Liposuction & Body Contouring

Liposuction – Columbus, Ohio – Dr. Bivik Shah

You’ve been exercising for so long and you still have those certain areas of fat that won’t disappear. There has to be an easier way! Liposuction at the Columbus, Ohio office of Dr. Bivik Shah might just be the answer for the right candidate. And, it's easy – or at least it's easier than working out for all those years!

So, what is liposuction all about? How safe is it? How bad is the pain? How long will it take? We will attempt to answer some of the more general questions here. Specific questions and diagnoses should be obtained only from a personal consultation with Dr. Shah.

  • Is Lipodissolve (getting rid of fat with injections) safe and approved by the FDA?

  • Do I have to have general anesthesia to have liposuction?

  • What is Liposuction?

  • What is SmartLipo™?

  • What is Lipodissolve?

  • Selecting a Liposuction Plastic Surgeon

  • The Liposuction Procedure

  • If I have liposuction, I am worried the fat will just come back in other areas.?

  • Liposuction Recovery

  • Liposuction Risks

  • Do I need a tummy-tuck or liposuction?

  • Do I need both liposuction AND a tummy-tuck?

  • Will I have a scar down the middle of my belly?

  • Which type of liposuction is best for me?

  • Is your doctor a real plastic surgeon?

Is Lipodissolve (getting rid of fat with injections) safe and approved by the FDA?

Their statement is “It is important for anyone who is considering this voluntary procedure to understand that the products used to perform lipodissolve procedures are not approved by FDA for fat removal.” (click here to read the full report). The reality is, we just don’t know if Lipodissolve or Mesotherapy or getting rid of fat with injection is safe. In fact, recently FDA released a statement that the claims made by places that do lipodisolve to get rid of fat deposits were not true. Also, they want the public to know that the chemicals used for injection are not approved by the FDA.

Do I have to have general anesthesia to have liposuction?

Absolutely not! Most of Dr. Shah's plastic surgery patients have liposuction with only iv sedation or twilight anesthesia. This means that you will be awake during the liposuction but you will be very comfortable. Best of all, the medications that will be given during the liposuction by our board certified anesthesiologist, will make it so that you do not remember anything the next day. If you feel that you would rather be completely out, Dr. Shah's surgery suite at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery can do that also.

What is Liposuction?

Simply put, liposuction is an outpatient operation that removes pockets of fat. It works by suctioning out fat, like a vacuum cleaner takes dirt out of a carpet.

Now let's get started learning about liposuction:

The fat that is removed during liposuction will never come back. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it is. Fat is distributed in different parts of the body–everyone is different. Therefore, if there are only small numbers of fat cells left in a certain area, the brain will automatically send the fat somewhere else. Of course, that is not true if you gain a lot of weight (50 or more pounds).

Liposuction is not meant for losing weight. It is not safe to remove large amounts of fat during the liposuction procedure. However, it is perfect for contouring parts of the body and for removing a particular area of fat that just won’t go away.

What is SmartLipo™?

There are many ways to perform liposuction and all of them remove fat with suction. SmartLipo™ claims to dissolve the fat with a laser. This makes the job easier for the surgeon. The other claim is that the laser heats up the dermis (lower layers of the skin) so it has the effect of tightening the skin. Other types of liposuction include: ultrasound assisted liposuction (Vasser Liposelection) and power-assisted liposuction. The Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery now offers SmartLipo™ to their patients.

What is Lipodissolve?

Lipodissolve uses a chemical to dissolve fat. Like all things that sound too good to be true, this is one of them, it really is "too" good to be true.

Here are the problems with lipodissolve: First, the chemical used in lipodissolve is not FDA approved because they have not evaluated the safety of it. This is the biggest reason Dr. Shah has chosen to not offer it to their patients.

Second, to perform lipodissolve, you need to have many injections which can be very uncomfortable. Because lipodissolve only works on about a dime to quarter size area, so to do a thigh for example, you may need to have hundreds of injections. Finally, there is a good chance that lipodissolve may not work. So you will have spent a lot of money for no benefit. That is why Dr. Shah does not recommend lipodissolve.

