What is liposuction?
Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the world. It’s a highly effective way to remove unwanted fat and sculpt a shapely body contour. The reality is that liposuction is not a weight loss surgery – it’s a body contouring procedure. As such, it is best for men and women who are close to their ideal weight but have localized pockets of fat that are not responsive to diet and exercise. Dr. Wiener also frequently does liposuction when there is excessive fat of the abdomen prior to doing a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.
What areas of the body can liposuction treat?
Liposuction can slim virtually any area of the face and body, including the:
- Bra Line Area
What are the benefits of liposuction?
The human body is adept at storing fat. This is a leftover from our early ancestors who never knew exactly when their next meal would happen or what it would consist of. Stored fat provided the fuel for the lean times when food was scarce.
Today, our next meal entails little more than heading to the grocery store and choosing from the myriad options. But our body still likes to store fat…just in case. That fat storage results in pockets of unwanted fat that are virtually impervious to our efforts to remove them. The abdomen is the most obvious spot, especially for men. Women most commonly develop pockets on their thighs, hips, and buttocks.
This fat is really hard to do anything about once it has accumulated. Targeted exercise and changes in diet don’t put a dent in it, in most cases. That’s where liposuction comes in. Dr. Wiener can remove these areas of excess, unwanted fat and slim the contour of the area. In some cases, he’s able to slim the waistline when he removes fat that has accumulated on the flanks.
Liposuction isn’t a weight-loss treatment, but it is a short-cut of sorts. It allows you to slim the contours of areas such as your tummy, backside, upper arms, jowls, and other areas with a simple surgical procedure that doesn’t involve a difficult recovery. Plus, the incisions Dr. Wiener uses are so small, he can close them with a single Steri-Strip.
These are very satisfying procedures that can really improve your contours.
Who is a candidate for liposuction?
Candidates for our liposuction in Houston should:
- Be close to your ideal body weight.
- Have pockets of excess fat that are unresponsive to diet and exercise (such as “love handles” or “saddlebags.”)
- Have good general health.
- Have realistic expectations for what liposuction can accomplish.
- Have a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and proper eating habits.
How to prepare for your procedure
Before scheduling your liposuction in Houston, you will need to complete an in-person consultation with Dr. Wiener. During that meeting, he will determine your candidacy by:
- Evaluating your overall health
- Assessing the unwanted pockets of fat that you’d like removed
- Examining skin tone
He will also talk to you about additional body-contouring procedures that may be appropriate depending on your goals, such as a tummy tuck.
Once your procedure is booked, Dr. Wiener will provide you with additional guidelines. For example, you will be instructed to avoid alcohol, nicotine and certain medications and vitamins. If you develop a cold or infection in the days leading up to your surgery, it will need to be postponed. And finally, you will need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home after your appointment.
What our patients have to say
"I have been a patient 19 years and he never disappoints. I had lipo of the abdomen and flanks and it was honestly instant gratification. It has now been two months since the procedure and I am still in disbelief at how good my results are. I know my lifestyle at the gym and my nutrition plays a huge part but after years of trying to lose weight, everything was responding except for my stomach and sides. Dr. Wiener is phenomenal at what he does and always on the up and up. There are many plastic surgeons to chose from in Houston but there are only a few that are exceptional at their job. Dr. Wiener is truly talented and I am a very pleased patient."
"I have been on a long journey with my health. No matter how much I workout and being conscious of what I’m eating my stomach was not responding to anything. I consulted with Dr. Wiener about my options to improve this area. I went in last week for liposuction of my abdomen and flanks. One week post-opt and I can honestly say my that this surgery could not have went any better. I was worried about pain and my recovery. I had no pain at all, although I took my pain medications as prescribed but after they were gone (2-3 days) I didn’t need to take anything for pain. I was getting into and out of bed just fine, I am a little sore but that is it. I had my surgery on a Wednesday and by Friday I was ready to get out of the house. The abdominal binder is the biggest nuisance but I would take that over pain. If this is something you are thinking about, I would highly recommend you to do this for yourself."
How is liposucton performed?
Dr. Wiener uses the tumescent technique when performing liposuction, which results in optimal aesthetic results and less recovery time when compared to alternative procedures. This approach also allows him to remove maximum fat volume with minimal blood loss.
To begin your liposuction surgery, Dr. Wiener will inject a large amount of fluid and medication into the location of your excess fat. He will then insert a cannula through that incision, which is essentially a hollow tube that is connected to a suction. The tip of the cannula will break the fat apart, and the suction will remove it from your body.
