Liposuction surgery is exceedingly common in the world of plastic surgery, but has evolved into a much more specialized technique that takes into account the excess skin left behind by lost fat volume. Dr. Peter Fisher performs this procedure with the utmost care and safety. He uses a technique called tumescent liposuction, which involves an injection containing epinephrine to reduce bleeding before removing fat.
Liposuction can do a lot. It's changed since being brought to this country by Dr. Illouz from France in the early '80s and late '70s. It was a very bloody procedure then. And now it's really evolved into a much more specialized technique that works very nicely, actually.
So, essentially, what we're trying to do is reduce the area that the patient wants reduced. In other words, like a saddlebag or a love handle, that's made up of fat underneath. So we try to suction the fat out and let that come down so it looks a little bit better. There are other times that we use it to debulk the patient. Let's say their thighs are so big that if you liposuction them a lot, they'll look ugly afterward, but we're preparing them for a thigh lift. So we will debulk him with liposuction and then we'll later go back and cut out the excess skin. It's used in the face. We will liposuction the neck, we even liposuction jowls. We liposuction lipomas. The lipoma is a fatty tumor. So there are lots of areas that we use it for.
Typically, what I'd do, and what most I think plastic surgeons do, is called the tumescent liposuction where you inject fluid first into the area that you are going to liposuction. That has some epinephrine, which vasoconstricts the vessels, which means it shuts them down so you don't bleed a lot. And then you use multiple different size cannulas, whichever you think is appropriate, to suck it out. And there are different machines that you can use for it. I actually use a machine that vibrates a little bit and that helps me physically because it's a very physically demanding procedure. I think it probably helps reduce the fat a little bit better as well, but it certainly helps me.
The procedure of liposuction and how long it takes is dependent on how much you're doing, essentially, what areas are you doing. Sometimes it takes me four to six hours. Sometimes it takes me 30, 35 minutes. If I'm doing a small area then it's really quick and the recovery is quicker as well. So the bigger the area that you liposuck, the longer the recovery.
The pain medication is used for up to two weeks after surgery to really help the patients get around and to comfort them for those two weeks. Then, thereafter, you usually don't need anything.