What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure to remove fat from underneath the skin using a small, flexible tube connected to a suction device. Liposuction should NOT be regarded as a weight loss procedure. It is an excellent body contouring technique to remove distinct pockets of excess fat that have not responded to diet and exercise.
Common areas for liposuction include flanks or “love handles”, abdomen, back, outer thighs, breasts, below the chin and arms.
Because it removes the fat from below the skin, liposuction is dependent on the skin tightening post-operatively. It’s important to be patient as it can often take a number of months to fully appreciate. Wearing a post-operative compression garment for up to 4 weeks helps to accelerate the skin tightening process.
Usually a day surgery procedure, liposuction is often performed under general anesthetic, though small areas of liposuction can be done under local anesthetic as well. The length of surgery is dependent on the location and amount of fat removed.
To aid in the removal of fat, minimize blood loss, and fluid balance shifts, a fluid (tumescent solution) is injected prior to the procedure. One or more very small incisions (3-4 mm in size) are used near the site of liposuction and are often imperceptible when they have fully healed. The compression garment is put on at the end of the procedure.
Here are some things to expect after your surgery:
- It’s normal for some fluid to ooze onto the garment for up to 48 hours after the procedure.
- The garment is removed for the first time one week after the procedure. It is to be worn day and night for the next four weeks (other than in the shower).
- Bruising at the site of surgery an last 7-14 days.
- You may resume regular daily activities the next day, but should refrain from vigorous exercise for 4 weeks.
Typically patients will require 1-5 days of downtime.