the abdominal cavity or cutting or tightening of muscles, most people describe it as feeling like a bad bruise. Others say that you might feel like you do after a heavy workout. For the majority of patients, liposuction is less painful than a C-section, hernia surgery, breast surgery, abdominal surgery or a hysterectomy.

When Can I Resume Sexual Relations?
Liposuction does not hinder your ability to have sexual relations. However, you should resume sexual activity only as you feel comfortable in doing so. The desire to resume having sex varies from patient to patient.

What is a Tummy Tuck?
"Tummy Tuck," also known as Abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to remove loose hanging abdominal skin, as well as to tighten weakened abdominal wall muscles. Because diet and exercise cannot fix these problems, over 80,000 American men and women undergo Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty every year, in order to regain their figure and abdominal strength.

What Is A Mini-Tummy Tuck?
A Mini Tummy Tuck or Mini-Abdominoplasty is not as extensive as a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty, requiring only one hour of surgery as opposed to the three to four hours needed for a Tummy Tuck. Since it does not usually involve tightening of the abdominal muscles, it is reserved only for those who only have limited amount of loose skin or stretch marks in the lower abdomen or above the pubic bone. Also, it does not alter the shape of the belly button.

A Mini-Tummy Tuck does not involve an extensive undermining and tightening of the abdominal skin, so it can be safely combined with full Liposuction of the abdomen and flank. Therefore, the combination of Mini-Tummy Tuck with Liposuction might be a better choice for those with excessive fat, but limited looseness of the abdomen.

While the incisions for a "full" Tummy Tuck can extend from hipbone to hipbone, those of a Mini-Tummy Tuck are much shorter, usually extending only the width of the pubic area and similar to a C-section scar.

Do I have to lose weight before undergoing a Tummy Tuck?
It is wise to have reached an ideal body weight before undergoing a Tummy Tuck. However, we do not live in an "ideal" world. Therefore, you can have your remaining excess abdominal and body fat removed either before, or during, a Tummy Tuck, with Liposuction – provided that you plan to maintain your weight and stay healthy.

Can a smoker undergo Tummy Tuck or Body Lift surgery?
NO. Patients, who are currently smoking, use tobacco products, or nicotine products (patch, gum, or nasal spray) are at a greater risk for significant surgical complications. These complications include skin death, delayed healing, and additional scarring. Individuals exposed to second-hand smoking are also at potential risk for similar complications attributable to nicotine exposure.

In addition, smoking can have a negative effect on anesthesia and post-anesthesia recovery, with increased coughing and possibly bleeding. Therefore, you need to refrain from smoking at least several weeks before and after your surgery.

How Is a Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Performed?
There are several types of Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty, procedures. These differ depending on the extent of the abdominal wall tightening and removal of loose skin and stretch marks.
Dr. Younai often performs "High-Tension Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty." It is unique in that it not only tightens the abdominal wall but also pulls up and tightens the thighs and the buttocks. By repairing the loosened abdominal muscles, this also narrows the waistline. It removes a majority of the stretch marks by removing the loose skin below the "umbilicus," or navel. Finally, it re-creates the belly button by removing the stretched out skin around it, making it look deeper and tighter.

How is this accomplished? The first step is an incision that extends from hip to hip along lower pubic area. A skilled surgeon makes this incision so that the resulting scar will be hidden under a bikini or by undergarments. The loose abdominal skin is lifted off the abdominal wall and the separated loosened “rectus” muscles (those used in doing sit-ups) are tightened with sutures. This achieves the effect that an old-fashioned girdle would.

In people with excessive fat in the hips and flanks, these areas are suctioned in order to shape the waist and to form the buttocks and flanks. The umbilicus (“belly button”) is disconnected from the abdominal skin, and after removing the loose skin along with its stretch marks, it is reattached to the abdomen. Drains are inserted to remove excess fluid as it accumulates.

