Liposuction is a fat removal procedure through suction tubes and instruments. It is an effective body contouring procedure for patients wanting to lose stubborn pocket fats and gain a more defined shape.
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Liposuction by Dr. Stephen Mulholland
Watch as Dr. Mulholland discusses and performs liposuction, on TV and in SpaMedica. Learn more about how the benefits for both men and women.
Liposuction by Dr. Stephen Mulholland
Liposuction Before and After
What Is Liposuction
Liposuction is the term used to describe body contouring that involves the removal of localized focal fat collections by gentle aspiration, through small, hidden incisions, using various technologies. Modern liposuction is not merely the removal of localized areas of unwanted fat through a crude mechanical destruction and suction, but the simultaneous liquefication and gentle removal of fat and contraction of the soft tissue that lies over it. In more old-fashioned techniques, commonly called Tumescent Cannula Liposuction, a very dilute local anesthetic was inserted into the fat to swell up the fat and make the fat numb and “frozen”. Then a small, blunt-tipped micro-cannula was inserted under the skin into the area to be contoured and the fat removed by sucking it traumatically through little holes at the end of the cannula. These old-fashioned techniques were successful in removing the fat, but very often the patient would complain of bruising, swelling, pain in the early post-op period and then, over time, uneven skin or skin laxity and looseness after the removal of the supportive under-layer of fat.
Figure 1. Tumescent local anesthetic fluid being inserted into the fat. This makes the area “frozen” and comfortable and swells up the adipose fat tissue for treatment.
Figure 2. A. Blunt tipped micro cannula used to; B Aspirate (Suck) out the fat.
The goal of modern liposuction, as pioneered by Dr. Mulholland and SpaMedica, is the use of energy-assisted devices to heat, liquefy and coagulate the fat just prior to its aspiration and removal, making the removal of the fat, in its liquefied state a more gentle process with less bruising, swelling and pain than old-fashioned technique. Even more important than improved recovery, the use of this heat energy provides a very strong internal soft tissue contraction. These “energy based liposuction” procedures are named according to the energy they release; BodyTite (radiofrequency energy), SmartLipo (laser energy) and VaserLipo (ultrasound energy). Dr. Mulholland teaches his energy assisted technique all over the world, has authored numerous articles and has coined the use of heat as energy assisted liposuction.
The use of energy base devices to heat the soft tissue stimulate skin tightening, contraction and enhance skin tone after has made the procedure an option for even patients with moderately compromise skin tone and laxity from age, childbearing or weight loss and gain. The modern era of liposuction, coined by Dr. Mulholland as energy-assisted liposuction, is thus the application of energy just prior to the removal of the fat to make the fat liquefied, coagulated and easy to remove and to induce a reciprocal contraction of the overlying soft tissue to ensure smooth, tight contours. The new “gentle era” of energy-assisted liposuction has made the experience much less painful for patients, with less bruising and swelling and, more importantly, has allowed significant contraction of soft tissue, with up to 35% area contraction after an energy-assisted procedure, making the procedure a viable option for patients with unwanted extra fat contouring and areas of localized fat. Where in the past, a tummy tuck, an arm lift, a thigh lift or a neck lift might have been necessary, small minimal-incision, minimally-invasive, energy-assisted liposuction can be performed and lead to excellent contours and shapes.
Dr. Mulholland discusses Liposuction results and the benefits patients will experience
Q&A With Dr. Mulholland: How to achieve the best results and benefits of liposuction
What are the different types of liposuction?
Dr. Mulholland has been a pioneer in the development of the art and science of energy-assisted liposuction. Dr. Mulholland has personally taught hundreds of physicians from across the world the art and science of this very refined and artistic procedure. The forms of energy-assisted liposuction that Dr. Mulholland has helped develop and teach include VASERLipo™ (VASER liposuction or UAL), SmartLipo™ (laser-assisted liposuction or LAL) and radiofrequency-assisted liposuction, also called BodyTite™ (RFAL). Dr. Mulholland is a worldwide expert in these modern forms of energy assisted liposuction. Dr. Mulholland is one of the co-developers and original patent holders of the BodyTite radiofrequency assisted liposuction (RFAL), which has become the world’s most commonly used and popular energy based liposuction technique and brand. Dr. Mulholland has taught his BodyTite treatment to luminary surgeons from around the world and he is the author of the authoritative BodyTite Text Book.
