The passage of time and the effects of gravity, coupled with weight fluctuations can take their toll on the body. Even with exercise and a healthy diet, some fat resists attack. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that offers an improved body contour with minimal scarring. It is not a weight-loss alternative, but rather a way to treat isolated areas of fat that are resistant to exercise and diet. Both men and women can be excellent candidates for

Because the skin must mold itself to new contours following surgery, candidates for liposuction are generally physically active, near their ideal weight and have good skin tone and elasticity. Additionally they must have realistic expectations and be psychologically stable.

About the procedure

When you gain weight, fat cells increase in size and volume. In turn, liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The amount of fat removed depends on the appearance of the area and the volume of fat. Liposuction is used to remove the superficial layer of fat rather than the deep one. Some areas of the body respond better to liposuction. It is most commonly performed on the abdomen, hips, thighs and flanks.

After liposuction, the skin molds itself to the new contours of the treated areas. If you have good skin tone and elasticity, the skin is likely to appear smooth. If your skin is thin with poor elasticity, however, the skin in the treated areas may appear loose. Liposuction doesn’t improve cellulite dimpling or other skin surface irregularities. Likewise, liposuction doesn’t remove stretch marks. At your consultation with Dr. Heinrich he will examine your specific areas of concern and discuss recommendations for the type of liposuction procedure and recovery program to yield the best results.

What to expect

Liposuction is performed with a vacuum-type instrument called a ‘cannula’. The incision is small and the cannula is inserted then moved around the area to suction fat and other fluids. The procedure is usually done as an outpatient, under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. Upon completion, the area is bandaged and Dr. Heinrich will prescribe pain medication for any discomfort experienced during recovery.

There will most likely be a degree of bruising for about a week or two and some swelling for up to a few months following surgery. It is important that you stay well nourished, hydrated and rested. During your post-surgery visit with Dr. Heinrich, he will determine your progress and how quickly you can return to your normal, daily activities. Most individuals return to work within 10 days.

The resulting contour changes are generally permanent — as long as your weight remains stable. The recovery time and the results will vary depending on the patient.