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Also referred to as ‘lipoplasty’ or suction-assisted lipectomy, liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure. It involves suctioning of fat out of the body from problem areas. This surgery is misunderstood by many as weight loss procedure. However, this is not the prime goal of the procedure. Although liposuction may help one lose some weight, it is recommended and undertaken with the sole purpose of reshaping and redefining contours of the body. Doctors focus on areas that fail to respond to weight loss efforts such as diet and exercise.

Ideal Candidate

Those at or near their ideal weight (within a range of 30 per cent) with uneven localized fat deposits that fail to respond to exercise and dieting make for the best candidates.

One must be a healthy non-smoker with a positive outlook and realistic expectations towards the procedure. Good skin elasticity and muscle tone are also important factors.

Liposuction – Things you shouldn’t Expect

  • Lose too much weight.
  • No reduction of cellulite appearance.

Costs

This varies depending on the size and number of areas being treated. Fees of a surgeon will include:

  • Anesthesia
  • Facility
  • Lab fees
  • Medications
  • Compression garments

Complementary Procedures

The procedure is often undertaken with other cosmetic experience such as a breast augmentation process or a breast lift. Tummy-tuck or body lift procedure may also be recommended to enhance the patient’s overall result.

Before the Procedure

The surgeon will examine you. Pre-op lab tests will be ordered. This is important to assess your present health status. A complete health and weight history will be needed. In most cases, the surgeon may ask you to adjust, cease, or start taking certain medications. Doctors usually ask patient to refrain from having aspirin, herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure.

What to Expect?

  • Appoint someone to drive you to the facility.
  • Pre-operation pictures will be clicked by surgeon.
  • Targeted areas on your body will be marked while you are standing.
  • The preparation for surgery will start by putting IV fluid lines.
  • Doctors will place you on monitors to track levels of oxygen in blood, heart rate, and blood pressure during procedure.
  • The doctor will give you anesthesia (a general anesthetic) so that you are asleep and comfortable during the procedure. Some doctors also prefer using a combination of local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. It depends on what your surgeon feels the best choice for your body.
  • The surgeon will make tiny incisions (about 1/8- to 1/2-inch each) in natural body creases.
  • Body fat is prepared for suctioning.
  • Cannulas (tiny hollow metal tubes are introduced through the incisions to loosen and suction the fat. Thereafter, the fat is drained into waiting receptacles.
  • The surgeon will close incisions using surgical sutures.

Recovery and Downtime

You will be transferred to recovery area after the procedure. A compression garment will be provided to you. This is usually worn by patient to help control swelling in the treated areas. It also helps in adapt to your new body shape.

You will be allowed to go home after a few hours. Make sure someone stays with you for at least 24 hours.

In most cases, patients can return to non-strenuous work (office job) within 2 to 3 days. For those into strenuous work, it is important to wait for a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks.

The above listed guidelines may vary widely based on overall health of a patient, techniques used, etc.

Strictly avoid subjecting the incision sites to motion, excessive force, or abrasion during the process of healing.

When to Call a Doctor?

Immediately contact doctor if you experience any discomfort at the operated site, fever, or severe pain.

The Results

It is not uncommon to experience swelling and bruising after surgery. Hence, the final results can be seen only after at least 1-3 months after the procedure. Most bruising tends to fade within a period of 2-4 weeks. Patient may see some residual swelling which may take around 6 months to fade fully.

The modern day liposuction normally involves use of very tiny incisions. These are almost undetectable once fade. The final result of liposuction surgery is a more refined contour and balanced body proportions.

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