is particularly well-suited for women and men who are of relatively normal
weight but have isolated pockets of fat that cause certain areas of their body
to appear disproportionate. These localized fat deposits may sometimes be an
inherited trait and typically do not respond to dieting or exercise. Liposuction
is often the only way to eliminate them.
While it is possible to undergo liposuction at almost any age, you will obtain the best results if your skin still has enough elasticity to achieve a smooth contour following fat removal. When skin is inelastic, as in some older patients, it may not redrape well and a skin tightening procedure may be necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
1. Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
2. How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me?
4. Where are the incisions placed?
How should I prepare for surgery?
How should I prepare for surgery?
8. What will the day of surgery be like?
9. How will I look and feel initially?
10. When can I resume my normal activities?
How long will the results last?
I a good candidate for liposuction?
may be a good candidate for liposuction if you have localized excess fat or if
you desire contouring in any of the following areas:
-cheeks, jowls and neck
-breast or chest areas
-abdomen and waist
-hips and buttocks
-inner and outer thighs
-calves and ankles
may sometimes be used to treat a condition called gynecomastia, or male breast
enlargement, which frequently occurs among both teenage and adult males.
should not be considered a substitute for overall weight loss, nor is it an
effective treatment for cellulite, a condition that gives the skin an uneven,
dimpled appearance. Alternative treatments may be considered, in some instances,
to improve this problem.
Liposuction can be performed on several areas of the body at the same time, and it can also be done in conjunction with other aesthetic plastic surgery.
of individual physical factors, not everyone will achieve the same results from
liposuction. Your plastic surgeon will take into consideration your unique
characteristics in determining the most effective treatment. During the
consultation, you will be asked to point out the exact areas which you would
like to see improved. This will help your surgeon to understand your
expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved.
will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for liposuction?
should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This
will include information about any medical conditions you may have such as
diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. Your surgeon will want to know
about previous surgeries, medical treatments and medications that you currently
take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
How much you currently weigh and whether you plan to lose or gain weight in the future will be factors in evaluating you for liposuction. Your plastic surgeon may ask you about the effects of prior weight loss on the appearance of those areas which you have indicated for contouring. He or she will assess the elasticity of your skin and estimate the amount of fat to be removed for optimal results.
Back to FAQ
Liposuction is Performed
is removed by first inserting a small, hollow tube, called a cannula, through
one or more tiny incisions near the area to be suctioned. Incisions are usually
less than one-quarter inch in length and are placed as inconspicuously as
possible, often within skin folds or contour lines. The cannula is connected by
tubing to a vacuum pressure unit. Guided by the surgeon, the suction device
literally vacuums away the unwanted
Back to FAQ
are some variations to the liposuction technique?
to performing liposuction, fluid is instilled into the areas to be suctioned.
Plastic surgeons may use a "dry" technique, a "tumescent"
technique that introduces large amounts of fluid, or other variations. Your
surgeon will discuss with you the particular method that he or she recommends
for treating specific areas of your body.
options may involve the type of instrumentation used or whether suctioning is
performed on the deep or more superficial layers of fat. These considerations
are based in large part upon the goals that you and your plastic surgeon have
set for your body contouring
Back to FAQ
significant complications from liposuction are infrequent. Every year, many
thousands of people undergo successful liposuction, experience no major problems
and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be
aware of both the benefits and risks.
understand that every surgical procedure has risks, but how will I learn more so
that I can make an informed decision?
subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a
personal basis between you and your surgeon, or with a staff member in your
Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include bleeding, infection and reasons to anesthesia. Blood accumulations under the skin are possible, but these normally resolve themselves and rarely require removal. While numbness of the skin following liposuction is almost always temporary, it is possible for some lack of sensation to persist or for skin discoloration to appear in treated areas. Contour irregularities including depressions or wrinkling of the skin can result in some patients, but treatments are usually available to help minimize these problems if they occur.
goal of your plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical
experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible.
should I prepare for surgery?
you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery.
Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you
should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your
surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions.
on the extent of your surgery and the type of anesthesia used, you may need
someone to drive you home afterwards and to stay with you at least the first
night. Back to FAQ
will the day of surgery be like?
liposuction may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or
office-based surgical suite.
are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. You and your
plastic surgeon will have decided in advance what type of anesthesia is to be
used, either local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, and epidural block or
general anesthesia. For your safety during the operation, various monitors are
used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen
circulating in your blood.
surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will
continue to be closely monitored. There may be some discomfort, but this can be
controlled by medication which you may continue taking at home. A compressive
dressing such as an elasticized bandage, sponge or specially designed garment
may have been placed over the areas that were suctioned. Your surgeon will tell
you how long you should wear the garment and will instruct you on how to remove
it so that you may shower or bathe.
probably will be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients
may stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility.
will I look and feel initially?
is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies
greatly among individuals.
day after surgery, you will need to move around a bit to promote blood
circulation. Your plastic surgeon will advise you to limit yourself to these
brief periods of gentle activities for the first few days. Remember, you must
not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications, and you should not
smoke for a while following surgery.
dressings will be temporarily removed within several days so that your plastic
surgeon can examine the treated areas. You will notice swelling and bruising,
which is to be expected. Swelling usually begins to subside a week or so
following surgery, while bruising can last three weeks or longer. There may also
be numbness in some areas, and it may take several weeks before feeling returns.
If stitches need to be removed, this is typically done within ten days after
surgery. Back to FAQ
can I resume my normal activities?
may be able to return to work in just a few days. In many instance, you can
resume most of your normal activities within one or two weeks and begin some
form of exercise soon after. The timing of your recovery depends largely on the
extent of your
surgery. Back to FAQ
surgery will reduce those areas of fatty deposits that previously created
unflattering bulges and perhaps made it difficult to feel comfortable in your
clothing or caused self-consciousness. Factors such as fluid retention following
surgery and prolonged swelling may delay the appearance of your new, slimmer
contour. The healing process is gradual, so you should expect to wait a while
before fully enjoying the results of your liposuction.
a touchup may be desired to further improve an area that has been suctioned. The
additional treatment can sometimes be performed under local anesthesia in your
plastic surgeon's office. More extensive revisions may require a return to the
long will the results last?
results of liposuction will be permanent, as long as you maintain your
postoperative weight. Even if you gain a few extra pounds, you may find that the
weight is distributed more evenly instead of accumulating in the areas that were
problematic for you in the
past. Back to FAQ
a Relationship with Your Plastic Surgeon
will return to your plastic surgeon's office for follow-up care at prescribed
intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated. Once the immediate
postoperative follow-up is complete, many surgeons encourage their patients to
come back for periodic checkups to observe and discuss the long-term results of
remember that the relationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you
leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your
recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact
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