Fat is Stubborn Like Your Mother-in-Law

Some things are simply stubborn by nature — a two-year-old, your cat, crabgrass, your boss, your mother-in-law, and pockets of fat.

On that last one, no matter how much you exercise or how extreme your changes in diet there are pockets of fat on certain areas of your body that are ultimately stubborn. They refuse to go away.

But Dr. Smith can show those pockets the exit sign with tumescent liposuction.

Early liposuction

Since it was introduced in the U.S. in the 80s, liposuction has come a long way. When the procedure first was performed, it was a pretty violent procedure. Patients usually had to be under general anesthesia and the cannula was not only larger than those used today, but it also was moved back and forth under the skin quite violently. This was necessary to break up the fat that could then be suctioned out. Also, fat could be removed unevenly, leaving flat spots on target areas that looked unnatural.

As a result of the extreme tissue trauma caused by liposuction in those days, patients had extensive bruising. For instance, liposuction on a patient’s outer thighs could spread bruising down the legs that lasted for weeks.

Today things are different

To counter some of the trauma, saline solution mixed with lidocaine began to be injected into target areas prior to inserting the cannula. Also, cannulas became smaller. The last addition was epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, with the liquid solution. The epinephrine constricts the capillaries reducing bleeding.

Tumescent liposuction

Dr. Smith uses tumescent liposuction. The word “tumescent” means swollen and firm. By injecting a large volume of very dilute lidocaine (local anesthetic) and epinephrine (adrenaline to constrict the capillaries) into the targeted area, the targeted tissue becomes swollen and firm, or tumescent. The procedure now is done with only the local anesthesia with very minimal blood loss.

Another change is the size of the cannula. Dr. Smith uses a microcannula with an outside diameter of less than 3 millimeters. Not only do the smaller cannulas in today’s liposuction require smaller incisions to access the target areas, but they also make for smoother results. Plus, large cannulas often removed too much fat, leaving skin depressions and irregularities.

Tumescent liposuction is also less painful afterwards. Because of the vasoconstriction initiated by the adrenaline, the body doesn’t absorb the lidocaine as quickly. This means that patients can have a degree of post-operative pain relief for up to 36 hours. This makes the procedures very easy to recover from. And incisions are so small, they can usually be closed with just either just bandages or a single stitch or two, minimizing any scarring.

Interested in addressing those unwanted pockets of fat? Call Dr. Smith at 843-705-8940 and let’s talk about liposuction.



Posted in: Body Contouring, Liposuction

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16 Okatie Center Blvd S, Suite 101 | Okatie, SC 29909
Serving the communities of Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort, and Okatie.
Fax: 843.705.6816