FAQs about Liposuction

Liposuction surgery, put simply, is the removal of fat through tiny incisions in the skin using long slim tubes called cannulas that are attached to a powerful suction machine. This procedure is meant for body contouring and not for treatment of obesity. Localized accumulations of fat can be removed by liposuction in the Westchester area. The tiny surgical scars that are left after the procedure fade after healing. The total number of fat cells in the body is fairly constant, and once these cells are removed the body contour changes.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction surgery, put simply, is the removal of fat through tiny incisions in the skin using long slim tubes called cannulas that are attached to a powerful suction machine. This procedure is meant for body contouring and not for treatment of obesity. Localized accumulations of fat can be removed by liposuction in the Westchester area. The tiny surgical scars that are left after the procedure fade after healing. The total number of fat cells in the body is fairly constant, and once these cells are removed the body contour changes.

Why is Liposuction Needed?

The number of fat cells in each person's body is "fixed" by puberty. Fat cells are enlarged by overeating and shrunk with a low calorie diet and exercise. That's how you gain and lose those bulges of fat associated with being overweight.

Research has shown that some fat cells react differently to certain hormones. These fat cells are bigger, and more apt to enlarge after overeating than the ordinary variety. They are often concentrated in the hips, buttocks and abdomen, and are stubbornly resistant to otherwise effective slimming techniques. Although a number of factors may influence the extent to which each individual has this problem, heredity plays a significant role. The result: love handles, saddlebags, and other unsightly deformities on a body that is otherwise fairly well proportioned. Liposuction removes some of these stubborn fat cells. If you gain weight after liposuction surgery, it is distributed evenly all over the body and will not reaccumulate first in the treated areas, nor will those areas be the last places where weight is lost.

Liposuction is now one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedure performed in this country. It is proven to be a safe and effective way to remove fat deposits in the body.

Why Liposuction?

Operations to remove excess fat and skin have been around for years. Procedures, such as the tummy tuck, involve extensive surgery and often leave ugly scars. Today, people enjoy the benefits of liposuction, for body and facial contouring.

The liposuction method of fat removal was developed by French physicians that Dr. Narins trained trained with in 1982 and 1983. Liposuction involves minimal surgery and is faster, safer and more effective than other methods of fat removal. Dr. Narins has perfected the technique by using tiny tubes and special techniques for the best cosmetic results.

Looking trim and attractive is an asset in life. A slim body is a sign of health and vitality.

A new figure can do wonders for both your appearance and your self-confidence. When you feel good about your appearance, you face the world with more assurance.

With the advent of advanced techniques, Liposculpture has become a common, accepted way for people to change their body proportions. Over 300,000 Liposculpture's are performed each year on men and women of all ages, from aerobics instructors to busy professionals.

Why Choose Dr. Narins?

Dr. Narins is truly a liposuction pioneer. She is one of the first doctors who brought liposuction to the United States in the early 1980s, and she personally trained with the doctors who invented this procedure. She remains current in the latest techniques and technologies by teaching liposuction to other dermatologic and cosmetic surgeons, lecturing on the topic across the US and abroad, and publishing books and articles on liposuction. She is a member of the Tumescent Liposuction Council and the Liposuction Task Force for the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatologic Surgery who wrote the guidelines for liposuction.

How is Liposuction Performed?

We perform liposuction surgery using the tumescent technique with local anesthesia alone. In the late 70s to early 80s we used general anesthesia. Then, injections of hypotonic saline solution (a diluted salt solution) were administered locally and this alone seemed to control bleeding. As the procedure grew in popularity in the United States, we became more adept in using local injections of anesthesia along with general anesthesia finally progressing to using local anesthesia alone. The use of local anesthesia alone has actually made liposuction surgery much safer because there are none of the side effects or problems associated with general or intravenous anesthesia. You will not feel pain during the procedure and will feel quite well post-operatively.

On Which Areas of the Body is Liposuction Performed?

Liposuction surgery can be performed on the face, neck, arms, abdomen, waist, hips, lateral and inner thighs, buttocks, knees, calves and ankles, as well as other areas that are mentioned at the bottom of this document under the title, Non-Cosmetic Applications of Liposuction Surgery. In women, the neck, lateral thighs, hips, calves, ankles, and the abdomen are the most commonly treated areas. In men, it is the neck, flanks (love handles), abdomen and breasts that are most often treated.

A common abnormality in women is called a "violin" deformity. From the rear, the patient looks like a violin, because of the protrusion of the hips and the lateral thighs. This is an easy condition to correct.

Who is the Best Candidate for Liposuction?

There is no longer any age limit for this procedure, but the best candidate has good skin tone and realistic expectations. The presence of good skin tone will determine how taut the skin will be post-operatively. Liposuction surgery does not change skin tone. However, there are patients with poor to moderate skin tone who benefit greatly from this procedure because they will look much better in clothing and be able to wear garments more easily. This procedure does not significantly change a person's weight or surface abnormalities on the skin. It does change the silhouette. If there are spider veins or blemishes on the skin, these will have to be treated separately. Overweight people with problem areas of fat are also good candidates.

Sometimes patients will wait for their "significant other" to go on a trip and not tell him or her about the procedure. However, there are times when the patient's partner is present and he or she doesn't even notice!

The choice for liposuction can range from wanting to be able to close a shirt collar or a skirt to just looking better in clothes. "I want to look perfect." Remember the movie "TEN"? Some patients are happy to advance from a "4" to a "7", while others who are already an "8" can realistically expect to become a "10". About 10% of people need a touch-up.