Selecting a Liposuction Plastic Surgeon

This is probably your most important decision. The plastic surgeon should be board certified in plastic surgery (many surgeons are board certified, but not in plastic surgery). Also, the surgeon should be trained in plastic surgery and belong to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Bivik Shah belongs to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and is one of the few surgeons who performs liposuction in his Columbus, Ohio office instead of off-site, which is a lot safer because there are no risks of general anesthesia (being put to sleep) and there is less chance of blood clots.

The Liposuction Procedure

After all of the arrangements have been made, you will arrive for your liposuction procedure at our Ohio office in the morning. You will change your clothes and talk to the nurse and your surgeon. You will then go back to the operating room.

The liposuction procedure involves making tiny incisions (about the size of a pencil eraser) in about two or three positions for each area where the liposuction will be performed. Then, a fluid that is mixed with numbing medication and medications that reduce bleeding are placed into the area through the small incisions. Usually, as much fluid is put in as fat you plan to take out, so if you plan to take out two pounds of fat, you would put in two pounds of fluid. This is called the “tumescent” liposuction technique. This numbs everything so that you can have the surgery while you are wide-awake. Dr. Shah then will wait about five to 10 minutes for the fluid to work. After that, if you are awake, you will be completely numb and, if you are asleep, you will not feel anything. Next, using liposuction cannulas, the fat is removed. This is done very carefully to ensure that the fat is removed evenly and the body is contoured for the best shape.

When the liposuction procedure is complete, you will see small pieces of tape where the tiny incisions were made. You will be dressed with gauze over the incisions and a compression garment over the entire area.

If I have liposuction, I am worried the fat will just come back in other areas.?

Dr. Bivik Shah and everyone at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery, understand how important it is to maintain the results you get with your plastic surgery. With liposuction by Dr. Shah in Columbus, Ohio, patients often worry that the fat will come back in other areas. Maintaining your investment in liposuction or plastic surgery is just as important as having a good result. To maintain your result, the key is to live a healthy lifestyle. This means eating well, exercising regularly (after checking with your physician), and maintaining your weight. If you maintain your weight, the fat will not come back in different areas. Also, you would have to gain a significant amount of weight for the fat to come back to the same area (over 50 pounds).

Liposuction Recovery

woman's bodyAs you wake up from surgery, you may feel only a mild amount of pain or no pain at all. Regardless, you should take oral pain medication as soon as you can, so that the medication can “anticipate” the pain and act ahead of time.

It is very important to take into consideration the amount of pain you will experience; this depends on how much fat is removed and in how many areas. For example, if you have one pound of fat removed from one area only, then you will probably have a very mild amount of pain. Of course, if you have more areas worked on or a larger amount of fat removed, you will feel more pain. Soreness will continue for about two weeks. There are several other after-effects to keep in mind:

  • Bruising is usually an issue if several areas are involved; expect bruising for seven to 10 days.

  • For a day or two after surgery, expect lots of seepage from the incision points. This will be blood tinged like the color of the fluid coming out of a ketchup bottle before the ketchup comes out. You are not bleeding and this is normal. Be sure to keep gauze over these areas as instructed.

  • A good amount of swelling is completely normal and part of the healing process. You will need to wear a compression garment for about six weeks, during which the swelling will recede.

  • After liposuction, Ohio patients can return back to work in just a few days, but this again depends on the amount of fat removed and the number of areas that are worked on.

Once the healing process is complete, you can look in the mirror and see the figure you have always wanted to see!

Liposuction Risks

woman's backJust like any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with liposuction. These generally include the usual dangers of bleeding, infection, and undergoing anesthesia. In very rare cases, an infection may become severe enough to warrant a return trip to the hospital.

The most common complication to occur after liposuction is a small area that is firm or uneven. This will usually go away on its own or by massaging the area for about two months. If it doesn’t go away, you may need the firm or uneven area to be removed with liposuction. The good news is that it can be easily fixed.

You may have read sensationalist news stories about deaths resulting from liposuction. We want to stress the rarity of this occurring (about 1 in 5000 surgeries). The majority of these tragedies occurred because an under-trained doctor failed to follow the safest procedures, or attempted to remove too much fat at one time. Dr. Bivik Shah understands the limitations of this procedure and are careful not to over-tax the healing capabilities of the human body.

