Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat from specific areas of the body, including:
Liposuction: What It Can (and Cannot) Do
The procedure can remove fat that resists traditional weight-loss methods. But no form of surgery should be a substitute for proper diet and exercise. As with other forms of cosmetic plastic surgery, you need to have a clear and realistic idea of why you want the surgery and what you hope to look like after it. You should discuss your expectations with your surgeon. Improving your appearance can’t solve all the of difficulties you might face in life, but it may increase your self-confidence as you deal with them.
Liposuction does not remove or correct cellulite, which gives skin a “dimpled” look.
During your first consultation, your doctor will ask you about:
Your general health
Any specific conditions that might interfere with surgery
Your goals for the surgery
Specific areas of your body where you want fat removed
Your doctor will perform an exam, explain the details of the procedure, and develop a plan for surgery and recovery with you. The plan will include the liposuction technique that the doctor will use, including:
What to Expect
Liposuction can be an outpatient procedure, especially if only a small amount of fat will be removed. More extensive procedures may require a short hospital stay. Depending on the surgical plan you and your doctor have developed, you’ll be given local, regional or general anesthesia.
Local anesthesia means you’ll be lightly sedated and the area around the surgery will be numbed. You’re awake during the surgery, but relaxed and feeling no pain.
Regional anesthesia means you’ll be lightly sedated and a larger area (compared to local anesthesia) will be numbed. You’re awake during the surgery, but relaxed and feeling no pain. (An example of regional anesthesia is the epidural block, often used in childbirth.)
General anesthesia means you’ll be asleep during the operation.
How the Procedure is Performed
The procedure begins with the surgeon making one or more small incisions in the area to be suctioned. Then the surgeon inserts a small, flexible tube, called a “cannula,” through the incision into the fat. The other end of the tube is connected to a suction device. This can be a machine, such as a suction pump, or a hand-operated syringe. At this point, your doctor will use either a fluid injection technique or ultrasound assisted lipoplasty.
What to Expect
Immediately Following Surgery
How fast you recover depends on how extensive a procedure you had. In general, you should walk around as soon as possible to reduce swelling. You may find some fluid leaking from the incisions after surgery, and a small drainage tube may have been put under your skin for a few days.
After a Few Weeks
You may wear an elastic compression garment over the treated areas for a few weeks to reduce swelling, and take antibiotics to prevent infection. Though you should rest for a day or two after surgery, and may feel some pain, burning or numbness, you should be able to go back to work within a week. During that time, your stitches will dissolve or be removed and the swelling should begin to go down. Most of the swelling will disappear after three weeks or so, though some may remain for several months. You’ll avoid strenuous activity for a month or so.
Healing is Slow - But Results are Great
Many people feel depressed for a while after plastic surgery, especially in the early days when the results of the surgery aren’t apparent. This is quite normal and will pass. Healing is slow and gradual and sometimes the final results aren’t obvious for several months. But remember why you chose to have the surgery. If you've met your goals, then your surgery is a success.
For more information on having liposuction, call us at (585) 275-1000, or request a consultation appointment online.