Figure 3. The BodyTite book, authored by Dr. Mulholland is the world’s authoritative source for surgeons. Dr. Mulholland is also a “surgeons surgeon,” having taught his BodyTite technique to thousands or physicians from around the world.
What Is VASERLipo™
VASERLipo™ involves the use of an ultrasonic energy released through a small probe into the fat. The ultrasound waves gently vibrate and implode the fat cell, creating a soft, liquefied, milkshake-like substance.
Once the ultrasound has liquefied the fat, Dr. Mulholland then uses a very small, blunt-tipped microcannula, which is a hollow metallic tube with little holes in the end, to gently aspirate and remove the liquefied fat from the unwanted localized areas of excess. The real advantage of VASERLipo™ is its gentle nature and the ability to still use the fat to fat graft following the liposuction.
Figure 4. A.The Vaser probe gently using ultrasound energy to B. cavitate, liquefy and separate the fat for aspiration
Figure 5. Gentle aspiration and removal of the Vaser Lipo fat with a small micro cannula is performed after the Vaser Ultrasound energy has loosened the fat cells from their fibrous attachments, making them easier to remove.
It is very common for Dr. Mulholland to have patients who want to remove fat from the areas of excess localized collection, and transplant to other areas, such as the buttock (Brazilian Butt Lift), breast (Natural Breast Augmentation, Fat Grafting Breast Augmentation) and facial fat transplantation. VASERLipo™ is the best energy-assisted device for fat transplantation as the gentle Vaser ultrasound energy does not kill the fat cell, just loosens them for removal, but they still remain viable for transplantation. The weakness of VASERLipo™ is that it does not provide significant soft tissue contraction, so other energy-assisted devices must be used after the Vaser lipo procedure to ensure suitable of the skin and soft tissue once you have used the ultrasound to cavitate or liquefy the fat.
What are the best types of liposuction for skin contraction and skin tightening?
There are two types energy-assisted devices that have proven, strong internal soft tissue contraction, each of which Dr. Mulholland has pioneered and taught and deploys to optimize tight skin following liposuction and they are; SmartLipo™, also called laser-assisted liposuction, and BodyTite™, also known as radiofrequency-assisted liposuction. Both of these devices use an energy form, either laser or radiofrequency, that is delivered directly into the adipose tissue to be contoured. The energy that is released creates heat and the heat melts the fat (coagulation and liquification) and contracts and tightens the soft tissue. With both BodyTite and SmartLipo, tumescent fluid with local anesthetic is infused into the fat first, which distends the fat cells and renders that area painless. The device probe is then inserted into the fat and the energy released. After the fat has been liquefied and the skin tightened, a small aspiration cannula is inserted and the liquefied fat gently removed. BodyTite and SmartLipo have been shown, in peer-reviewed articles, to be associated with less pain, swelling and bruising than traditional, non-energy based techniques. In addition, the deposition of energy results in 17%-35% area contraction of the soft tissue, improving skin tone and tightening.
What is SmartLipo?
SmartLipo™ uses a small laser probe to emit laser energy directly into the fat, prior to aspiration, which coagulates and liquefies the fat, closes off small blood vessels to minimize the bruising. Liquification of the fat with the laser facilitates easy aspiration of the fat with a microcannula to minimize pain and discomfort. The advantages of SmartLipo™ over VASERLipo™ is the heat that is generated will lead to a reciprocal contraction and tightening of the skin, thus allowing body contouring, but still achieving skin tightening. Studies have shown that six to 12 months after the SmartLipo, up to 17% area contraction of the skin can occur, as well as 25% improvement in elasticity following Smartlipo. This Smartlipo contraction of the skin minimizes the risks of irregularities, laxity and optimizes the ability of patients to avoid more invasive incisional procedures like tummy tucks, arm lifts, thigh lifts and neck lifts.
