Your body and liposuction
While other cosmetic surgical procedures lift or tighten skin, liposuction permanently removes unwanted fat, allowing your surgeon to sculpt a new shape to the area treated. Through a small incision, the surgeon will insert a thin tube called a cannula to remove fat cells, resulting in a better proportioned, natural-looking appearance. This procedure has been proven safe, effective, and reliable.
Liposuction is incredibly versatile because it can remove fat from any area of the body. Treatment typically targets the abdomen, hips, love handles, saddlebags, buttocks, back, arms/axilla, inner/outer thighs and chin. Some patients get liposuction for a sleeker, more shapely body contour unrelated to weight issues. –In many cases, patients opt to combine liposuction with other cosmetic procedures to achieve a more transformative result. Another benefit of liposuction is that the purged fat can be purified and then grafted’ to fill out areas that may have depleted with age. For example, we may fat graft a patient’s tear trough, prominent nasolabial folds, or lips.
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction have localized deposits of fat in their abdomen, arms, thighs and/or neck that are resistant to diet and exercise. Ideally, liposuction candidates should be physically fit. It is important that your weight is stable.
If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, or even gain weight, that is not the time to undergo liposuction. Liposuction results are permanent as long as your weight remains stable. Liposuction is not a substitute for diet and exercise but can help redefine or sculpt your body.
Also, ideal liposuction candidates have firm, elastic skin. For the best results, the skin must shrink following the procedure. You will be satisfied following your treatment. A consultation with Dr. Roth and his team can help you answer your questions based on your goals and your anatomy.
Patients should maintain a healthy diet and avoid smoking before surgery. Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions once your surgery is scheduled.
Liposuction procedures are typically outpatient, so the patient should expect to return home that day. If you’re getting outpatient surgery, be sure to arrange for a friend to drive you home after surgery. They or someone else should stay with you at least that first night. –However, an overnight stay in our surgical facility can be arranged if you want, which is advisable after a large volume of fat removal.
What does a liposuction procedure involve?
Liposuction removes fat from your body using a small-tipped cannula. Most liposuction procedures use the “tumescent technique” with fat removed after injecting a ‘wetting solution’ to minimize bruising and blood loss. The surgeon uses carefully controlled motion to dislodge the fat which is then suctioned out. Incisions are about 5 millimeters and cause only minimal long-term scarring if any. Other technologies include Power-assisted lipo (PAL), Ultrasound-assisted lipo (UAL), and Laser-assisted lipo (LAL). Whether any of these modalities is superior to traditional Suction-assisted lipo (SAL) is controversial.
What is recovery like?
Your incision sites are secured with dissolvable sutures, which generally heal within two weeks. Patients must wear a compression garment for about six weeks. Final liposuction results are clearly visible no later than 12 weeks after surgery.
When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain–perhaps for several days–that can be controlled with prescription medication. Post-surgery redness and swelling are normal. But if they last for weeks or more, you should contact your surgeon.
How soon can I travel after surgery?
For liposuction in particular, you can typically travel within two weeks depending on your recovery. However, you cannot lift anything heavy. As with any surgery, flying immediately after the procedure is not recommended due to increased risk of blood clots. Take the necessary precautions such as getting up to walk around during the flight, wearing compression stockings as well as something to keep you comfortable during the trip. The risks factors can vary depending on the extent and length of your liposuction procedure. Always discuss your post-op traveling plans with your surgeon.
When can I return to work?
Many people have the procedure on a Thursday/Friday and return to work the following Monday. Patients are restricted to lifting objects no greater than 5 pounds and instructed to avoid exercise/exertion for 4 weeks after surgery. Follow-up visits will with your surgeon will continue for at least several weeks.
How do I maintain the results after liposuction?
Patients should engage in regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet to continue to maintain their liposuction results. Enjoy your new body, go on vacations and be active while having some fun in the sun. Just take the proper precautions outlined above. Do the activities that you have always wanted to do like yoga or surfing.
During the consultation, your surgeon can also advise you about the cost of liposuction surgery and what to expect while recovering from liposuction.