As you get older, regardless of how much you exercise or diet, getting rid of unwanted fat deposits can be very difficult. That is why liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is America’s fastest growing and most popular surgical procedure. This procedure is not a method of weight loss but is a way to improve body contour, giving the best results in men and women who are close to normal weight and have an area of fat that does not respond to exercise and improved diet.
Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used, and the procedure can last anywhere from 1 to 5 hours, depending on the amount of fat being removed and areas of the body that are being treated.
There are several different methods that surgeons use when performing liposuction surgery, including ultrasound-assisted lipectomy (UAL) and suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL). In both types, fluid is injected into the area to be treated. Then a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible and a cannula (small tube) breaks up the fat layer and suctions it out.
After surgery, there may be some drainage from the incision sites. Compression garments or wraps will be given to you along with instructions on how to use them. These should be worn at all times, unless in the shower, until all the bruising has resolved and for a period of 2 to 4 weeks after that. This will minimize the amount of swelling in the area. It takes about 3 months for the treated areas to reach their final appearance.
Liposuction Surgery Postoperative Instructions
It is important to follow all of your doctor’s postoperative instructions for liposuction surgery to achieve the best possible surgery results. Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery liposuction patients are provided with detailed instructions to ensure the best outcome to the procedure.
- Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
- Get plenty of rest and increase your fluid intake.
- Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more ripe fruit to your diet. Prunes and prune juice work well for most.
- Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol for three weeks following surgery, even when no longer taking pain medications, as alcohol causes fluid retention.
- If you regularly take vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
- Do not smoke or consume nicotine, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
- Start walking as soon as possible with assistance the day of surgery, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. Starting the day after surgery, walk 300 feet three times per day with assistance daily.
- Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
- Activities involving affected sites should be minimized for approximately 2 weeks. Strenuous exercise and activities should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.
- Sexual activity can be resumed in two weeks unless otherwise specified by Dr. Bindingnavele.
- You may shower 48 hours after surgery.
- Keep steri-strips on, and replace if they come off. Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for sign of infection. No tub soaking while sutures or drains are in place.
- Place daily soft dressing over incisions and around drain sites to wick away moisture and prevent irritation by garment along the incision line.
- Wear compression garment all the time (24/7) for six weeks post operatively, unless showering.
- You will have small incision sites at the point of introduction of the instrument used to remove the fat tissue.
- The small incision sites will be covered with gauze to protect these areas.
- There will be swelling and discoloration after surgery.
- There may be numbness, bruising, swelling, soreness, burning sensation, bleeding, pain and discomfort around the operative areas.
- Most of the swelling and discoloration usually subsides in 6-8 weeks, but some may persist for 6 months or more.
- May have fluid drainage from incision sites.
- A drainage tube may be inserted beneath the skin to prevent fluid build-up.
- It is normal to feel a bit anxious or depressed in the days or weeks following surgery; but, generally, after about a week, you should begin to feel better.
- Bruising may be apparent beyond the areas of liposuction, partially due to gravity.
APPEARANCE AND DRAIN CARE
- Improved skin texture, firmer, and smoother skin.
- Empty drain bulb 3 times a day and record outputs in mL (milliliters) noting time of day and drain amount. Make sure to record each drain’s output separately.
- It is normal for drain outputs to vary and for clots to be in tube and bulb.
- Do not disconnect bulb from tube.
- Do not push in or pull on the drain tube at its entrance on the skin.
- See additional attachment for more instructions and additional drain log.
FOLLOW UP CARE
- Your post-operative appointment will be scheduled before surgery for your convenience.
WHEN TO CALL
- If you have increased swelling or bruising.
- If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
- If you have increased redness along the incision.
- If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
- If you have any side effects such as rash, nausea, headache, or vomiting.
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- If you have yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
- If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
- If you have loss of feeling or motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Ideal candidates for liposuction are close to their ideal weight with stubborn areas of fat that have been difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise. Liposuction candidates are in good overall health and do not have any pre-existing health conditions. It is important to have realistic expectations of the procedure and to understand that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure.
Will liposuction improve the appearance of cellulite?
Although liposuction removes excess fat and usually provides the skin with a smoother appearance, it is not considered a viable treatment for cellulite.
How long will the results of liposuction last?
Liposuction permanently removes fat cells. However, the remaining fat cells in the treated area(s) can still increase in size with weight gain. Therefore, maintaining a stable weight by following a healthy diet and exercise regimen will preserve the results.
How much does liposuction cost?
The total cost of liposuction depends on the number of areas treated and the amount of fat removed.
Is liposuction covered by health insurance?
Health insurance providers do not typically cover the cost of liposuction because it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Why Choose Dr. Vijay
Dr. Vijay is very unique in the sense of his great customer care, service and experience. He approaches each client as an individual and takes the time to thoroughly understand their needs and desired results.