Figure 6. SmartLipo laser fiber (which is only 1 mm in diameter) uses gentle internal laser energy and heating to liquefy fat tissue and coagulate small blood vessels. The fat cells are then easily removed through a small aspirating micro cannula.
What is BodyTite?
The world’s most popular energy-assisted liposuction device is called BodyTite. Dr. Mulholland is well known as being the innovator and pioneer of the BodyTite™ procedure. BodyTite™ uses radiofrequency electrical current waves to coagulate and liquefy the fat and the blood vessels to minimize any post-operative pain, bruising and swelling. But the electrical current waves, much like an internal Thermage® and internal Venus Freeze, causes a radiofrequency contraction of the soft tissue up to 35%. 35% area contraction of the soft tissue helps deliver a good contour result for even those patients who may have moderately compromised skin. The use of BodyTite™ has allowed Dr. Mulholland to perform Radiofrequency assisted contouring of the abdomen, arms, necks, inner thighs and other areas, which has some laxity and where previously soft tissue excisions and skin removal, such as tummy tucks and lifts, would have been required.
Figure 7. The BodyTite from of energy assisted liposuction uses an internal probe that release electrical current that coagulate blood vessels, liquefies fat and aspirates it and tightens skin.
The art of modern liposuction is the application of heat energy just prior to the time of the aspiration to stimulate the gentle removal of the fat and the tightening of skin. Dr. Mulholland will often use two or three of these devices on patients – VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ – all during the same case in different areas, in different layers of unwanted fatty contour to optimize the results. It is Dr. Mulholland’s over 20 years of body contouring, expertise with modern energy assisted technologies and the artistic refinement of shapes and curves, along with significant skin contraction that provides the outstanding results that Dr. Mulholland is known for amongst his Toronto patients.
How is liposuction performed?
Whether Dr. Mulholland is using VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ or BodyTite™ radiofrequency-assisted liposuction, the procedure is generally performed either under local anesthesia with oral sedation, nitrous oxide, or with IV or general sedation. Most patients who are not prone to anxiety have the procedure performed with the modern, gentle energy assisted techniques under local anesthesia and oral and Nitrous Oxide sedation. Local anesthesia is inserted into the area of unwanted fat. The fat then becomes totally anesthetic, much like a dental procedure, and the gentle extraction can be performed.
Figure 8. Tumescent technique is the gentle infiltration of dilute local anesthesia, make the fatty tissue numb with loss of pain sensation allowing gentle energy assisted liposuction to be performed without the need for general anesthesia.
Once the local anesthesia, also called tumescent anesthesia, is completed, the energy-assisted devices – VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ – are deployed to liquefy, coagulate and tighten. Once this phase has occurred, this liquefied, coagulated fat is immediately aspirated with a gentle, small, blunt-nose tipped micro-cannula.
Figure 9. This figure shows the very small size of the modern micro cannula’s which are used to finally removed the liquefied fat. Their tiny size helps minimize the risk of any pain, bruising or discomfort.
What are the most common areas liposuction is performed?
The most common areas to have liposuction performed with energy-assisted devices in women include the abdomen, love handles, flanks, bra line, outer thigh, inner thigh, inner knees, neck and jawline and, rarely, the calves and ankles. For men, the most common areas include unwanted breast tissue – called gynaecomastia – as well as love handles and double chins.
Figure 10. Common areas where liposuction is performed for both women and men.
Who is a candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates are those prospective Toronto patients who have unwanted depositions of fat that detract from their ideal shape and contour and have tried their best at diet and exercise to modify their shape and figure. Good candidates are medically well patients without uncontrolled illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or hypertension. Contraindications to liposuction include anyone who is unrealistic about the shape and figure they can achieve, are medically unwell, excessively overweight, or have excessively loose and damaged skin, are pregnant or have a pacemaker.
