Liposuction Treatment in St. Louis

Many of us have areas of the body which do not have the ideal contour we would like to see when we look in the mirror, and often, we find that weight loss alone cannot gain the response from those areas that we would like. If there is excess fat in any area of the body, liposuction may well be the answer especially for areas that have been resistant to weight loss and exercise. It involves suctioning out areas of fat excess, usually with the patient under a general anesthesia.

Liposuction has been around since the 1980’s, and has stood the test of time, and the advent of other treatments (“lipodissolve”) and technologies which have not persisted.

There are three main technologies being used to achieve this goal, each with their own advantages:

  1. The first liposuction approach was S.A.L. (“suction-assisted lipectomy”), which involved making a small incision in an inconspicuous area, such as a skin fold or crease, and inserting a hollow tube (“cannula”) which was connected to a suction machine, and then, with multiple “strokes” through the tissue, the fat was avulsed by the suction. This was effective, but associated with a fair amount of blood loss, until the addition of the infusion of a “tumescent” solution, containing epinephrine to limit bleeding from the blood vessels supplying the fat.
  2. Next, adaptation of an ultrasonic energy pulse at the tip of the cannula (ultrasonic liposuction, or U.A.L.) was found to dissolve the fat, making the liposuction a bit less traumatic to the tissues, and making removal of the liquefied fat a bit easier, but also it was noted that some skin contracture occurred with the U.A. L. technique, due to the heat coming into the tissues from the tip of the ultrasound cannula, which was found to cause dermal collagen contraction thus adding in the component of a “shrink-wrapping” effect with this technique, which was a definite improvement, especially where the bulging of the excess fat area entailed some skin excess which often did not contract down without a “rippling” contour with use of just the original S.A.L approach.
  3. Finally, the P.A.L. (Power-assisted lipectomy) technique came on the scene, which helped with the rapidity of the fat removal, and reduced “wear and tear” on the surgeon in doing the multiple “strokes” through the tissues required with the other techniques; both this latter approach and the U.A.L technique also utilize the preparation of the targeted tissues with a “tumescent” infusion of saline solution, containing the epinephrine, which is left in place for about 15 minutes before performing the liposuction, to minimize bleeding from the fat removal techniques.

Results of Liposuction in St. Louis

In order to get the best result for his patients, Dr. Scheu almost always uses the U.A.L technique, to get the benefit of the “shrink wrapping” effect, as skin irregularity over areas treated with liposuction is a common challenge; also, the U.A.L equipment now has a “pulsed” option, to reduce the amount of heat transferred to the tissue, to minimize the possibility of damage, while still capturing the benefit of the heat output to obtain dermal collagen and thus, skin contraction. And, with this modification, virtually all areas of the body can be safely addressed with liposuction, including fat deposits in the neck, extremities, buttocks and trunk, with these procedures almost always done under general anesthesia for patient comfort and safety, and, unless a large amount of fat is removed, they are done on an out-patient basis (with the treated areas always enclosed in a compression garment [a tight girdle, for example, for liposuction of the lower abdomen, buttock and thighs], to keep blood and fluid from accumulating in the space vacated by the fat, which could lead to a “lumpy” or uneven result, and this garment is generally necessary for several weeks after the surgery).

Have additional questions about Liposuction? Contact us today.