Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) or liposuction is a surgical technique in which fat deposits are removed through a small incision in the skin from various parts of the body.

Ideal candidates for liposuction are close to their normal body weight, have a good elasticity to the skin, are relatively healthy and have realistic expectations about what liposuction can accomplish. They also have good habits and their weight is relatively stable; fluctuating at most five to ten pounds in either direction. Patients with yo-yoing weight are not very good candidates for liposuction.

Another important criterion for liposuction concerns the location of the fatty deposit. An isolated fatty deposit, particularly in the outer thigh or lower abdomen, can be easily treated and blended into the other less problematic areas. Recovery from these small liposuctions is very simple—some minor soreness with little downtime.

On the other hand, when liposuction involves larger volumes or areas, we require general anesthesia. We can achieve smoother results if the patient is not experiencing discomfort during the procedure. If more than five liters are removed from the body, an overnight observation period is also required.

There are many misconceptions about liposuction. One common myth is that once the fat is removed, the weight can never come back. In reality, the weight will come back if you consume more calories than you burn off. The weight may not return to the same degree in the area liposuctioned, but it will come back in other areas. So it is possible to “eat through your liposuction.” Maintaining a lower weight after liposuction is absolutely essential for a good long-term result.

With diffuse fatty deposits, more than one area needs to be liposuctioned to get nice sculpting, and these areas can be treated at the same time. Again, recovery time depends on the extensiveness of the procedure more than anything else. The more extensive the area and the larger the volume removed, the longer the healing time. Recommendations about multiple liposuctions are discussed during individual consultations.

At Maxwell Aesthetics, liposuction is performed by Dr. Gwen Maxwell in her state-of-the art Surgery Center in Tucson, Arizona, which is State Certified and fully staffed with Board Certified Anesthesiologists and highly trained surgical staff.

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