What kind of anesthetic is used?
Liposuction is most commonly performed under tumescent local an anesthesia with Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). Tumescent local anesthesia is an extremely dilute local anesthetic that is then inserted gently into the fat, distending the fat and providing loss of sensation during the procedure. Prior to the tumescent anesthetic infiltration, oral sedation, injection and IV sedation, together with laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is administered. This technique of oral, inhalation and injection anesthesia, is not a full general anesthesia works very well, for the vast majority of patient.
The tumescent anesthesia not only make the local tissue painless local tissue, but it distends and expands the fat cells, exposing them to the ultrasound energy of VASERLipo™ or the laser energy of SmartLipo™ and/or the radiofrequency electrical current of BodyTite™. Many Toronto patients undergo their liposuction procedure under this local anesthesia and oral sedation, while, other patients who are more prone to anxiety may elect to have the procedure performed under intravenous sedation.
Can I have a general anesthetic with my liposuction?
SpaMedica has been a certified level one, private surgery center for 22 years and, upon request, patients can have their liposuction performed under general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist used are all very experienced from teaching hospitals close to SpaMedica, like the Toronto General Hospital and are equipped and armed with the best technology and skills to ensure your general anesthetic experience is safe and comfortable.
Is liposuction painful?
Modern liposuction, uses energy-assisted devices to pre-coagulate and liquefy the fat, turning it into a sort of “fat, mango milkshake” and this liquified fat is very easy to aspirate making it a very gentle procedure. The energy-assisted techniques – VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ – have been shown in peer-reviewed medical studies to be far less painful and have far less discomfort, bruising and swelling after the procedure, during the recovery, than old-fashioned lipo-suction techniques where energy is not used. This means much less pain, and discomfort and much quicker return to work and activities for Dr. Mulholland’s Toronto patient.
Figure 11. A published comparative study showing SmartLipo patients (in the green) had far less pain and returned to work faster than old fashioned liposuction ( in orange).
How long does liposuction usually take?
Depending on the thickness and size of the localized zones and the number of areas of fat to be contoured, the procedure often takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes per area and multiple areas are usually performed.
Is it dangerous to have liposuction done on more than one area of unwanted fat?
The risks of liposuction are very low, if performed safely, effectively in a level on facility by a certified surgeon. Multiple liposuction zones, can also be performed safely and effectively. IV fluids must be administrated that matches the amount of fat taken, patients need to be properly monitored during and after the procedure and precautions against blood clots and infections, although rare need to be taken. If you are having multiple areas of liposuction performed and the total of the fat removed exceeds a certain limit, you will be kept overnight and monitored and treated with fluids, circumferential sequential compression devices and blood thinners until the next day.
Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in North America, with over one million procedures per year. The risk of a serious complication is extremely low, especially when all the safety precaution and monitoring policies are in place and you have a surgeon like Dr Mulholland with over 20 years of safe, effective and reputable experience.
How long is the recovery following liposuction?
Modern liposuction using energy-assisted devices such as SmartLipo™, BodyTite™ and VASERLipo™ have a very rapid recovery. It is not uncommon for individuals to undergo moderate sized multiple-area liposuction on an afternoon and return to very light, sedentary work/non-work-related activities the following day. It is usually recommended, however, that patients take two to three days off after your contouring procedure to allow time for rest and recovery. The more zones you have liposuction performed on, the more stiffness and discomfort you may have and you might consider on week off work. Patients with sedentary jobs can go back to work sooner, than those patients with more demanding physical jobs.
Is a Liposuction garment required after my procedure?
