Dr. Ptak has been performing suction assisted lipoplasty (SAL) since 1985, only a few years after its introduction in the USA from France. Since the procedure has evolved dramatically, Dr. Ptak refers to SAL more appropriately as liposculpture. Fat may be removed from typical areas of excess, but it can also be used as a living graft to other areas, especially in the face where the aging process tends to leave some areas looking hollow and thin. Dr. Ptak has performed hundreds of such procedures and very rarely are revisions needed.
Who is a Candidate?
Liposculpture is most commonly recommended for men and women of normal weight who simply want to improve their body contour by removing deposits of excess fat that make certain body areas appear disproportionately large or heavy. Although liposculpture is not a treatment for obesity, it can permanently alter body proportion and is sometimes the only way to eliminate fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise. Improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal. Liposculpture can be useful to heavier persons as well. You may be a good candidate if you desire fat removal or contouring in any of the following areas:
- Cheeks, chin, and neck
- Upper arms
- Breast or chest area
- Abdomen and waist
- Hips and buttocks
- Inner knee
- Calves and ankles
Certain medical conditions may complicate liposuction. They include: diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. It is important to let your plastic surgeon know if you have any of these medical conditions or if you have had surgery in the past.
The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis depending on the volume of fat removed and under general anesthesia, which is preferable for safety and comfort. Long, thin suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted through very short incisions placed in inconspicuous locations near the fat deposits, and excess fat is removed.
Several variations to the basic liposuction technique have been introduced, including tumescent technique and both internal and external ultrasound. The fat-removal technique that best meets your needs depends on a number of individual factors that your surgeon will discuss with you.
The patient goes home with a compression garment (or tape) covering the treated areas. Compression is advised for about a month as it helps reduce swelling and helps you achieve the final result more quickly. Once pain and soreness decrease, it is frequently more comfortable to wear Lycra® or spandex exercise pants. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Bruising and swelling usually subside in 2-4 weeks. The final result takes shape over 2-3 months.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are: