Liposuction (suction-assisted & ultrasound-assisted lipectomy) is a technique used by plastic surgeons to remove unwanted subcutaneous fat deposits on various parts of the body. Suction lipectomy can be used to target stubborn fat deposits that are otherwise unresponsive to diet and exercise. Although the technique can enhance the effects of diet and exercise, it is not a viable substitute for these practices.
This technique is also not a viable solution for obesity or cellulite. Paul Rottler, MD, FACS can find a more suitable procedure plan should those be your aesthetic concerns.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also referred to as suction-assisted and ultrasound-assisted lipectomy, is a cosmetic technique used by plastic surgeons that combines a sterilized cannula and a surgical vacuum device to break up and remove unwanted fat deposits. This technique can be used to target fat deposits in a variety of areas, including:
- Chin and neck region
- Backs of the arms
- Lower and upper back
Surgical fees start at $4,000. This price is based on time in the O.R. and how many areas of the body are being treated. It also includes the surgeon’s fee, hospital fee, anesthesia, and the cost of two compression garments (to be worn post-operatively).
Before the procedure, Dr. Rottler’s anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia to ensure your total comfort. He will map out the specific procedure sites. Dr. Rottler’s experience and expertise allow him to accurately target different zones of the body to ensure the best results. Tiny, inconspicuous incisions are made at or near the incision site. Diluted local anesthesia is administered to minimize bleeding and trauma to the procedure site.
A thin, sterilized, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted at the incision site. Using a controlled back-and-forth motion, the cannula is used to dislodge the targeted fat deposits. Once broken up, the fat can then be removed through a surgical vacuum or syringe that is attached to the end of the cannula. The entire procedure takes one to two hours, depending on the extent of the procedure.
Once the subcutaneous fat has been removed, the body’s natural contours can be more readily seen. It is common to experience some swelling and fluid retention immediately after surgery. Within a couple of days, these effects will subside and you will be able to appreciate your new, slimmer figure.
This technique can be used on multiple areas of the body at once or in conjunction with additional procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, breast lift, facelift, and more. Discuss your procedural options with Dr. Rottler for best results and safe combinations.
The ideal candidate is near or at their ideal weight. Liposuction is not a viable solution for those who are moderately to severely overweight. Dr. Rottler advises that patients have a BMI of less than 30 and be close to their ideal body weight before undergoing liposuction. If substantial amounts of fat are removed from the body, the results can be less than ideal. This technique is best on fine tuning stubborn areas resistant to diet and exercise.
When large amounts of subcutaneous fat are present, the skin loses elasticity in order to accommodate for the extra mass. When that fat is removed, the skin may not be tight or smooth. Consequently, it is advised that patients lose weight prior to surgery using diet and exercise. Subsequent surgeries can be performed to remove excess skin if necessary. Dr. Rottler can advise you on the best plan of action during your consultation.
In addition to being near or at their goal weight, patients are advised to establish and maintain healthy dietary and exercise habits. If, after liposuction, the patient returns to poor health habits, the effects of the procedure can be negated.
Dr. Rottler also advises that patients be otherwise healthy, with no life-threatening illnesses or medical conditions. Patients should not smoke for an extended period of time before and after the surgery in order to limit risks for complication and promote proper healing during recovery. Although there is no age-cap on liposuction in Missouri, the ideal results require good skin elasticity. With older patients with inelastic skin, the skin may not redrape well and a secondary skin tightening procedure may be necessary.
Come to your consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. Dr. Rottler will want to consider any preexisting medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. He will also ask for information about previous surgeries, treatments, or current medications. It is crucial that the information be accurate, comprehensive, and up to date.
Dr. Rottler will also take this time to discuss your future weight loss goals and the effects of previous weight loss. He will then assess skin elasticity in order to provide a clearer idea of the results of your surgery. If you plan on losing additional weight in the near future, Dr. Rottler may advise that you postpone liposuction until after you have reached your goal weight.
Risk of Complications
As with any surgery, there is some risk of complication. Choosing a board certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Rottler considerably lowers your risks. Thousands of people undergo liposuction every year and are pleased with their results. However, Dr. Rottler believes that patients should be fully informed of both the benefits and the risks before consenting to the procedure. Some risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Slight bruising
- Irregular pigmentation
- Altered skin sensation near or around the incision site, which may persist
- Nerve, blood vessel, muscle, lung, or abdominal organ damage
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Cardiac or pulmonary complications
- Accumulation of fluids
- Poor healing
- Skin rippling or worsened cellulite
- Thermal injury from ultrasound-or laser assisted lipoplasty
Dr. Rottler will fully discuss each of these risks and any additional concerns you may have during your initial consultation.
Moderate swelling, bruising, and fluid accumulation are normal immediately following surgery and can persist for up to six months and, in some cases, even longer. Dr. Rottler will instruct you on how to use compression garments to mediate swelling and promote proper healing. As a general timeline, Dr. Rottler suggests that patients:
- Wait one to two weeks before returning to work (depending on the nature of the patient’s profession)
- Wait two or more weeks before engaging in more strenuous activity
- Wear postoperative compression garments for four to six weeks
During your consultation, Dr. Rottler will be able to provide a more accurate, individual timeline depending on your health and the extent of your procedure. Effects may be prolonged when liposuction is used in conjunction with an additional procedure.
Paul Rottler, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon. In addition to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rottler is a dedicated member of:
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc.
- Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation
- American College of Surgeons
- American Association for Hand Surgery
- St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society
- Missouri Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Association
- Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Additionally, Dr. Rottler is an active volunteer and team leader at:
- Interplast, Inc.
- Operation Smile
- Haiti Medical Mission
which offers surgery for free in other countries to patients who would otherwise live their lifetime with birth defects.
Dr. Rottler firmly believes that his commitment to these organizations further perfects his skills and allows him to stay on top of the most current trends and techniques. This allows him to provide his patients with the ultimate service and desirable results.
Book Your Consultation
If you have any additional questions about the surgery, feel free to ask Dr. Rottler during your consultation. To schedule your consultation with Paul Rottler, MD, FACS of St. Louis, MO, at 314-966-8880.