Mini liposuction is used to treat patients who are already near their ideal weight but want to target one or two areas of the body which are disproportionally retaining fat. The procedure is similar to regular liposuction in regards to the incisions being made and fat taken out. However, it is a much shorter version that can be performed in under an hour while only using local anesthetic. Mini liposuction uses a much thinner cannula, or metal tube with holes, for fat removal since it is targeting a smaller area. With minimal liposuction, patients can expect less bruising and a shorter recovery time.
A GOOD CANDIDATE for mini liposuction includes:
The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for mini liposuction:
Mini liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. The area will be marked for surgery and a tumescent fluid will be injected into the treatment area. The fluid is a combination of lidocaine, epinephrine and saline. The lidocaine will numb the treatment area so the patient will not feel any discomfort. The epinephrine constricts the blood vessels to minimize bleeding and bruising while the saline swells the tissue to make fat removal easier. The surgeon will make small pinpoint incisions through the skin for the insertion of the cannula. The surgeon will move the cannula back and forth to break up the fat cells which will be suctioned through the holes in the cannula. Since the patient is awake, they are able to roll over or reposition their body to allow the doctor to sculpt the area as it would look if the patient were standing, sitting or flexing. The incisions are typically so small that sutures are not needed. However, surgical tape, skin adhesives or bandages will be applied to the wound.
An alternative treatment is laser lipo. This type of liposuction uses a low-energy laser fiber to melt the fat for easier removal. The heat from the laser also causes the tissue to contract and promotes collagen production for smoother, tighter skin. Laser lipo is also performed under local anesthesia but there is the potential for a burn due to the laser energy.
Mini liposuction costs approximately $3000-$6000 since it does not require general anesthesia or a hospital stay. The cost may fluctuate according to the surgeon’s skills, facility fees and the geographic location of the treatment. The price listed above is for one area so patients who are looking to treat multiple regions of the body will pay a higher cost.
Since the procedure is done under local anesthesia, the RECOVERY time is much faster. Patients are able to get up and walk soon after the procedure but are advised to have a friend or family member drive them home since they may be sore following the treatment. The treated area may remain numb for the rest of the day which can help minimize post-procedural discomfort. Patients can expect some discomfort, swelling and slight bruising during the first few days. A compression garment will be placed around the treatment area to help the skin contract and to minimize swelling. This garment should be worn 24 hours a day for about 10 to 14 days.
While some patients take 2 or 3 days off for DOWNTIME, other patients resume work and light exercise as soon as the next day. There are no restrictions on exercise or activities as long as the patient can comfortably perform them.
The results of mini liposuction are immediate. Patients can see a reduction in fat and a better contour of the treated area. Some of the results can be masked by swelling which will resolve on its own in about a month. The final results from mini liposuction can take between 3 and 6 months since it takes time for the skin to contract and any damaged fat, which was not suctioned out, to be naturally eliminated from the body. It can take a full year for the incision line to settle and fade. Nevertheless, the scar is so small that it becomes virtually invisible. The effects of mini liposuction are permanent since the fat that is suctioned out can never come back. However, neighboring fat cells can become larger if regular diet and exercise is not upheld. Therefore, the patient should adopt a healthy diet and exercise routine to maintain the results.
The limitations of mini liposuction include:
The risks involved with mini liposuction include:
With mini liposuction, the risks are greatly reduced due to the fact that the patient is kept awake during the procedure, minimal lidocaine is used, the target area is small and the incisions are also small.
Mini liposuction can remove small pockets of fat and provide better proportion to patients who are very thin or need little fat removed. Patients should be near their ideal weight and only want to remove up to 2.5 pound of fat in smaller regions of the body. However, mini liposuction can also be performed on larger areas, such as the abdomen or thighs, as long as there is only a little fat that needs to be removed. Prior to mini liposuction, the patient may not have been able to adequately tone the region without losing weight in other portions of the body. After mini liposuction, the body is balanced and patients can begin to gain and lose weight in a proportional manner.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- SP/MA
Based on an exclusive interview with David Amron, MD in Beverly Hills, CA