Physicians have offered body contouring surgery in one form or another for hundreds of years. The earliest liposuction procedures were performed with rudimentary surgical instruments, required large incisions and often lead to serious complications.
As liposuction techniques have evolved and incorporated more sophisticated technology, the results have become more refined and the safety has improved. The development of the tumescent technique in the late ’80s by dermatologist Jeffrey Kline was a significant contribution, upping the elements of safety and patient comfort.
The introduction of ultrasonic and laser energy also advanced liposuction techniques, making it possible to remove larger areas of unwanted fat easily and skillfully.
Why Choose Dr. Berkowitz
Technology is important, but the most essential factor in obtaining a satisfactory liposuction result is the skill of the surgeon performing the procedure.
Certain plastic surgeons have a particular affinity for body sculpting, as evidenced by their masterful results. Dr. Berkowitz is one such surgeon. In addition to expert training and extensive experience, he also has an eye for artistry and a passion for beautiful, balanced work. His detail-oriented approach enables him to continually deliver exceptional liposuction results.
The Ideal Liposuction Candidate
The ideal liposuction candidate has deposits of excess fat on the abdomen, legs, back, arms or face/neck that are unresponsive to diet or exercise efforts. The best candidates are in good physical shape and within 20 pounds of their ideal weight. Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity, and overweight individuals are not suitable candidates.
Another consideration is skin elasticity; it’s important that liposuction candidates have good skin elasticity, so the skin will tightly hug the body’s improved curves and contours. Liposuction will not tighten loose skin.
There is a psychological component to liposuction candidacy as well. The best candidates have a positive outlook about surgery, and realistic expectations of the outcome. They also understand the potential risks and complications of the procedure.
Liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis, and patients are released to recover at home after surgery. Anesthesia is used for complete patient comfort. Prior to starting surgery, Dr. Berkowitz will map out the problem areas of the body (and/or face) to guide him during the procedure.
Dr. Berkowitz uses a variation of ultrasound-assisted liposuction called Vaser. The Vaser internal ultrasound device makes fat removal more efficient and less traumatic on the body. With the Vaser system, Dr. Berkowitz is able to selectively remove fat while leaving other important tissues intact. This is beneficial in terms of precise results and rapid healing. Some surgeons believe the ultrasonic energy helps stimulate skin tightening in the treated area, too.
During Vaser treatment, a special cannula emits ultrasound waves, or small vibrations, which loosen the fat cells from the other tissues and melt them. The fat is then gently removed from the body through a small, thin tube. Dr. Berkowitz is meticulous in his technique and, as he works, he continually checks to make sure the body’s contours are balanced and symmetrical.
After Dr. Berkowitz has finished the procedure, he will place a support garment around the treated area to help control post-operative swelling and encourage the skin to contract.
Recovering from Liposuction
Since Vaser is less traumatic on the body’s tissues, the recovery is generally shorter than with traditional forms of liposuction. Dr. Berkowitz is very involved with his patients’ aftercare; he will follow up with his patients for several weeks after surgery, and then every few months after that.
During the initial recovery, liposuction patients need to rest and avoid strenuous activities (including bending and lifting). Bruising and swelling are common and will subside quickly. Post-operative discomfort can be controlled with prescription pain medication. The support garment should remain in place until Dr. Berkowitz removes it during a follow-up appointment.
Dr. Berkowitz will advise when it is safe to return to work, exercise and other normal activities. Most liposuction patients take one to two weeks off from work, and resume exercising within four to six weeks.
Schedule a Liposuction Consultation
If you’re interested in learning more about liposuction, or other fat reduction treatments available with Dr. Berkowitz, such as CoolSculpting, please call (408) 559-7177 to schedule a consultation.