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What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove unwanted fat from the body. Also known as body contouring, body sculpting, lipoplasty, fat removal, or liposculpture, this procedure is used to remove fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. At the Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery, we offer the popular treatment Lipo 360 in Houston, which includes liposuction to the abdomen, waist, hips, and back. Liposuction is also commonly performed on the chin, chest, upper arms, inner thighs, inner knees, and outer thighs.  

Who is a good candidate for liposuction in Houston?

You may be a good candidate for Lipo 360 or other focused areas of liposuction in Houston if you have a stable body weight and localized pockets of fat in the neck, arms, chest, abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, or back that are not responsive to diet and exercise. The ideal candidate should also have good skin elasticity, as liposuction will not tighten the skin. If loose skin is not a concern, liposuction may be a good option. In those patients with loose skin, liposuction is sometimes a good first step to remove excess fat, and then a skin excision can be done at a later time to address the loose skin that remains. Getting rid of the extra fat will lead to a much better cosmetic outcome after skin excision.

Houston Lipo

Before & After

What should I expect with liposuction surgery?

Liposuction in Houston is typically performed under general anesthesia (see why below).  For smaller areas, Dr. Lind will sometimes use a combination of local anesthetic and IV sedation. You can return home the same day. The procedure can take from one to four hours, depending on how much liposuction is being performed.

  • Very small incisions are made in precise locations, depending on where liposuction is being performed. These small incisions are typically well hidden, and are placed so that they aren’t visible while wearing lingerie, a thong, or a two-piece bikini.    
  • After incisions are placed, a tumescent solution is injected into the area. This solution typically contains epinephrine to decrease the amount of bleeding (by constricting the small blood vessels).
  • Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, may be added to the solution for greater patient comfort, particularly if the procedure is performed under IV sedation. 
  • After the tumescent solution has been given time to work, liposuction is performed using the power-assisted liposuction system called MicroAire®.  
  • The preferred method by Dr. Lind for fat removal is the MicroAire power-assisted liposuction system (see more below), as it is very efficient at removing fat and produces a beautiful, smooth result. 
  • When the appropriate amount of fat has been removed, the small incisions are closed. In some cases, incisions may be left open to drain.

What is recovery like after liposuction?

You will be wearing a compression garment when you wake up from your Houston liposuction procedure. This garment will need to be worn for six weeks to prevent fluid accumulation in the treatment areas. Pain medication will be prescribed to help you through the early stages of healing.

Incisions may leak fluid for the first several days, which is a normal part of the healing process. Swelling and bruising are common during the first few weeks. The first follow-up appointment will be between 10 to 14 days after the procedure. 

Typically, sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed. Most patients can return to light-duty work in one to three days. You should be able to return to full activity and exercise in three to six weeks. 

The Lind Institute

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Why choose the Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery?

Jeffrey G. Lind II, MD and the Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery perform transformative liposuction and Lipo 360 surgeries, along with a range of surgical procedures to restore the breast and body.

  • Dr. Lind has performed over 1000 liposuction procedures, and he has a very high satisfaction rate in these patients.  
  • Dr. Lind has a tremendous amount of experience and has performed liposuction using virtually every technology on the market today, including suction-assisted liposuction, power-assisted liposuction (including MicroAire), VASER liposuction, laser liposuction, and SmartLipo.  
  • Dr. Lind has performed liposuction using every method possible to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure, including liposuction done under local anesthesia only (like a dentist would numb your tooth), using a combination of local anesthesia and IV sedation, and finally, liposuction under general anesthesia.  
  • Dr. Lind is a reputable, double board-certified plastic surgeon with a highly trained and responsive staff.
  • We utilize only the best technologies that lead to real-world, proven smooth results.
  • We offer a luxury setting for aesthetic surgery and top-of-the-line skincare products and services in a prominent North Houston location. 
The Lind Institute

 FAQ

Why does Dr. Lind use MicroAire power-assisted liposuction?

Power-assisted liposuction is the most widely used and preferred alternative to traditional liposuction. Traditional liposuction requires a lot more physical labor on the part of the surgeon. Power-assisted liposuction greatly reduces the amount of physical labor required on the part of the surgeon, which reduces surgeon fatigue. This is always good for the patient when it comes to smooth results and improved outcomes. It also reduces operative time but at least 35%.

The MicoAire system is a powerful and meticulous instrument used for very precise removal of small or large volumes of fat. It’s also great for harvesting fat for re-injection back into areas like the buttocks (Brazilian butt lift or BBL) or the breasts. It has been shown that power-assisted liposuction leads to a higher number of loosely adherent stem cells, which may improve fat graft retention. 