Will I Lose a Lot of Blood?

There is very little loss of blood during this procedure. We have never needed a transfusion for any of our patients.

What Color is the Fat That is Removed?

The fat that is removed is a bright yellow. Occasionally, the fat is coral tinged if it contains a little blood, but the loss of blood is minimal. You do not have to donate blood preoperatively.

Will the Skin Hang after Surgery?

The amount of fat removed is determined by Dr. Narins. Skin is quite elastic and pulls back so that it does not hang.

How Large are the Incisions?

The incisions are generally very small, approximately 1/4 inch. Dr. Narins tries to hide them in areas where they can fade out to nothing. On some people it is very hard to see them even after surgery.

Will I Have Stitches?

The incisions are sometimes closed with stitches under the skin that are absorbed by the body. Occasionally, there are sutures on the surface of the skin that are removed in 5-7 days. Most incision areas are left unstitched.

Will I Have Scars?

Because only a tiny incision is required for the insertion of the tube, our method of facial and body recontouring leaves only minimal scars which are hidden in natural body folds - such as the crease of the buttock, or the back of an earlobe - so they are not normally visible. This is a major advantage over the older methods of fat removal surgery.

Will Liposuction Get Rid of Cellulite?

The surgery is not designed for this purpose and will not remove cellulite. It does however, make it a little bit better as the area is debulked.

Will the Fat Recur?

The number of fat cells is generally stable throughout one's life. When fat cells are removed they do not re-grow. If a patient gains a few pounds post-operatively, weight is evenly distributed over the body rather than localized where it is used to accumulate. If a person gains a very large amount of weight, then new cells may form.

Is the Procedure Done in a Hospital?

No. Your liposuction will be performed in our fully equipped, office-based AAAASF accredited surgical suite. Following surgery, you can go home to recover in comfort. Of course, if you want your surgery done in the hospital, Dr. Narins can perform your surgery there.

Will I be Unconscious?

We use local anesthesia. You will be awake and comfortable during the procedure. Some patients do doze off.

Are There any Risks?

Current world experience indicates that when properly performed on good candidates, there are no long-term dangers.

Does it Hurt?

During the procedure patients feel virtually no pain because they are lightly sedated and have had a local anesthetic. The discomfort during the postoperative period is normally minimal and pain medications are usually not necessary.

Can I Watch?

You certainly may. Patients love seeing the fat coming out the clear tubes and almost always exclaim "Is fat really yellow?" and "Take as much as you can out!"

When Can I Return to Work?

Recovery times vary among patients. Usually, you can resume work and normal activity in 1-3 days depending on your particular surgery and type of work you do.

What Limitations Will I Have?

Depending on the area treated, you may engage in light exercise such as walking, stationary exercise bicycle, etc. as soon as you feel up to it and heavy, jarring exercise in 3-4 weeks.

How Long Will I Wear the Garment?

When large areas are treated, a comfortable leotard-type garment is worn for 1-2 weeks, 24 hours a day; and then for an additional 2 weeks at night. In small areas, such as the chin, knees, buffalo humps and lipomas, the dressing is left on for 2-3 days. The garments are worn to prevent swelling, to redrape the skin, and to make the patient more comfortable with movement as it keeps the skin stabilized.

Will I Need a Second Procedure?

For most patients, one procedure is all that is necessary. About 5% of patients need a fine tuning procedure at a future date.

What Areas Can be Recontoured?

Liposuction can smooth or contour almost any area of the body, and is equally successful in men and women. The most common areas are beneath the chin, the upper arms, the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, legs and ankles. The jowls, cheeks and neck are also common areas that can be recontoured. Breasts in men can also be flattened.

How Many Areas Can be Treated at One Time?

Multiple areas can be done at one time. Dr. Narins may do lateral thighs, hips, waist, buttocks, inner thighs, knees & abdomen in one session. For patients with unusually large deformities, arrangements will be made ahead of time to do the procedure in several stages. This makes for easy healing and more rapid recovery, and is safer.

Will the Treated Areas be Smooth and Contoured?

Most areas of the body heal smoothly. However, in the thigh area a condition called "waddles" or slight hills and valleys in the skin is known to occur. With our unique method of micro-liposuction, this problem is virtually eliminated, and results are natural and smooth.

What About Fat Transfer?

Your fat cells can be re-injected safely under the skin to parts of your body that need "pumping up" such as the lips or chin. This process is known as fat transfer. Since your own body fat is used, there is no chance of allergy or rejection.


Non-Cosmetic Applications of Liposuction Surgery

Dr. Narins also offers non-cosmetic applications of liposuction surgery including:

LIPOMAS - Lipomas are ball like collections of fat tissue that appear as various sized lumps in the skin. They are sometimes as large as grapefruits! They are easy to remove with a combination of liposuction surgery and excision of any remaining lipoma tissue through one tiny incision. This procedure enables even tremendous lipomas to be removed with very small incisions. The area of the lipoma will have a dressing for 2-3 days and you can go about your normal business during this time. If a very large area is treated, you would have to wait a week or so before exercising muscles in treated areas.

- Buffalo humps are collections of fat behind the neck. They usually appear after certain illnesses or with age. They are removed easily and painlessly. Patients are ecstatic after treatment; they look and feel better and their collars don't choke them.

Getting Started

Women and men throughout Westchester choose liposuction by dermatologic cosmetic Dr. Rhoda Narins. She also offers a variety of wrinkle laser hair removal, and laser skin treatments. Call (914) 684-1000 (White Plains) to schedule an appointment and learn more.