The recovery process is also characterized by the patient wearing a post-liposuction garment. A post-liposuction garment is a high-tech, Spandex-like, Lycra-type of compression garment. The liposuction garment is used to “shrink-wrap” the overlying soft tissue, controlling the skin’s position while it heals in the ideal shape, location and contours. In general, these liposuction garments can be worn under any clothing and are quite comfortable. Liposuction garments provide very comfortable support during the healing process. Generally, liposuction garments are worn 22 hours a day for three weeks. The garment is light, comfortable and allows going to the bathroom without taking it off. After three weeks, the liposuction garments are worn for support during the day and left off in the evening and overnight. The minimum total garmenting time is then 3 weeks almost full time and then 3 weeks part of the day (usually on during the day and off at night). However, many patients elect to wear their garments for more than 6 weeks, as they feel more secure with the firm, stabilizing effect of the compression, until the normal sensation of skin normalizes at 3-6 months. After 6 week, patients can, if they elect proceed to “Under Armour, Lululemon and Niki Sport” supportive wear for some weeks, until no support is desired.
Figure 12. Liposuction garments must be worn after the procedure to help ensure the soft tissue contracts and sticks to the proper location. Garments help decrease the swelling and improve the contour after liposuction. Work clothing can often be worn over top the liposuction garment after week 1-2.
When can I exercise after my liposuction?
Patients can usually return to low-impact activities such as walking, stair climber, ellipticals within the first 1-2 days. Return to high-impact activities such as jogging, running, aggressive weight training and activities such as hot yoga and stretching should wait till the fourth to the sixth week.
Will there be a need for a drain in any of my liposuction areas?
A small, flexible, rubber-silicon drain is used to removal excess lymphatic fluid in the liposuction zone and to decrease the risk of a seroma, or a collection of fluid under the skin following undermining of a flap, such as occurs with liposuction. A small drain, will create a negative vacuum pressure under the skin, helping to hold the skin firmly and stably in place and will drain excess fluid through small holes placed on the side of the drain, minimizing the risk of this seroma, until such time as the body’s own lymphatic system can restore normal flow.
The most common area undergoing liposuction that may require a small drain is the abdomen. The small rubber, silicone drain empties into a small grenade-shaped bulb, which is easy to self-manage by the patient. All patients are shown how to empty the drain and keep it on suction and the empty the daily drainage amount on the drain sheet. In general, most drains are removed when there are three consecutive days, with less than 30 mils of drainage per day. The removal of the small drain is quite simple, relatively painless and is performed by the SpaMedica postop nursing team. If a drain is not used following BodyTite, particularly in areas like the abdomen , the risk of a fluid collection under the skin, called a seroma, can approach 8-10%. The use of a soft tissue drain to remove fluid for several days following the procedure reduces the risk of a seroma to well under 1%.
Figure 13. Small rubber drains, with perforated tubing attached to a suction bulb, may be used after liposuction, a tummy tuck, facelift or some breast surgeries. By squeezing the air out of the bulb, the tubes will drain excess fluid, helping to ensure adherence of the skin and minimizing seroma risk.
Can I shower with a drain in?
A drain is usually necessary following liposuction surgery to the abdomen and is used to remove lymphatic fluid, until the skin can adhere adequately to the underlying rectus abdominis muscle, thus reducing the risk of lymphatic fluid collection and swelling, called a seroma. A seroma, once has it occurred must be drained, similar to “water on the knee”, with weekly needle insertions and seroma fluid removal. A seroma, once established can be difficult to treat and can compromise its smooth and attractive soft tissue contour.
What will I look like after the liposuction procedure?
Immediately after the procedure, there will be some swelling, which is contained by your compression garment. Modern liposuction, using energy-assisted devices such as VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ do not generally result in much bruising. Avoidance of aspirin, if possible, three weeks prior to the liposuction procedure will minimize the risk of any bruising. A lot of your swelling will have settled after 2-3 weeks and you will look acceptable (not good yet) in work clothing with the supportive liposuction garment underneath. You contours will look quite good by 6 weeks and if you are planning a trip to a sunny location and bathing wear, or need to attend a wedding or big event (not yours) then you will feel you look pretty good by 6 weeks. You will start to look great after 12 weeks, but your final result can only be measured by 12 months, or one year after your liposuction surgery.
