Liposuction

Charlotte Liposuction Surgeon – Dr. Graper

Dr. Graper is recognized as a leading Charlotte liposuction provider who is able to create beautiful body contours by combining advanced surgical techniques with his years of experience and fine-tuned aesthetic judgment. By using the liposuction procedure, Dr. Graper is able to remove unwanted fat deposits and reshape his patients’ thighs, buttocks, hips and the abdomen. He also specializes in the enhancement of the upper body, including the arms and neck. If you would like to learn more about liposuction in Charlotte and the results this treatment helps achieve, please explore the paragraphs below.

Who Is a Candidate for Liposuction?

Realistic expectations are critical in cosmetic surgery. We tell all our patients that this is not Hollywood, where the star emerges after cosmetic surgery with a perfect body, looking 15 years younger in a stunning new outfit, and 20 more points on their IQ. Cosmetic surgery results take time to develop and they will not be perfect. We feel very confident, however, in being able to safely produce reliable, predictable improvements that our patients are very pleased with.

The Liposuction Procedure

liposuc_photo_1Traditional liposuction was first introduced in 1978 by French plastic surgeon, Dr. Jacques Ileuz. His original technique has evolved into the modern liposuction procedure we use today. The ideal patient for liposuction is someone within 10 to 15 pounds of their ideal body weight, with isolated areas of body fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. They should have good skin tone that can contract into the now smaller volume of fat and should have realistic expectations. If patients have none of the other qualifications, but have realistic expectations, they can still greatly benefit from liposuction.

The reason liposuction is so popular is that it is safe and effectively removes fat from where it is not wanted and leaves fat alone where it is wanted. For instance, to get the same results of removing two pounds of fat from the abdomen using liposuction, one might have to lose twenty to thirty pounds from the entire body. Many people cannot lose twenty pounds, and if they did they might lose it from areas where they want to keep it such as their breasts or face. Liposuction allows us to selectively remove fat from exactly where we want it removed.

The current technique involves making 1 centimeter incisions in the creases around the periphery of the area to be suctioned. Even though the procedure is done under IV anesthesia, the area is infiltrated with high volumes of local anesthesia to provide both intense vasoconstriction and long-term postoperative anesthesia. The fat is then simply vacuumed out with specially designed cannulas. The process can be thought of as a type of body whittling or sculpting; hence, the name lipo-sculpture. We use a new technique called Tickle Liposuction. Traditional liposuction makes one pass of the cannula through the fat whereas Tickle Liposuction vibrates in three dimensions ten times per second so the same pass through the fat is able to remove more fat in a precise way. It is similar to using a steak knife to cut steak. You can cut steak with a butter knife but a steak knife is better. Tickle liposuction is a steak knife for fat. The patients are placed in compressive garments postoperatively, and because of the local anesthetic, are discharged home in virtually no pain.

After Liposuction

liposuc_photo_2Patients are seen within 5 to 7 days to check their progress and remove stitches. Most of our Charlotte liposuction patients have surprisingly little bruising and may have such minimal discomfort that they are able to return to work within 2 to 3 days. In general, the more extensive the liposuction the longer the recovery time. The compressive garment is worn continuously for 3 weeks to limit swelling and ensure proper skin contraction. Patients are allowed to shower without the garment, beginning the second day postoperatively. Though improvements in body contour are noted immediately, the final results will take 2 to 3 months to be complete. Regular exercise may be resumed at 3 weeks.

Possible Liposuction Complications

Complications after liposuction are infrequent but include infection, bleeding, over-correction, under-correction, asymmetries, and skin irregularities. We try to remove just the right amount of fat to produce the desired improvement, but if we err, we always try to err on the conservative side. We can always take a little more fat in a minor touch-up procedure, but it is more difficult to put fat back into areas that have been over-resected.

Our non-surgical fat removal approach is with CoolSculpting where the fat is frozen here in the office with no need for anesthesia and no incisions. You can expect as much as 22% fat reduction after one treatment and 40% after two treatments. After the procedure is done there is no down time and minimal if any pain. As with liposuction the results are visible in about 3 months. The CoolSculpting does not remove as much fat at one time as liposuction but is about 1/3 the cost so it can be done more than once. This is revolutionary in the fat removal world and may become the standard of care in the future.

