Often used in conjunction with other plastic surgery techniques, liposuction removes pockets of fat from troublesome areas such as the thighs, hips, abdomen, and upper arms. Liposuction procedures vary depending on what your ultimate cosmetic goal is, and whether you are combining liposuction with other plastic surgery procedures. During the proceure, the surgeon makes a small incision near the area of fat to be removed, then inserts a cannula (hollow tube), which is attached to a suction machine. By using gentle suction and lightly moving the cannula back and forth, the physician can remove small areas of fat. The resulting scars are small (1/2 to 1 1/2 inches) and usually can be hidden, even in a bikini.
Good candidates Healthy, fit and psychologically stable men and women who have pockets of unwanted fat that remain despite dieting and exercise are the best candidates for this procedure. Liposuction can help remove "trouble spots" of localized fat in these areas:
Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. It is important to have realistic expectations about your surgery's results. If you want them to be long-term, you must commit to eating properly and staying fit after surgery, as well.
Risks Every type of surgery has risks, but you can usually help prevent complications by carefully following your physician's instructions. It's important to talk with your surgeon before surgery to be sure you understand the potential risks and complications. If you don't understand something, ask! Although the liposuction incisions do leave scars, the surgeon will take great care to place them where they'll be least visible. These scars usually fade over time, so they can barely be seen, if at all. Back to top
Recovery Your surgeon and his or her staff will give you instructions on how to care for yourself after surgery in order to get the best results.
Depending upon the amount of fat sucked out and the areas done, most liposuction requires two to four days of hospitalization. For two or three weeks after the procedure, your surgeon will ask you to wear a special tightly fitting elastic garment over the liposuctioned area. This body stocking helps control bleeding and swelling and also helps your body recontour itself. You may also have a tube at the surgical site to drain fluid buildup. Your doctor or nurse will give you special instructions about your body stocking and any drainage tubes.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, your doctor will allow you to return to work anywhere from three days to two weeks after surgery.
If you're patient until the bruising and swelling have improved, and you've begun to feel better, you'll realize your goal of looking more svelte. To maintain your new look, be sure to continue eating right and exercising regularly.