Liposuction – Top 6 Things To Know If Considering It
Liposuction is a versatile procedure that can be used to remove unwanted fat from areas such as the waist and abdomen, neck, arms, chest, hips, legs and knees and improve a patient’s overall body contour.
While liposuction is more of a “procedure” than its non-invasive relatives (such as CoolSculpting), it certainly has its advantages. One single treatment may be all that is required for significant improvement, many different areas can be treated in one session or procedure, and liposuction provides more consistent and predictable results than many other fat removal treatments on the market.
Although it is one of the most popular procedures available – the American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that it was one of the top 5 plastic surgical treatments performed in 2017, with close to 250,000 procedures completed- patients often have many questions regarding their recovery and what to expect following treatment.
Here are 6 questions commonly asked by our patients contemplating liposuction:
- Why is liposuction so effective?
- Liposuction involves removing fat deposits in stubborn areas. Once this fat is gone, it will not return in that particular location. It is the combination of fat removal and skin contracture (it should be noted that skin elasticity depends on your genetics and age) that leads to consistent and predictable changes in body shape.
- Is it painful?
- Most patients experience some discomfort for 2-3 days following liposuction. This will vary from person to person, and depends on how many areas have been treated. While most patients find the pain manageable, a mild painkiller can be prescribed to alleviate the pain. Ice, Motrin and Tylenol are also very helpful.
- How long before I can return to work?
- Recovery is usually quick, and most people return to work within a few days or a week at most. More strenuous activities, including exercise and sexual activity, may begin 2 weeks after your procedure.
- How soon will I see my results?
- Liposuction can cause swelling which can last a few months. Despite this swelling, most patients do see a noticeable change within the first few days, and see continued improvement over the next 8 – 10 weeks. Your final results will be realized 3 months after your procedure.
- How long will I have to wear compression garments?
- Compression garments are put on in the operating room immediately following the completion of the procedure. Patients wear them continuously for 2-3 days as they help decrease pain and swelling. Garments are then worn for most of the day for 3 weeks, and can easily be concealed under clothes. From weeks 4 to 6, the length of time is reduced to only 12 hours each day. Studies have shown no additional benefits after 6 weeks.
- What can be done to enhance my recovery?
- Being healthy and fit at the time of your procedure is important. This includes ceasing smoking at least several weeks prior to your procedure.
- Some physicians believe that massage may speed up your recovery and can increase blood flow to the treated sites. Self-massage may begin within a couple of days from surgery (with your surgeon’s approval), and may be a combination of circular motions and kneading techniques with any fragrance-free moisturizer.
- Massaging may help decrease swelling and breaks up scar tissue so contour deformities or indentions do not form. Some patients prefer formal massage techniques and lymphatic drainage performed by a certified massage therapist starting 2 -3 weeks after surgery.
- Be sure to talk with your board-certified plastic surgeon to determine what he or she recommends.
If you are considering liposuction or body contouring, the best thing you can do is schedule an in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and wishes.
Liposuction can be a great option for many men and women seeking to improve their appearance. If you are interested in learning more about liposuction or other body contouring or sculpting options like coolsculpting it’s best to receive careful consultation of all options to help determine the appropriate course of treatment. Contact us today to meet with one of our skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss which procedure may be best for you, or give us a call at 757-491-3535.