What kind of results can I expect after liposuction?
You can expect a very noticeable, significant and pleasing result in your contour shape and form and this result will be long term. Modern liposuction using energy-assisted devices such as SmartLipo™, BodyTite™ and VASERLipo ™, all deployed during the same procedure in an expert symphonic orchestration of fat reduction, can result in very elegant results. Dr. Mulholland is well-known for his advanced liposuction body contouring of all body areas. Significant improvements in figure, shape and contour are virtually assured, as fat is removed in the areas of contour concern. The focus of Dr. Mulholland’s patients should be on improvement in body, shape and contour, not on weight. You reduction will be measured in centimeters, NOT kilograms or pounds. Naturally, fat is removed, so there will be some weight loss, but the focus is on inches and contour, not kilograms and pounds.
Figure 14. Energy assisted liposuction the hips and tummy 12 months following her procedure.
What are Toronto Liposuction patients saying about Dr. Mulholland’s advanced energy-assisted liposuction procedures and techniques?
Dr. Mulholland has demonstrated his energy-assisted liposuction techniques such as SmartLipo™, VASERLipo™ and BodyTite™ radiofrequency-assisted liposuction on multiple TV shows and newspaper magazine articles. The vast majority of patients at our Toronto clinic are extremely happy with the results of their Dr. Mulholland body contouring because they realize no diet and exercise can, in a localized and focal way, reduce unwanted bulges and contours, such as pots, bra lines, love handles, saddlebags, bat wings and inner thigh/inner knee fat. Dr. Mulholland’s patients are particularly satisfied because of his expertise in achieving the best possible soft tissue contraction after the removal of the fat, ensuring the best possible probability of tight, soft, compact, shapely figure enhancements after liposuction.
How long will the results of my liposuction last?
The results of your liposuction will be lifelong. The fat that is removed will not return. It is very important to have weight maintenance after the procedure and stay within five to ten pounds of your liposuction weight to ensure permanent contour and figure enhancements. Excessive weight gain following your procedure will result in fat being accumulated, not to the liposuction area, but to other areas where traditionally you would not have collected fat; again, compromising figure, shape, and form.
Can secondary or repeat liposuction be performed?
Repeat liposuction can be performed and occasionally is performed to enhance the contour figure in 1% to 2% of cases where there may be a small amount of residual extra fat or, in recalcitrant scenarios, where patients put on a little weight a few years after their original liposuction, then secondary lipo-contouring can be performed.
How long will the results of my tighter skin last after energy-assisted modern liposuction?
SmartLipo™ can induce 17% area contraction and is good for heat treatment directly under the skin during your liposuction procedure. With BodyTite™, up to 35% soft tissue contraction occurs through the vertical fibres in the fat called the fibroseptal network. Dr. Mulholland often combines these procedures, together with VASERLIPO™, to give you the most outstanding results that modern liposuction can deliver. However, as you age, degree of skin laxity inevitably may occur in the areas of previous contouring. In order to enhance and maintain the 35% area contraction that you achieved, Dr. Mulholland will often include post-operative bulk heating radiofrequency treatments for his Toronto Liposuction patients to “protect their investment”. These gentle outpatient, no downtime, painless bulk heating RF treatments are performed starting in the sixth week following the liposuction procedure, with treatments being once every three to four weeks, for six sessions. The bulk radioheating frequency devices deployed include such devices as the Venus Freeze, the Exilis™, BodyFX, Forma Plus, and can maintain the increased collagen content and elasticity in your skin achieved through your energy-assisted liposuction to improve and protect the skin tone over your liposuction for years and years after your procedure.
When can I resume sexual intimacy and sexual relations after liposuction?