How painful is tummy tuck?
A standard Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty feels, more or less, like a C-Section. It is more painful than Liposuction, Breast Augmentation, Tubal Ligation, Rhinoplasty, Breast Biopsy, and less painful than Hysterectomy, shoulder surgery, or back surgery.

When Can I Exercise Again?
You may start some light walking as early as 10-14 days after surgery. As you feel more comfortable you can increase your activities, but you cannot lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for the first two months. Heavy lifting can cause your internal stitches to rip apart, resulting in a hernia that will require corrective surgery. Jogging is usually acceptable after three to four weeks, as long as you are wearing your girdle. You can do arm and leg weight training in three to four weeks as long as you don ’t feel that you are straining your abdominal and back muscles.

More about Breast Augmentation

What is Breast Augmentation?
Visit any gym in Los Angeles these days, and you’ll see so many women with beautifully proportioned bodies! Having a lovely body and full breasts is no longer a luxury that is limited to celebrities. Thanks to cosmetic surgery, and advances in Breast Augmentation and Enhancement, all women can now enjoy fuller and sexier breasts.

Women no longer need to stuff their bras with Kleenex before social occasions, wear oversize padded bras, or go to so many lengths to achieve a figure that they can feel better about. They can now attain fuller, sexier, and more attractive breasts that boost their self esteem. This is achieved very safely through Breast Augmentation.

What Are Some of the Reasons for Choosing Breast Augmentation?
Small Breasts
Imagine reaching puberty, yet remaining flat-chested, or developing only very small breasts – perhaps barely an "A" cup. In a culture such as ours where breast development is a sign of becoming a woman, many women who develop only very small breasts may feel inadequate or unwomanly. This can adversely affect her relationships – romantic, in the workplace, and even with her friends.

Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
For most women, having children is the most joyous and fulfilling experience of their lives. Yet, pregnancy and breast feeding take an inevitable toll on a woman's body, causing breasts to shrink, lose volume, and sag. This leaves many women longing for more youthful and full breasts. This becomes more frustrating when women realize that exercise and firming creams don't work.

Weight Loss
In an attempt to gain a beautiful figure by shedding their excess weight, many women find instead that they lose breast volume and size. This becomes a dilemma. In fact, it is very unusual to find a thin and petite woman who is blessed with large breasts. Except in those who have had breast implants!

Uneven Breasts-Asymmetry
Having uneven breasts, or breast asymmetry, is very common. It is a myth that favoring one breast while breast-feeding can lead to breast asymmetry. Rather, this is something that most women are born with, although changes through pregnancy can magnify the difference between the breasts. This makes sizing bras as well as being able to wear braless clothes a challenge. In extreme cases, it causes much grief and stress for a young woman who just wants to look normal!

Where Are the Implants Placed with Respect to the Breast?
Placement of breast implants, either under or over the Pectoralis Major or chest muscle has important consequences.

What Types of Breast Implants Are Available for Breast Augmentation?
There have been varying viewpoints throughout the years about the best kind of implant to use for Breast Augmentation, and health controversies about one kind of implant that dominated news reports in the 1990's. Many women who were interested in having fuller breasts were fearful to do so because of these reports. The following describes the different kinds of implants that are available, and addresses some of the concerns regarding differences between breast implant fill material, shape, surface texture, size, manufacture, and use of implants.

How Will I Know What Size to Choose?
Many women don't have a clear idea of how different cup sizes actually look. They often say that they "don't want to become too big and only want to be about a size C," At the same time, they will show their cosmetic surgeon their "ideal" photo of a woman with a Size D cup.

To make the right choice for you, you should not only consider breast size. The most important factor is how does that breast size appears on a particular frame and a particular height. Proportionality is the final arbiter of the overall appearance of the breasts. This being said, first consider the factors that should not be a part of your decision.

These include basing your decision on the proportions of models and celebrities who have body proportions very different from your own. Do not do so by comparing yourself to your friends. And don't leave it all up to your cosmetic surgeon. This is a joint decision that you will make with his or her expert input about your particular physique.


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