Your liposuction will be performed in Dr. Wiener’s AAAASF accredited in-office operating room, where a board-certified physician anesthesiologist will administer intravenous anesthesia. This form of anesthesia is called Total Intravenous Anesthesia or TIVA. This is a full general anesthetic (you are asleep) but without using inhaled anesthesia gases. This helps to reduce certain risks associated with inhaled anesthetics.
How long does liposuction take?
Each liposuction session with Dr. Wiener usually takes from 1 to 2 hours. This depends on the area Dr. Wiener is targeting, and if he is working on more than a single area. Small areas such as the upper arms or jowls involve less time than larger areas like the buttocks. During your consultation with Dr. Wiener, he can give you an idea of the time involved for your liposuction once he knows the areas you’d like to target.
What to expect during the liposuction recovery
Follow Your Aftercare Instructions
It’s important that you follow Dr. Wiener’s aftercare guidelines closely to ensure an optimal healing process.
Rest + Relax
After liposuction, your top focus should be on healing. Soreness, tenderness and some discomfort in the treatment area is normal. To minimize these effects, avoid strenuous activity and rest often but walking frequently after surgery helps reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids the first 24 hours after liposuction.
Stay Home From Work
Most of our Clear Lake, TX patients are able to return to work and their normal daily routine within two to three days.
Wear Your Compression Garments
You will need to wear compression garments after liposuction to minimize swelling and skin laxity.
When will I see results after liposuction?
You’ll notice a difference immediately, although your results will initially be masked by some swelling, bruising, and initial fluid accumulation from any remaining tumescent solution that wasn’t removed. But all of these issues resolve beginning in just a few days. From there, your results will be visible, and they will continue to improve as your skin tightens down over your slimmer underlying contour.
How long will results last after liposuction?
These are permanent changes. The fat cells removed by Dr. Wiener are gone for good. In the areas where the fat cells have been removed, you have a decreased ability to accumulate fat. If you maintain a healthy weight and take care of yourself, you’ll enjoy your slimmer contours for the remainder of your life.
What if I gain weight after liposuction?
Liposuction permanently removes fat cells. They are gone for good. If you don’t gain a ton of weight, you will not build new fat cells and you will maintain your results. It’s important to mind your eating and lifestyle choices if you want to truly benefit from your new slimmer contour for the long haul. If you gain weight, the weight doesn’t usually initially build in the areas treated, as many of the fat cells have been removed. But other fat cells can expand and if you gain enough weight new fat cells can be created.
Once most patients see their new slimmer contour, they want to make the necessary lifestyle changes to maintain them.
When can I resume exercising after liposuction?
The methods used by Dr. Wiener significantly decrease recovery times over those used just five or so years ago. Still, you’ll have some limitations. You’ll be able to perform light physical activity just one or two days after your procedure. This includes easy walking. Think of maybe 25 percent of your usual pace and intensity.
Light aerobic exercise can start two days after your liposuction, but you’ll need to wait three weeks or so to return to higher impact aerobic activities such as running. Resistance exercise can begin the second week after surgery. Listen to your body and see how it reacts. What you can tolerate is also dependent upon the area or areas you had treated.
Dr. Wiener will discuss timelines with you during your consultation and after your liposuction is complete.
How to choose a liposuction surgeon
As a popular procedure, there is no shortage of liposuction surgeons in Houston, TX. However, if you want the best liposuction Houston has to offer, along with beautiful aesthetic results, it’s important to be selective with choosing your doctor.
To that end, we recommend looking for a surgeon with the following characteristics:
A board-certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon will be specially trained in performing liposuction.
A Proven Track Record
Ask to review before-and-after photos of your doctor’s actual patients to evaluate their technical and artistic abilities.
A Positive Bedside Manner
This is an often overlooked quality that can make or break your experience. A patient and compassionate surgeon that is willing to invest time in you is priceless.
What are the risks of liposuction?
As mentioned above, liposuction has become less and less invasive. But this is still a surgical procedure despite the fact that it doesn’t involve large incisions. It involves the risks of any surgery: excessive bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and the like. These are all rare with liposuction.
There are some specific complications with liposuction:
- Contour irregularities — The treated area can appear bumpy or wavy. If the patient has inelastic skin, this is more prevalent.
- Numbness — Any numbness in the area is usually temporary, but it can endure.
- Fluid accumulation — Temporary pockets of fluid (called seromas) can form. These may need to be drained.
All in all, liposuction is a very popular and satisfying procedure for Dr. Wiener’s patients, and the risks are minimal.
Is liposuction covered by insurance?
Liposuction is considered to be an elective procedure, meaning insurance companies don’t deem it to be “medically necessary.” As such, it is generally not covered by insurance. Dr. Wiener does offer CareCredit financing for our patients from Houston and the surrounding areas.