Low impact physical activities, such as stair climbers and stationary bikes can usually be resumed at three weeks following the procedure. Similarly, low-impact intimacy and sexual relations can usually be resumed three weeks following your liposuction procedure. However, time is required for a full and proper adherence of the post liposuction soft tissue envelope to the underlying muscle anatomy. High-impact activity such as running, jogging and, therefore high-impact sexual activity, intimacy and sexual relations should be avoided for approximately six weeks following the surgery. More aggressive high-impact sexual relations, where there is a substantial amount of friction on the operative site should therefore be avoided for six weeks to avoid a seroma or skin adherence complication.
What if I put on weight following liposuction?
Liposuction permanently removes a large number of fat cells and adipose tissue in the contour improvement areas. However, some fat cells still remain, and these are still responsive to an increased caloric intake and therefore a weight neutrality and weight maintenance is recommended following the procedure. If you gain significant amounts of weight after liposuction, say more than 30 lbs., the excess calories will go to adipose cells both in the areas where liposuction was performed and elsewhere, in non-liposuction zones and this will compromise your contour and shape. For those liposuction patients that do gain weight, there will be an increased tendency for weight gain to go to areas where you have not traditionally experienced fat excess and therefore keeping your weight within 5-10 pounds of your liposuction surgery weight is recommended to maintain a permanent and consistent improvement in your shape and contour.
When can I go in a pool, lake, or ocean after my liposuction?
Patients can expose the liposuction port scars and liposuction skin to chlorinated pools, a lake and ocean water at approximately four weeks following the procedure, or when the aspiration ports have had the sutures removed and your physician says the port are completely sealed to the external environment.
When can I resume sun tanning after liposuction?
Most patients can resume sun tanning after liposuction after 6 to 8 weeks. Caution must be exercised when exposing recent areas of the procedure and/or the port scars to UV light, as the breakdown products of a bruise and early scar tissue can become hyper-pigmented when exposed to ultraviolet light to early following an operative procedure. After 6-8 weeks, exposure to the sun can usually occur without complication but a strong sunblock should be used on your skin and titanium dioxide along any scars is usually recommended.
When will my skin sensation return to normal following liposuction?
It is completely normal and an expected side effect to have some moderate to significant decrease in sensation of the skin overlying any areas of recent liposuction. The sensory nerves that are traumatized from the liposuction process take some time to recover and, in general, a full return of sensation takes between 12-24 weeks. There’s generally nothing that can be done to speed up this return of sensory awareness to the skin overlying the liposuction regions, however aggressive massage, called desensitization, of the skin can help minimize or prevent hyper sensitivity from occurring.
The decreased sensation can sometimes give the patient a sense of uncertainty or instability in the skin that has undergone liposuction and sense that the skin may somehow become detached from, or fall off their body and underlying musculature. It is for this reason that many patients continue to wear a supportive garment for many weeks following the mandatory six-week period, as it provides a sense of proprioception and security for skin that feels numb and detached from the body. Eventually the sensation returns, any sensitivity vanishes, as normal sensory awareness returns to the skin.
What if I have small asymmetries or contour irregularities following my liposuction?
Dr. Mulholland has overheard 20 years of advanced energy assisted liposuction experience and after 2000 liposuction cases, is extremely good at creating significant and pleasing contour and figure results following the surgery. However, in the uncommon event that there are small contour irregularities or asymmetries, patients will be offered a complementary series of nonsurgical body sculpting technology treatments, such as CoolSculpting, SculpSure, Vanquish, BodyFX and UltraShape to the small areas of residual fat excess in areas of your liposuction surgery at SpaMedica in Toronto. This non surgical body contouring program begins between 8-12 weeks following your surgery, as, prior to this time, the skin over your liposuction skin is too sensitive to proceed. If, after this series of non surgical body sculpting treatments, you still have areas of slight asymmetry or irregularity, enhancement liposuction can be considered. Enhancement liposuction is not offered until at least one year has passed since the original surgery. The risk of not liking your liposuction contour improvements in Dr. Mulholland’s liposuction practice is extremely low and the enhancement rate for those that have good results but would desire a slight improvement is approximately between 3-5%. Most patients go from happy to very happy who undergo enhancement liposuction procedures.
