Dr. Ptak has been performing suction assisted lipoplasty (SAL) since 1985, only a few years after its introduction in the USA from France. Since the procedure has evolved dramatically, Dr. Ptak refers to SAL more appropriately as liposculpture. Fat may be removed from typical areas of excess, but it can also be used as a living graft to other areas, especially in the face where the aging process tends to leave some areas looking hollow and thin. Dr. Ptak has performed hundreds of such procedures and very rarely are revisions needed.
Liposuction, or liposculpture as Dr. Ptak prefers to call it, is a cosmetic procedure that breaks up fat cells in the body and suctions them out. The procedure requires small incisions made around the surgical sites, most commonly the neck, arms, abdomen, flanks, or thighs. Then, a small tube, called a cannula, is placed through these incisions underneath the skin. Negative pressure is applied to the inside of the cannula, which allows fat cells to be suctioned out of the body. Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. One of the reasons why is that it is extremely effective at shrinking stubborn areas on the body that aren’t responsive to traditional fat loss methods of diet and exercise. Dr. Ptak has been performing liposuction for over three decades and has helped his patients achieve exceptional, long-lasting results. Contact his office today to set up a consultation and find out more about the benefits of liposuction.
Who is a Candidate?
Liposculpture is most commonly recommended for men and women of normal weight who simply want to improve their body contour by removing deposits of excess fat that make certain body areas appear disproportionately large or heavy. Although liposculpture is not a treatment for obesity, it can alter body proportion in the long-term and is sometimes the only way to shrink fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise. Improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal. Liposculpture can be useful to heavier persons as well. Patients may be good candidates if they desire fat removal or contouring in any of the following areas:
- Upper arms
- Breast or chest area
- Abdomen and waist
- Hips and buttocks
- Inner knee
Certain medical conditions may complicate liposuction. They include diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. It is important to let your plastic surgeon know if the patient has any of these medical conditions or if they have had surgery in the past.
Types of Liposuction
There are several variations of liposuction that can help patients achieve their desired results. At the time of the consultation, Dr. Ptak will use his expertise to recommend the best technique for the patient’s body, lifestyle, and goals.
Dr. Ptak has been performing suction-assisted lipoplasty since 1985, soon after it came to America from France. Suction assisted liposuction is also sometimes called tumescent liposuction because a tumescent fluid containing lidocaine and epinephrine is introduced into the fatty tissue prior to applying suction to the cannula. This fluid helps diminish short and long-term discomfort and also minimizes bleeding throughout the procedure. In some cases, suction assisted lipoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia.
Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty uses ultrasonic high-pitched sound waves to help liquefy the fat prior to removal. This type of liposuction is frequently performed in locations where fat is known to be particularly stubborn, such as in the chin, neck, knees, and calves. It is sometimes performed in addition to suction assisted / tumescent liposuction to remove denser and larger portions of fat.
SmartLipo is a specific type of laser-assisted liposuction created by Cynosure. It has been proven to be effective at treating fat deposits on the abdomen, arms, buttocks, thighs, and neck. SmartLipo traditionally only uses local anesthesia, which means that the patient will be awake during the procedure. However, most patients find this procedure to be relatively painless. Plus, the local anesthesia means that there is less downtime following the procedure. SmartLipo works by inserting a small laser fiber through the cannula. The laser fiber ruptures fat cell membranes to liquefy the cells. Similar to ultrasound assisted lipoplasty, this makes the fat cells easier to suction out of the body. Furthermore, SmartLipo promotes tightening of the skin around the surgical area through coagulation, which helps diminish dimpling and sagging.
The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis depending on the volume of fat removed and under general anesthesia, which is preferable for safety and comfort. If the patient is undergoing SmartLipo or tumescent liposuction, then they may have the option of local anesthesia. Long, thin suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted through very short incisions placed in inconspicuous locations near the fat deposits, and excess fat is removed. Several variations to the basic liposuction technique have been introduced, including tumescent technique, both internal and external ultrasound, and SmartLipo. The fat-removal technique that best meets the patient’s needs depends on a number of individual factors that the surgeon will discuss with the patient during the consultation. All liposuction patients should make arrangements for another responsible adult to drive them home from the procedure.
The patient will go home with a compression garment (or tape) covering the treated areas. Compression is advised for about a month as it helps reduce swelling and helps the patient achieve the final result more quickly. Once pain and soreness decrease, it is frequently more comfortable to wear Lycra® or spandex exercise pants. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. If Dr. Ptak prescribes a pain medication, then this should be filled prior to the surgery date so it is easily accessible in the days after the procedure.
Bruising and swelling usually subside within 2-4 weeks. The final result takes shape over 2-3 months.
Liposuction can be combined with supplementary procedures in order to achieve even more enhanced results.
In most liposuction cases, the fat harvested from liposuction is thrown out. In a fat transfer procedure, on the other hand, the fat harvested from liposuction is used to naturally augment other parts of the body. In this three-step procedure, fat is first liposuctioned out of the body using one of the three methods previously discussed. Then, the fat is cleaned and purified. In the third step, the fat is reinjected back into the body to add volume where volume has been lost or lacks. Dr. Ptak’s preferred fat transfer procedure is a facial fat transfer. Since the aging process can leave some areas looking hollow and thin, fat harvested from liposuction can help restore natural, youthful looking volume. It is a longer-lasting alternative to dermal fillers and is frequently performed to the cheeks and lips. Another common fat transfer procedure is the Brazilian Butt Lift. The Brazilian Butt Lift has gotten more and more popular in recent years. This procedure often involves using liposuction to harvest fat from the flanks and lower back, then injected in the upper poles of the buttocks, in order to enhance the proportion between the waist and the buttocks. Other fat transfer procedures include hand rejuvenation and fat transfer breast augmentation. Dr. Ptak encourages patients to ask about these procedures at the time of their liposuction consultation.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are:
- Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
- Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)
- Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammaplasty)
- Thigh Lift
- Buttock Lift
Patients interested in liposuction are asked to first request a consultation with Dr. Ptak in Scottsdale, AZ.
Prior to scheduling a liposuction surgery appointment, Dr. Ptak must make sure that the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. He will ask the patient about their medical history and current diet and exercise routine. It is important that patients be at a stable and healthy weight prior to undergoing liposuction in order to ensure long-lasting results. The doctor will also ask the patient about why they are interested in liposuction and what ultimate cosmetic goals entail. Patients should have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure. Dr. Ptak can provide the patient with ‘Before & After’ photos of other patients; however, results may vary. The consultation is the prime opportunity to ask any questions that the patient may have about liposuction or other procedures that Dr. Ptak offers. It is essential that patients go into their liposuction surgery feeling confident in their decision. Dr. Ptak will use his expertise to design a customized surgical plan for the patient at the end of the consultation. Once he has created this plan, he will also be able to offer a cost estimate. Financing options are available, which patients should feel free to ask about.
Begin the liposuction process and journey to a more contoured body by requesting a consultation with Dr. Ptak in Scottsdale, AZ.