Liposuction

The Problem: The patient has excess fat deposits that are diet and exercise resistant creating unwanted body contour.
The Goal: Liposuction improves body shape in various areas of the body; most commonly the trunk, thighs, arms, and neck. On occasion, other areas such as the buttocks, breasts, knees, calves, ankles, face, and armpits are also treated.
The Procedure: Small areas can be treated under local anesthetic; however, more commonly this surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The subcutaneous tissue and fat is first infiltrated with a solution composed of epinephrine, lidocaine, and saline. This helps decrease bleeding, postoperative pain, and facilitates a more even fat removal. Various tubes called cannula’s are placed through very small incisions into the subcutaneous tissue where the excess fat is located. These cannulas will then separate the fat from the surrounding structures and then suck them up out of the body to decrease the unwanted volume of fat. Most patients are able to return to work within a week of the surgery if liposuction is performed alone without other procedures. Compression garment is to be worn all the time for the first two weeks and then when up in about until the sixth postoperative week. Normal daily activities can resume usually at 1 to 2 weeks postoperative; however exercise and strenuous activity should be held off until at least one month postoperative. There is usually considerable swelling after liposuction; final results can take 3 to 6 months to see completely settled.

Surgical Overview

Length: Usually 1-2 hours or more. (UAL takes 20-40 percent longer than traditional liposuction.)
Anesthesia: General (asleep).
Hospital Stay: Usually outpatient.
Side Effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation. Super wet: temporary fluid drainage from incision sites. UAL: larger incisions for cannula.
Risks: Asymmetry, rippling or bagginess of skin, pigmentation changes, skin injury, fluid retention, excessive fluid loss leading to shock or infection. UAL: Thermal burn injury caused by the heat from the ultrasound device.

Recovery: Back to work in usually one to two days. More strenuous activity can resume in two to four weeks. Full recovery from swelling and bruising could take one to six months or more. Use of super wet technique or UAL, may decrease post-operative bruising and swelling. A post-operative garment is usually necessary.
Duration of Results: Permanent, with sensible diet and exercise.

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*All information on this site provides general information about plastic surgery. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and it does not address your individual medical needs which will determine which treatment options are right for you.

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