What if I lose a lot of weight after liposuction?
Just as gaining more than 20-30 lbs. pounds after liposuction can expand fat, both those areas that have undergone liposuction and those areas that have not undergone liposuction, with an increase in fat content in the compromise in figure shape and form. Similarly, excessive weight loss of more than 20-30 pounds can potentially result in a loss of skin tone and elasticity that can overcome the skin tightening that was achieved with your liposuction procedure. Thus maintaining your liposuction weight and “weight neutrality” is very important to ensuring consistent, long-term contour improvement. A weight loss or weight gain of 10 to 15 pounds generally will not compromise your aesthetic contour improvement.
How can I best protect my liposuction results?
The best way or ways to protect your results are to maintain your liposuction body weight, eat well and exercise to optimize the underlying muscle contour. In addition, ensure that you follow up on any recommended bulk eating, radiofrequency treatments such as the Venus Freeze, the BodyFX, the Excilis to ensure you optimize the tight skin over the liposuction zones. As well, any fat destruction technologies that are recommended following your liposuction surgery to improved contour should be performed. The fat that was removed during your procedure was permanently removed and is not coming back and therefore, your contour shape and form improvements will be permanent as well. Your job is to maintain the weight, so as not to swell/enlarge residual fat cells and enhance the underlying muscle tone and skin elasticity and tightening as you age.
Is there any maintenance required following my liposuction?
There is no maintenance required for the fat that has been removed, as it is permanently gone. However, maintenance skin-tightening body heating treatments, such as bulk heating radiofrequency devices, using Venus Freeze, Exilis®, the VASERShape™, and the Forma™ or BodyFX are deployed in your post-operative program to ensure optimal skin contraction and tightness. Once your series of post-operative treatments have been completed, Dr. Mulholland will recommend a single treatment every three months to maintain skin tautness, elasticity and contour.
Figure 15. Bulk Heating RF (radiofrequency devices and treatments) such as The Venus freeze and legacy (above), the BodyFX, Excilis, Froma plus are offered follow liposuction to improve skin tone. Bulk Heating RF, such as the Venus freeze (above) is one of the many Radiofrequency bulk heating devices that is used to “protect the skin tightening investment” achieved during the energy assisted procedure.
How much will my liposuction procedure cost?
Dr. Mulholland has a range in liposuction pricing, depending on the size and amount of fat and number of areas to be removed. In general, single-zone modern energy-assisted lipo with three combined devices such as VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ deployed during a treatment will start from $6,999.00 for the first zone with subsequent zone discounting for second, third and fourth zones. Generally, depending on the size of the patient and their Body Mass Index, patients can have three to four zones performed with total body contouring starting from $9,999.
Dr. Mulholland shares information on Liposuction costs
Q&A With Dr. Mulholland: What is the cost of Liposuction.
Why choose SpaMedica and Dr. Mulholland for your liposuction?
Liposuction is an art. That art meets science with the application of energy-assisted devices. The use of energy-assisted devices is a highly-specialized skill; one that Dr. Mulholland has been an innovator and pioneered, with a world wide reputation. He has helped develop the radiofrequency BodyTite™ and the SmartLipo™ and VASERLipo™ procedures and has taught hundreds of physicians from around the world. He has more combined energy-assisted device experience than any other physician in Canada and is sought out by patients worldwide for lipocontouring procedures. In choosing Dr. Mulholland at SpaMedica in Toronto, you’re getting one of the foremost experts in the world in advanced modern liposuction using energy-assisted devices. The SpaMedica team is well-known for their service experience and care and attention to your postoperative and preoperative needs. In addition, Dr. Mulholland and SpaMedica combines postoperative skin tightening in addition to the lipocontouring to ensure the best possible contour.