What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Liposuction also shapes (contours) these areas. Other names for liposuction include lipoplasty and body contouring.
Liposuction isn’t typically considered an overall weight-loss method or a weight-loss alternative. If you’re overweight, you’re likely to lose more weight through diet and exercise or through bariatric procedures — such as gastric bypass surgery — than you would with liposuction.
You may be a candidate for liposuction if you have too much body fat in specific spots but otherwise have a stable body weight.
As with any major surgery, liposuction carries risks, such as:
- reaction to anesthesia.
- The risk of complications increases if the surgeon is working on larger surfaces of your body or doing multiple procedures during the same operation. Talk to your surgeon about how these risks apply to you.
Liposuction surgery usually takes from 2 to 3 hours.
Liposuction can be performed under general anesthesia.
How you prepare
Before the procedure:
- Discuss with your surgeon what to expect from the surgery.
- Your surgeon will review your medical history, and ask about any medical conditions you may have and any medications, supplements or herbs you may be taking.
- Your surgeon will recommend that you stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or NSAIDs, at least three weeks prior to surgery.
- You may also need to get certain lab tests before your procedure.
- I advise all patients to follow a diet before suction and follow-up after suction because the process has a temporary effect may extend for several months and then return the fat to accumulation.
After the procedure
- Expect some pain, swelling and bruising after the procedure.
- Your surgeon may prescribe medication to help control the pain and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- After the procedure, the surgeon may leave your incisions open and place temporary drains to promote fluid drainage.
- You usually need to wear tight compression garments, which help reduce swelling, for a few weeks.
- You may need to wait a few days before returning to work and a few weeks before resuming your normal activities — including exercise.