Liposuction surgery sculpts your body, eliminating unwanted pockets of exercise and diet-resistant fat from the buttocks, hips, love handles, saddlebags, thighs, calves, ankles, breasts (including male breasts), back, arms and neck. Liposuction is often combined with other procedures to create a desired shape and is one of the safest and most popular cosmetic procedures.
- Will make your clothes fit better and your body appear slimmer.
- Uses small incisions, which result in smaller scars than open body contouring procedures.
- Can be done under sedation with less risks and shorter operating times than similar open body contouring procedures.
- Results may be affected by weight gain, aging and pregnancy.
- Liposuction is not meant to improve the look of cellulite or loose skin.
- You may need to lose weight to be a better candidate for liposuction.
Am I a good candidate Liposuction?
- If you have localized areas of fat deposits that are disproportionate with the rest of your body.
- If you would like more definition or a sleeker contour in certain areas of your body.
- If your skin elasticity is good (Liposuction removes fat, but does not tighten skin).
- If you have localized deposits of fat in your abdomen, arms, thighs and/or neck, which may be the result of heredity and do not disappear with exercise and diet.
About Your Procedure:
How is a liposuction procedure performed?
Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. In this procedure, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through small cuts in the skin. Your plastic surgeon moves these tubes under your skin to target fat deposits and then suction them out.
What will my liposuction incisions and scars be like?
- Because liposuction incisions are small, the scars are also small.
- Most liposuction scars fade and are barely perceptible over time
Preparing For Your Procedure:
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
- Stop smoking before undergoing surgery to better promote healing.
- Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
- Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
- If your surgeon recommends weight benchmarks or lifestyle changes, do your best to achieve them to ensure the best results and minimize the chance of complications.
Aftercare And Recovery
Immediately after your liposuction surgery
The incisions where the doctor inserted the cannula may be leaky or drain fluids for several days. In some cases, the doctor may insert a drainage tube to drain fluid away from the wound.
You will wear special tight garments to keep your skin compressed. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear these, usually for weeks.
When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your physician. You will also have some redness and swelling after the surgery. In some cases, the swelling will remain for weeks or even months. Contact your surgeon to find out if your pain, redness and swelling is normal or a sign of a problem.
Recovery time frame after liposuction
The first two weeks
- The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly. Elevate the affected body part if possible. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. You will most likely wear a postsurgical garment; if it is too tight, notify your surgeon.
- The first 48 hours after surgery, you will experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. The swelling is maximal at 48 hours after surgery and mostly disappears within two to three weeks, but there may be slight residual swelling for up to four months. Bruising is normal and typically disappears within seven to ten days.
- Sutures, if placed, are usually removed seven to ten days after liposuction.
- Do not smoke after your liposuction surgery to prevent coughing and bleeding. Do not drink alcohol for five days after surgery or while you are taking pain medication.
- Avoid straining, bending over and lifting during the early postoperative period. In many cases, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less.
- Discomfort after liposuction is generally limited to soreness rather than pain. Pain medications are prescribed to lessen any discomfort during the first few days.
- Patients usually return to work within a few days following a liposuction procedure.
Weeks two to six
It is important to ambulate (walk) as soon as possible after liposuction to discourage swelling and prevent blood clots in the legs. However, avoid strenuous exercise for four to six weeks because it can trigger unnecessary fluid retention in the treated areas.
You should wait a minimum of six weeks before exposure to sun and heat, including sunbathing, because of the possibility of swelling.
You will wear a compression garment over the treated areas for four to six weeks to control swelling and promote skin contraction.
Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several months to get an accurate picture of the results of your surgery. The small incisions used for access will fade over a number of months, usually becoming barely visible. For six to nine months, you may experience a fluctuating return of ten to fifteen percent swelling with exercise or excessive activity.
How Long Will My Results Last?
The results of liposuction surgery are technically permanent because fat cells have been removed. However, your body shape and contours might be affected by weight gain, aging, pregnancy, family genes and lifestyle factors.
It is crucial to maintain healthy habits and a stable weight to maintain liposuction results. Following liposuction, if you continue to eat excess calories, fat will no longer be stored in the cells that have been removed, but will be stored in other body areas.
The basic message: keep your weight stable for a long lasting result.
Limitations And Risks:
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Contour irregularities