Liposuction is used to “sculpt” and improve the appearance of certain body areas containing excess fat deposits—the flank area being a common location.
The versatile liposuction procedure is very popular and thousands of successful procedures are performed each year in Bergen County. Liposuction of the flanks, in particular, can result in a relatively dramatic change in the figure or physique.
It’s an area of the body where small changes can make a big difference. Patients typically find liposuction of the flanks to be very satisfying.
What’s a Flank? Where is it Located on the Body?
This area is referred to in various ways including the flanks, “love handles” or “spare tires”, which basically describes an area below the ribcage, extending down past the waist and to the hips at your sides.
These areas of fat accumulation often don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods like diet and exercise. When you consult your plastic surgeon, don’t be too concerned with the terms. You will be showing the surgeon exactly which areas of the body you would like to change and specifically discussing the type of outcome you desire.
Essentially, liposuction can make the flanks and other isolated, “bulging” areas of the body much smaller and smoother—in line with the rest of the body. After anesthesia has taken effect, small incisions are made to insert a cannula.
This thin, long and rigid tube, as thin as 1 to 3 millimeters in diameter, is used to suction out and permanently remove fat cells. Meticulous care is taken to improve the shape and decrease the size of the flank area on both sides of the body.
Gradual removal of fat creates a smooth line and appealing body shape to fulfill the patient’s goals. The remaining tissue in the area is contoured and blended into the surrounding regions.
After sufficient fat is removed, your Northern NJ plastic surgeon will blend in the now-smaller flank area seamlessly with the adjacent areas of the body, such as the back, hip, and sides for a natural look.
The basic liposuction technique also referred to as suction lipectomy, lipoplasty, and liposculpture has become refined over the years, offering more precise and predictable results along with faster recovery.
At Cohen/Winters, we use a variety of liposuction techniques and surgical tools, depending upon the needs of the patient and the area being treated. These may include tumescent liposuction and other techniques.
Who is a Candidate for Liposuction of the Flanks?
The best candidates for liposuction are healthy individuals with firm, elastic skin and isolated bulges or pockets of excess fatty tissue in specific areas–such as the flanks. Realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you are also important.
Your Bergen County plastic surgeons should tell you that liposuction of the flanks can enhance your appearance and help to increase your self-confidence, but it won’t make your body “perfect” or make others treat you differently.
Liposuction complications may occur in patients with a medical condition like heart or lung disease, poor circulation, diabetes or anyone who has recently had surgery near the flank area. Liposuction permanently removes excess fat cells from the flanks, but future weight gain can cause fat to accumulate elsewhere by enlarging existing fat cells.
Risks are similar to those associated with any liposuction surgery elsewhere on the body. You can reduce risks by following your surgeon’s instructions when preparing for and recovering from surgery, especially those concerning how long to wear your compression garment and when you may resume physical activity:
- Post-operative complications include blood clots that can occur, however rarely. Risk of blood clots should be minimized by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible and permitted by your surgeon.
- Often there is a temporary loss of sensation, which may last up to a year after surgery.
- Infection is not common, but it can be treated with antibiotic medication and drainage. Patients should watch for signs, which include a high fever.
- Poor healing can cause scars, which could require an additional operation.
- Any unusual symptoms should be reported immediately, rather than waiting for the next follow-up appointment. This can help reduce stress, which can slow the healing process and catch any problems early when they can be most easily treated. Your Northern NJ plastic surgeon can be reached at any time.
- Note: Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay healing.
Choosing a Surgeon for Liposuction of the Flanks
The outcome of flanks liposuction is very technique-dependent and experience-dependent. Changes to the size and shape of the flanks, through liposuction, can make a dramatic difference in your overall figure or physique.
Seek out the most skilled, experienced, technically proficient and attentive surgeon that you can get. Some of the best are right here in Bergen County, NJ. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you make your choice:
- Choose a plastic surgeon who asks about your goals for the surgery. Don’t choose a surgeon who rushes through your consultation or who doesn’t appear to be listening, asking questions and paying attention. The plastic surgeon should ask about your medical history, health problems (past or present) including previous surgery, any prescription medications and any nutritional supplements you currently take or have taken in the past.
- Choose a Northern NJ surgeon with an aesthetic sensibility that matches your own. Discussion with the surgeon and looking at examples of past patient photos (before and after) can help you to get an idea of past surgeries.
- Choose the surgeon with whom you feel most comfortable with and who has won your trust. Up-front or extremely low pricing can be bad signs because the surgeon must understand your goals for the procedure before realistically talking about costs.
- Ask how many liposuction surgeries your surgeon does in a year—and also specifically how many flank-area procedures. If your surgeon is less experienced, he or she may be more likely to perform the procedure the same way on everyone. An experienced surgeon, who has done many liposuction surgeries, will have a bigger toolbox of skills and different methods to bring to your case.
Is Liposuction the Answer for You?
If you, like many individuals here in the Northern New Jersey area, feel distressed or self-conscious about excess fat tissue that has accumulated on your flanks or other body areas, make an appointment for a consultation at Cohen/Winters.
Dr. Cohen or Dr. Winters can help you clarify your goals for a liposuction procedure and answer your questions. While the liposuction of the flanks is not recommended for everyone, thousands of people in the Bergen County have been freed of stubborn fat that hasn’t responded to a healthy diet and exercise program.
Patients typically emerge with a body shape that makes them look and feel more fit, some even say they look or stand taller, and appear more youthful, more confident and proud of their bodies. Don’t allow isolated pockets of fat on your flanks prevent you from wearing clothes you’d like to wear or erode your self-confidence. A consultation at Cohen/Winters can help determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction.