Facial liposuction has become a very common and popular cosmetic surgery procedure. It is an elective cosmetic procedure which allows the oral & maxillofacial surgeon to remove undesirable, subcutaneous fat in specific areas that do not respond to diet and exercise such as the cheeks, chin, neckline and jawline. Patients with good skin tone who have fatty deposits receive the best results from facial liposuction. Facial liposuction, and liposuction in general, is not a treatment for obesity. A patient may gain weight following liposuction however it goes to the fat cells that remain in your body. The localized fatty deposits that existed prior to liposuction can no longer gather fat. Facial liposuction can be repeated, if necessary, however to maintain the safety of the procedure, there is a limit on how much can be done at one time. A variety of factors can affect the results. For example, smoking can hamper the body’s natural healing and compromise the results of your facial liposuction surgery, so be sure to inform your surgeon if you smoke. Alcohol can also increase facial liposuction risks. Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can increase bleeding risks and complicate your healing. Make sure you tell your oral & maxillofacial surgeon about all medications you take on a regular basis, including dietary supplements.
The Facial Liposuction Procedure
Facial liposuction is an outpatient cosmetic surgery procedure which may take an hour or more. It is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. The surgeon marks the required area and then marks small (less than 1/2 inch), discreet incisions in the face or neck. From there they may employ one of several different techniques to remove the fat cells.
Tumescent liposuction (fluid injection) is the most common type of liposuction. It involves injecting medicated solution, which may be up to three times the amount of fat to be removed, into the areas before the fat is removed. The fluid is a mixture of local anesthetic (lidocaine), a drug that contracts the blood vessels (epinephrine), and an intravenous (IV) salt solution. Lidocaine helps numb the area during and after surgery. Epinephrine in the solution helps reduce loss of blood, bruising, and swelling. The IV solution helps remove the fat more easily. It is suctioned out along with the fat. This type of liposuction generally takes longer than other types.
Super-wet technique is a variant of tumescent liposuction. Not as much fluid is used during the surgery and the amount injected is equal to the amount of fat to be removed. This technique takes less time but it often requires sedation or general anesthesia.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) uses ultrasonic vibrations to break down fat cells into liquid which can be easily vacuumed out. UAL can be done in two ways, external (above the surface of the skin with a special emitter) or internal (below the surface of the skin with a small, heated cannula). This technique may help remove fat from hard to remove areas of the body. UAL is often used together with the tumescent technique or for greater precision. In general, this procedure takes longer than the super-wet technique.
Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) liquefies fat cells. After the cells are liquefied, they can be vacuumed out or allowed to drain out through small tubes. Because the tube (cannula) used during LAL is smaller than the ones used in traditional liposuction, surgeons prefer using LAL for confined areas. These areas include the chin, jowls, and face. A possible advantage of LAL over other liposuction methods is that energy from the laser stimulates collagen production. This may help prevent skin sag after liposuction. Collagen is the fiber-like protein that helps maintain skin structure.
The results of liposuction are permanent. If you were to gain a large amount of weight, you might note rippling in the treated areas, depending on your skin elasticity. Following liposuction, the scar will go through a maturation process. During the first eight to twelve weeks, they may be red and possibly raised. The scars will mature over six to twelve months and become pale, flat, and soft. You may experience numbness, burning, and/or tingling around the incision site. These symptoms are almost always temporary. Please let us know if you are prone to keloid scars.
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