Liposuction is a contouring procedure that removes bulges to blend body outlines more aesthetically. Age, heredity, and hormonal factors sometimes counteract our best efforts to attain the type of physical appearance we desire. Surgery, when indicated, can be combined with a program of fitness and nutrition to achieve and maintain long lasting results. Areas of the body where fat deposits can cause localized bulges include the face and neck, upper arms, upper and lower abdomen, flanks, hips (love handles), inner thighs, outer thighs (saddlebags), buttocks, knees, calves, and ankles. Dr. Forley precisely removes excess localized fat deposits through tiny incisions using a multiple cross-tunneling technique with small tubes called cannulae. The control he is able to maintain with this approach enables a very artistic sculpting of the body to achieve the desired result. Skin with good tone and elasticity will shrink or contract to fit the new body contour. If the elasticity of the skin has been compromised by pregnancy or extreme weight gain and loss, additional excisional procedures may have to be considered. Dr. Forley has evaluated a variety of new thermal based fat contouring technologies using laser and ultrasonic energy. He believes that equivalent results can be achieved when all techniques are performed well. However, the risk of temperature related complications that exists with the use of laser and ultrasound devices is not present with the non-thermal based liposuction technique that he favors. Non-surgical fat contouring technology using radiofrequency heat energy or controlled cooling to freeze fat cells has a role for smaller problem areas but often requires multiple treatment sessions with varying degrees of success.
Is This For Me?
You should consider liposuction if:
- You have been following a good regimen of diet and exercise yet can’t get rid of the excess fat of your tummy, hips, or thighs.
- You are willing to engage in exercise and a healthy diet to maintain your results after the procedure.
- The problem area is fat below the skin. Internal fat deep to the muscles cannot be removed with liposuction.
During your consultation, Dr. Forley will first ask about your medical history and to describe what concerns you most about your appearance. He will examine you to assess your skin quality and the amount of skin and fat excess. Any surface irregularities will be evaluated for possible improvement. Your muscles will also be evaluated for strength and convexity to determine their contribution to the appearance of your body. The procedure will be explained in detail and you will be given an idea of realistic expectations for improvement with examples of before and after results. Dr. Forley will discuss strategic incision placement to minimize scar visibility. If skin elasticity is an issue, additional procedures involving skin excision will be discussed. You will have plenty of time to get all your questions answered.
Achieving a stable body weight is important for the best result. A program of healthy eating and moderate exercise prior to the surgery that is resumed after the recovery period will contribute to maintaining the optimal outcome. Instructions pertinent to reducing the risk of bleeding and bruising will be discussed during your pre-operative appointment two weeks prior to the surgery. A program of vitamins and supplements designed to enhance healing and minimize bruising and swelling will be provided to you for use before and after the surgery.
Dr. Forley will mark the planned locations for fat removal and confirm that all your questions have been answered. The anesthesiologist will then review with you the twilight/sedation method of anesthesia that is utilized exclusively in the Joint Commission accredited office surgical suite. The tumescent technique is used in which large volumes of fluid containing anesthetic and a blood vessel constrictor are placed directly into the fat compartment to be treated after you are asleep. This enables a more even removal of fat and decreases any blood loss as well as providing extended pain relief. Incisions less than a half-inch long are made in concealed areas and small suction tubes are inserted to reach the target fat deposit. The tube or cannula is then passed back and forth until an appropriate amount of fat has been removed through multiple fine tunnels. The entire bulging area is treated in this fashion, carefully removing small amounts at a time, and constantly checking fat thickness and contour as suctioning proceeds. Finally, the incisions are repaired with dissolvable sutures under the skin, and an elastic compression garment is placed to reduce swelling and bruising in the area with gentle pressure.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
You will have some swelling, bruising, and numbness over the areas that have been suctioned although you will see an immediate contour change. Most patients experience minimal discomfort, but there may be a few days of soreness, tightness, or fullness. An elastic compression garment is worn for 2-4 weeks following the procedure. Bruising and the initial phase of swelling usually resolve within 2-3 weeks or sooner coinciding with a gradual return of sensation. Patients are able to return to work in 3-4 days and resume exercise in 2 weeks. Contour definition with additional swelling resolution and skin contraction will continue to occur over 3-4 months, at which point the final result is evident. The results of liposuction are long term provided that you maintain a stable weight.
The Stages of Recovery
- Day of surgery: Usually performed as an outpatient procedure in our accredited office surgery facility
- Bruising and Swelling Resolve: 7-21 days with continued improvement in contour occurring up to 3-4 months
- Return to work, social activity: 3-4 days
- Aerobic or strenuous activity: 14 days
Potential Risks and Complications
Risks common to all surgical procedures such as bleeding, infection, and thickened scar tissue formation occur in a very small percentage of cases. We will give you more detailed information about these and other rare risks in our written information and encourage you to discuss any which concern you during your consultation.
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UK-based Tatler discussed Dr. Forley in its 2008 Beauty and Cosmetic Surgery Guide as one of the "A-list of cosmetic surgeons"..."who are at the top of their game"...and whose "innovations are shaping the art of cosmetic surgery around the world." It was noted that Dr. Forley's "discreet Upper East Side clinic is perfect for women and men in search of minimally invasive natural-looking surgery. He was trained in France and the UK and has a straightforward, gentle, less-is-more approach. He uses the intimidating-sounding MACS-lift (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension), which is an ingenious short-scar method. A small incision is placed just above where the ear meets the hairline and the cheeks and jowls are gently pulled up. He makes sure the skin is in great shape by using the Fraxel laser for resurfacing and combines it with expertly placed fillers like Sculptra to maximise his results. He also does Juvederm, Botox and Restylane at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa on Fifth Avenue. He has been on missions to Asia and Africa, where he has devoted his skills to treat children with facial deformities."