Liposuction is a body contouring procedure to remove excess fat from target body areas that exercise and diet alone are not sufficient. At his Missoula practice, Dr. Stephen Hardy employs safe liposuction techniques such as tumescent liposuction and laser assisted liposuction to give patients the best experience possible.
DR. STEPHEN HARDY: Liposuction is a procedure that has changed quite a bit over the past few years with the advent of the laser liposuction systems. I think that the laser has added a tremendous amount to how well the procedure works, and actually the ease of performing the procedure. The nice thing about doing the laser in addition to the standard liposuction is that it breaks the fatty tissue up. It helps melt the fatty tissue so that it's easier to extract, and again, it helps tighten the system.
Very often, these procedures can be performed under local anesthesia with just a little bit of sedation as well. We tend to work in just localized areas. I'm not a big fan of doing total body or large volume liposuction. I feel that's a little unsafe, and I try to stay away from it We really, really are concerned about safety, and there's no sense in taking big risks.
The body can handle short little blasts of surgery at a time, and you can recover very, very quickly. We can perform a liposuction on a woman's hips. She can be back to work in two days. Granted, she's going to be a little sore there, but she's moving around, doing things. If you do a large volume liposuction for somebody, they're laid up for quite a while. Then you start running significant risks of blood clots and other potential pulmonary problems.
They can see it on the table. I mean, when we pull the drapes down when we're done and they look, they'll be ecstatic to see, oh, my gosh, I can't believe that's all gone. Sometimes they'll even ask, let me see how much you took off. We'll show them the canister just filled with that yellow fat.
Some patients don't want to look at it at all, but some patients really want to and want to see what was taken off. And they're absolutely ecstatic, or they'll say, I can't believe you were able to get all of that off of me. But the reality of it is that they're very, very happy. It's a great procedure. I mean, it really works well.
Patients who have that atypical bulge or that one area that sort of stands out that really bothers them, I mean, you can address it and say, listen, we're not going to be able to get rid of everything, and we don't want to get rid of everything because then you'll have indentations. So there's—it takes a certain amount of—it takes quite a bit of experience and a certain amount of expertise to know, okay, we've gotten just the right amount out of here so it's going to lie smoothly and in the same contour as the surrounding tissue.
But yet patients are very, very happy with this. It's a very effective procedure, and I enjoy doing it.