Liposuction is a very safe procedure and, when performed by properly trained individuals, it is an excellent way to look the way you desire. We know it's a lot of information but, remember, it is an important decision that will probably be with you for the rest of your life. The above points are only rough guidelines and may or may not apply to you. A personal consultation with Dr. Shah about liposuction at his Ohio office in Columbus is the best way to get the information that is exactly right for you. We hope this information has been helpful in answering your questions. If you do have further questions about liposuction, contact the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery today.

Do I need a tummy-tuck or liposuction?

Like you, many of Dr. Bivik Shah's patients have a belly that they are just not confident about.  This can be because of a lack of shape to the tummy, a little extra fullness, some loose skin, or stretch marks.  Dr. Shah will use his experience and knowledge to examine your belly and help you choose the best option for you.  If your goals are to have some fat removed with a thinner or “smaller” belly, then usually liposuction is a better option for you.  If you have stretch marks, loose skin, or a “little pouch” in the lower half of your belly, then a tummy-tuck would be a better option.  In general, liposuction will do a wonderful job at removing fat, however, it will not tighten the skin, tighten the muscles, or shape the belly into an hour glass.  A Tummy-tuck will remove all of the skin, the stretch marks, and the fat under the skin from the belly button to your groin hairline.

Do I need both liposuction AND a tummy-tuck?

You may want the benefits of both liposuction (smaller belly, less fat, and better definition of your shape) and a tummy-tuck (removal of stretch marks, a much tighter, flatter belly, and your muscles brought back together).  To achieve this, you can have both.

Will I have a scar down the middle of my belly?

Not everyone needs the cut in the middle.  It is only for people with a tremendous amount of loose skin.  When you lose a significant amount of weight, you will have excess skin from side to side and top to bottom.  The standard tummy-tuck incision will remove the extra skin from top to bottom.  Some people will also have extra skin from side to side and then the only way to remove that is to have an incision going up and down.  This is completely up to you whether or not you want that incision.  Usually, the people that have had lap band surgery, laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, or have lost weight on their own, do not want the up and down incision, which is perfectly good.

Which type of liposuction is best for me?

There are many types of liposuction available today in Ohio. New methods of liposuction are being developed everyday, and Dr. Shah is always learning and staying at the forefront of plastic surgery in Ohio.

The current methods of liposuction include Smartlipo™ liposuction, Ultrasonic liposuction, Suction-Assisted liposuction, and Power-Assisted liposuction. All of these methods have many things that are similar - all of these can be performed with only light sedation, they all use tumescent fluid, and the incisions used are very small - less than the size of a pencil eraser.

The main difference is how the fat is "melted": Smartlipo™ liposuction uses a laser, Ultrasonic Liposuction uses ultrasonic waves, Suction-Assisted Liposuction uses suction, and Power Assisted Liposuction uses mechanical power. They all work equally. Be careful about marketing for Smartlipo™ that claims that it is better, because it is not - it is exactly the same as the other methods. Please read The Wall Street Journal article here.

So the best method for you depends on your needs. Dr. Shah will be happy to discuss all of these with you and find the best method for you - just call now for a consultation.

Is your doctor a real plastic surgeon?

When deciding the have any cosmetic surgery, the most important step is which doctor to choose. There are many choices for cosmetic surgeons in Ohio. Even within Columbus, Cincinnati, or Dayton, there are many choices and this is too important with significant risks to end up at the wrong place. So how do you find the right cosmetic surgeon? The first step is to go to a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery like Dr. Shah in Columbus, Ohio. When you are researching surgeons or doctors for cosmetic surgery, it is important to look at two things - if they are board certified IN plastic surgery and what they were trained in. There are many places to get board certification, but only the American Board of Plastic Surgery certifies plastic surgeons. So it is very critical to ask WHAT they are board certified in. Dr. Bivik Shah in Columbus, Ohio is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Some of the boards that have many other types of doctors but NOT plastic surgeons are:

  • Board of Facial Plastic Surgery - mainly ear, nose, and throat (or ENT) doctors

  • Board of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons (mix of family doctors, gynecologist, and other specialties)

The next thing that is very important to know is what type of training the cosmetic surgeon has. If they were trained in things like emergency medicine, family practice, or ear, nose, and throat - they are NOT plastic surgeons

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