Who are good candidates for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are close to their normal weight but have pockets of excess fat in certain areas of their body. Firm, elastic skin usually responds better to this kind of procedure. Liposuction poses greater risk for men and women with medical problems such as diabetes, heart, or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be worked on.
Does liposuction help with cellulite?
No, liposuction by itself will not improve the dimpled skin known as cellulite.
What happens during surgery?
A tiny incision is made in the skin in which a narrow tube, called a cannula, is inserted and maneuvered through the fat tissue, breaking up fat cells. This tube is attached to a high-vacuum hose which suctions out the unwanted fat. Fluid is removed along with the fat; the replacement of this fluid during the procedure is essential in preventing shock. When the desired amount of fat has been removed, the incisions are closed and dressings are applied.
How long is the recovery period?
Recovery from liposuction is a slow and gradual process. Most patients are able (and encouraged) to move about after surgery to reduce swelling and help prevent blood clots from forming in the legs. Depending on the amount of fat removed, some patients may require a few extra days of bed rest. Most patients begin to feel better after one to two weeks and are able to return to work within one week.
Strenuous activity should be avoided for one month. Your surgeon might recommend a tight fitting girdle to reduce swelling. Most of the bruising
and swelling will disappear within a few weeks; however, some swelling may last up to six months.
Depending on the amount of swelling, you may be able to notice some of the results of the surgery immediately after the procedure. After four to six weeks, you'll notice a greater improvement as most of the swelling and bruising will have subsided. After about three months, you'll be able to notice the final results.
Where will the surgery take place?
Most often the procedure will be performed in our minor surgery suite. This procedure is done in the operating room if you have too much excess skin or if your muscles are very weak, therefore requiring other procedures to go along with the liposuction. For cost and convenience, our patients and physicians prefer the minor surgery area. When the operating room is used, patients may require a hospital stay of one to three days.
What kind of anesthesia is used?
If the procedure is not extensive, you may have local anesthesia which will numb the area being worked on. You will also be given a sedative about 30 minutes prior to your surgery. Although you'll be awake for the procedure, you will be relaxed and should only feel minor discomfort.
If the procedure involves a large area of your body (or a number of areas), you'll be given general anesthesia so you'll sleep through the entire operation.
What are the risks?
As with any surgery, there are some risks. Some of the complications that may result from liposuction include uneven skin surface (especially with non elastic skin), numbness, discoloration, and fluid/blood accumulation under the skin. While liposuction is generally a
safe procedure, the risk of complications increases with the number of areas treated. We urge patients to be realistic about the limitations of the procedure and the desired outcomes.
Does Liposuction leave any visible scars?
Any scars that result from the surgery are small and usually well hidden from view.