Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to extract excess fat from specific areas of the body in order to provide a slimmer, more pleasing shape. Commonly treated areas of the body include the chin, cheeks neck, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves and ankles. Liposuction is most effective on physically healthy men and women who are of normal body weight but have exercise-resistant areas of fat.

Liposuction may be performed with a variety of anesthesia, including an epidural, local anesthesia or general anesthesia. During a traditional liposuction procedure, small incisions are made in the skin and then a narrow tube known as a cannula is inserted through the incisions and manipulated to disrupt the fat cells before suctioning them out. The incisions are then closed. Traditional liposuction typically takes one to two hours to perform.

There are several newer techniques in liposuction, including the tumescent technique and ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL). With the tumescent technique, the fat cells are first infused with a saline solution containing a local anesthetic before being suctioned out with traditional liposuction techniques. With UAL, an ultrasound probe is inserted beneath the skin to liquefy the fat before it is suctioned out. Both the tumescent technique and UAL are associated with decreased post-operative bruising and swelling, though surgical times tend to be longer.

After liposuction, bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness and a burning sensation may occur. It can take anywhere from one to six months before patients fully recover from the swelling and bruising. Patients are typically able to return to work within one to two weeks, though more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for two to four weeks.

The potential complications that may occur with liposuction include adverse anesthesia reaction, asymmetry, bagginess or rippling of the skin, excessive fluid loss, fluid retention, infection, pigmentation changes, and skin injury. There is the additional risk of thermal burn injury with UAL. The results of liposuction can be long-lasting with a sensible diet and exercise.

Radiesse is an injectable filler made from synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite that may be used to improve the appearance of facial lines and to enhance the lips. Radiesse is commonly used to treat deeper wrinkles including nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Good candidates for Radiesse treatment include men and women who are physically healthy, realistic in their expectations and looking to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles or add fullness to the lips.

Radiesse injections are typically performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility and may take anywhere from fifteen minutes to forty minutes to complete. A local or topical anesthetic may be applied to the treatment area and then the Radiesse is injected beneath the skin using a very fine needle.

Patients may experience some mild swelling, redness or discomfort for the first few days after treatment. Nevertheless, recovery is minimal and patients are typically able to return to work and other activities right away. Radiesse produces an initial plumping of the skin during the first three months after treatment along with additional correction for up to twelve to eighteen months afterward as new tissue regenerates.

There are few risks associated with Radiesse, though side effect of swelling, redness, pain, itching, discoloration or tenderness may occur. When used in the lips, there is a small risk of lumpiness. While the duration of results will vary, patients can generally expect Radiesse results to last twelve to eighteen months or longer.