Realistic expectations are critical in cosmetic surgery. We tell all our patients that this is not Hollywood, where the star emerges after cosmetic surgery with a perfect body, looking 15 years younger in a stunning new outfit, and 20 more points on their IQ. Cosmetic surgery results take time to develop and they will not be perfect. We feel very confident, however, in being able to safely produce reliable, predictable improvements that our patients are very pleased with.

Ultrasonic-Assisted Liposuction/Smart Lipo/CoolSculpting in Charlotte

liposuc_photo_3Both of these techniques are a new modification of our current liposuction procedure. Under the same IV anesthesia, through slightly larger incisions, an ultrasonic transducer/laser transducer is introduced into the body to emulsify the fat before it is suctioned out. Proponents of these techniques claim that ultrasonic-assisted/laser liposuction works well in areas of fibrous fat, such as the upper abdomen and flanks, where traditional liposuction may be less effective.

While ultrasonic-assisted liposuction is an exciting new process, it must be compared to the gold standard of traditional liposuction. Adding ultrasound to the procedure requires enlarged excisions, longer operative time and increased cost due to the tremendously increased cost of the ultrasound equipment. Add in the opportunity for full thickness burns to the skin if the ultrasonic transducer is not used properly, and one can see why cosmetic surgeons are not universally replacing traditional liposuction, with its remarkable safety and efficacy, for ultrasonic-assisted liposuction. As improvements are made to the ultrasonic equipment and technique, this may become the future of the procedure, but for now, traditional liposuction remains the standard of care.

Liposuction has been done safely for 30 years with proven results and millions of patients. CoolSculpting is the newest fat removal technique and with over 1 million treatments performed. It is as safe as liposuction but produces more subtle results in a noninvasive fashion with no incisions, no anesthesia and no downtime. There is literally no reason not to use one of these procedures if you have extra areas of fat that you cannot remove through diet and exercise. Let us help you decide which option is best for you.

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Liposuction feature with Dr. Graper on The Wellness Hour

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Liposuction in Charlotte – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the procedure like?

Liposuction involves making 1 centimeter incisions in the creases around the periphery of the area to be suctioned. Even though the procedure is done under IV anesthesia, the area is infiltrated with high volumes of local anesthesia to provide both intense vasoconstriction and long-term postoperative anesthesia. The fat is then simply vacuumed out with specially designed surgical instruments called cannulas. The process can be thought of as a type of body whittling or sculpting; hence, the name lipo-sculpture. Patients are placed in compressive garments postoperatively, and because of the local anesthetic, are discharged home in virtually no pain.

Who are good candidates for liposuction?

Patients who are physically and emotionally healthy, have realistic expectations about the results of the surgery, and understand the risks and benefits of the procedure are ideal candidates for liposuction. The best candidate for liposuction is someone within 10 to 15 pounds of their ideal body weight, with isolated areas of body fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. They should have good skin tone that can contract into the now smaller volume of fat and should have realistic expectations. Even if patients have none of the other qualifications, but have realistic expectations, they can still greatly benefit from liposuction. Remember only ideal candidates get ideal results.

What is the typical recovery time?

Patients are seen within 5 to 7 days to check their progress and remove stitches. Most of our Charlotte liposuction patients have surprisingly little bruising and may have such minimal discomfort that they are able to return to work within 2 to 3 days. In general, the more extensive the liposuction the longer the recovery time. The compressive garment is worn continuously for 3 weeks to limit swelling and ensure proper skin contraction. Patients are allowed to shower without the garment, beginning the second day postoperatively. Though improvements in body contour are noted immediately, the final results will take 2 to 3 months to be complete. Regular exercise may be resumed at 3 weeks.

What are the risks associated with the procedure?

Complications after liposuction are infrequent but include infection, bleeding, over-correction, under-correction, asymmetries, and skin irregularities. We try to remove just the right amount of fat to produce the desired improvement, but we always try to err on the conservative side. We can always take a little more fat out in a minor touch-up procedure, but it is more difficult to put fat back into areas that have been over-resected.

How much does liposuction cost?

The cost of the procedure depends on many variables, so it is not possible to give a price without a personal consultation. Associated costs may include the price of the procedure, operating room costs and anesthesia fees. Please contact us for a personal consultation.