The MicroAire cannula has a smooth reciprocating cannula that glides right through the tissue creating greater accuracy in fat removal. It also makes it very effective at removing fat from very fibrous and dense tissue. The cannula reciprocates at 4000 cycles per minute, leading to a faster procedure, more precise outcomes, and less downtime. This also results in less bruising and swelling.

Why does Dr. Lind prefer general anesthesia for his larger liposuction cases?

As mentioned above, Dr. Lind has performed many large liposuction cases under local anesthesia, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. The primary reason he prefers liposuction under general anesthesia is that it allows him to be much more aggressive removing fat, which leads to much higher fat amounts being removed and higher satisfaction rates. With patients being done under only local anesthesia, you cannot be as aggressive removing fat, and sometimes the case can be very difficult for the patient to get through because of discomfort or extreme anxiety.  Using general anesthesia also dramatically cuts down on surgical time, which is good for the patient and leads to faster recovery times.  

General anesthesia is very safe, and it is estimated that a death related to having a procedure under general anesthesia is 1 in 200,000 patients (or 0.0005%). On the flipside, when having your procedure done with only local anesthesia using lidocaine, the risk of lidocaine toxicity is real and can lead to heart complications and death — especially in patients who can't metabolize lidocaine efficiently or in those patients that receive too much lidocaine as the surgeon struggles to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure.

Why would I pay higher prices to have liposuction in Houston when I can just go to Miami or fly out of the country to have it done at a fraction of the cost?

We understand that price is important to most individuals opting to have liposuction or other cosmetic surgery procedures. Dr. Lind trained in and around Miami, Florida, and he is very well-educated on the plastic surgery market in the area. There are many high volume “chop shops” in Miami that charge a fraction of the price for what you might pay for a cosmetic surgical procedure here in Houston, Texas.  However, it is in these centers in Miami where most of the cosmetic surgery deaths in the United States occur due to poor training on the behalf of the surgeons. Also, in our practice, Dr. Lind will be performing the entire liposuction procedure on you himself. He only has an assistant, on occasion, that might help close incisions. However, in Miami, it is very common for the surgeon that you sign up with to also have another surgeon or physician’s assistant who is typically only licensed in another country, doing a portion of your case. This is to say, the surgeon you signed up with does the left side while another surgeon — without an actual Florida license — does the right side. This often times leads to very bad, disastrous, and uneven results. In these centers, it is really an assembly line, and they do your procedure as fast as possible so that they can bounce to the adjoining operating room to start the next one. They have to make their income on doing a high volume of cases, so less time and attention is spent on your case and a portion is often times delegated to non-qualified, unlicensed practitioners.  

Furthermore, in these centers you will not get very personalized care post-op, and calls are often times ignored. Lastly, if you have a concern or complication, you will not be able to find anyone in the Houston area to take care of you because they will refer you back to the surgeon in Miami. At the end of the day, you end up paying more with travel costs, lodging, and the surgery than you would have if you decided to have your surgery done locally.

Why shouldn’t I choose one of these other liposuction chain centers that promise dramatic results, no pain, and virtually no downtime?

First of all, in these centers, cases are done under local anesthesia only (see above discussion about general anesthesia). Aside from the issues mentioned above, there is absolutely no way to have aggressive fat removal with “no pain or discomfort” or “no downtime”. These are just marketing tactics to make you think that you can have your cake and eat it too. It simply isn’t possible. So, in this situation, you will either be upset at your post-op appointment because you are so sore when you were promised you wouldn’t be, or you’ll be upset that very little fat was removed (as this would be the only way to keep your soreness to a minimum). Dr. Lind makes it very clear that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, and you will be very sore after liposuction. However, you should be able to get back to work within a few days. This soreness is a great tradeoff for the results that you will appreciate for years to come.

Shouldn’t I have liposuction using VASER or laser liposuction to get better results?

The answer is no. Dr. Lind has used all of these devices. You do not need ultrasonic or ultrasound technology or lasers to “break apart the fat for removal”. The power-assisted MicroAire cannulas do this without the addition of external energy. Most of these energy-using devices are marketing gimmicks that don’t improve results, but only increase the chances of complications such as skin burns and massive skin loss. What’s more important than the device being used is the surgeon and his or her experience doing that particular kind of procedure. The worst lipo surgeon could use the best device, and still get poor results. The opposite is also true. The best liposuction surgeon could use the worst device and get great results. Experience is what really matters.

How should I prepare for liposuction?

If you smoke, you should stop at least six weeks before liposuction surgery. All medications that can cause bleeding should be stopped at least two weeks before the procedure, with the approval of the prescribing doctor.

How soon will I see results after liposuction?

Although results can be appreciated very soon after treatment (within one week), it’s essential to understand that you may have swelling for several months, and the optimal results may not be evident until six months after liposuction. Most of the swelling will be gone by six weeks, but your results will continue to improve as the months go by. However, you will really be enjoying your results by six weeks.

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