The Best Candidates
The best candidates for liposuction are normal weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. Your age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin. Liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with medical problems such as diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.
Considerations Before Having Surgery
Your doctor must have advanced surgical skills to perform procedures that involve the removal of a large amount of fat more than 5 liters or 5,000 cc’s. Removal of a large amount of fat and fluid may require longer operating times than may be required for smaller operations. The scars from liposuction are small and strategically placed to be hidden from view. However, imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon after lipoplasty. The skin surface may in some cases be irregular or asymmetric . Numbness and pigmentation changes may occur.
Planning Your Surgery
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and assess the condition of your skin. Your surgeon will explain the body contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you. For example, if you believe you want liposuction in the abdominal area, you may learn that an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) may more effectively meet your goals; or that a combination of both.
Preparing For Your Surgery
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery. This includes guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed. Also, while you are making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and to help you at home for a day or two.
Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed
All cosmetic procedures are performed on an outpatient basis in our state of the art in-house operating suite. Minor procedures are also performed in our office’s minor surgery rooms.
Type Of Anesthesia
Liposuction can be performed with a general anesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the entire operation.
Liposuction is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to re-contour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. If many sites are being treated, your surgeon will then move on to the next area, working to keep the incisions as inconspicuous as possible. Fluid is lost along with the fat, and it’s crucial that this fluid be replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. For this reason, patients need to be carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery. The time required to perform liposuction may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia and the technique used.
After Your Surgery
After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. Occasionally, a small drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin for a couple of days to prevent fluid build-up. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Don’t expect to look or feel great right after surgery. Even though the newer techniques are believed to reduce some post-operative discomforts, you may still experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding and temporary numbness. Pain can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon, though you may still feel stiff and sore for a few days.
Returning To Your Routine
Healing is a gradual process. Your surgeon will probably tell you to start walking around as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed or dissolve on their own within the first week to 10 days.
Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.
Your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and to see if any additional procedures are needed.
If you have any unusual symptoms between visits for example heavy bleeding, a sudden increase in pain, or any questions about what you can and can’t do, call your doctor.
Your New Look
You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become even more apparent after about four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible.
You may find that you are more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. And, by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, you can help to maintain your new shape.