Liposuction and Fat Grafting Atlanta
Remove excess fat deposits from specific parts of your body for a slimmer look
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction involves removal of fat by suctioning, which involves a setup connecting a blunt-tipped metal straw called a cannula to plastic tubing that is connected to a negative pressure or suction pump. Liposuction is popular and most effective for isolated fat deposits in an otherwise healthy person with a normal body mass index (BMI) of less than 30.0 kg/m2. More realistically, however, patients with BMIs in the 30s range or higher seek liposuction.
What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting incorporates liposuction. Rather than discarding the aspirated fat, it is instead processed to purified fat by any of a variety of means, such as straining, gravity, centrifugation, and repeated washing. The purified fat is then prepared into multiple syringes that are injected into an area that has soft tissue deficiency. This can range from patients with breast cancer or traumatic wounds with indentations, to cosmetic patients desiring more volume in areas such as the face, breasts, or buttocks.
There are many liposuction techniques, ranging from the choice of cannula to the use of fluid to minimize blood loss (tumescence or wetting solution) to the use of energy to help break up the fat. Dr. Patel generally uses a “super wet” technique, in which the amount of lipoaspirate removed is equal to the wetting solution administered. Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) and ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL) are ways to speed up the operation while reducing surgeon fatigue. UAL is a particularly good liposuction choice for those undergoing surgery for gynecomastia, but it does add the risk of thermal injury to the skin due to the heat generated by the device.
Dr. Patel will counsel you on how best to proceed based on your body type. Liposuction alone may not be the best course of action if you have excess skin in addition to excess fat. More frequently, liposuction is combined with other procedures, such as abdominoplasty, brachioplasty, breast reduction, or other body lifting techniques.
What to Expect After Liposuction
You will be transferred to a recovery room where your vital signs will be checked, and you will be observed for signs of dizziness or nausea. You may experience a mild to moderate amount of pain and swelling within the first few days after the surgery. It can take several months for the swelling to subside and the results of your liposuction procedure are fully revealed.
Best Candidates for Liposuction
You’re a good candidate for liposuction if:
There is a safe limit as to how much total fat or lipoaspirate can be harvested during one operation. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that any removal beyond five (5) liters be admitted for overnight hospital monitoring. The reason for this is that with a significant volume being removed, there are serious fluid shifts in your body that can affect your salt balance, your blood pressure, and your heart.
Brazilian butt lift, or BBL, is a special technique of fat grafting in which the harvested fat is injected into the buttock to augment it without the use of prosthetic implants. This procedure is not without inherent risks, however, including the risk of death from a fat clot accidentally entering your blood circulation. During your consultation with Dr. Patel, you may find that liposuctioning to create rounder buttock edges may be more beneficial than simply adding a lot of fat. He only injects fat superficially, where buttock fat belongs, and he will never inject more than your body can handle in one operation. Dr. Patel will always talk straight with you and never offer you an unsafe operation, or one that does not meet your overall aesthetic goals.
Overdoing fat injections in any one operation can put you at risk for dead fat or oil called fat necrosis and oil cysts, respectively. These findings are not life threatening, but they can lead to areas of firmness and make other surveillance procedures such as mammography more challenging.