Liposuction (sometimes called lipoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat from various parts of the body. The results of liposuction are permanent
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Who Can Benefit From Liposuction?
Liposuction works best for people who have a pocket of fat in one or more areas of the body that cause the body to look out of proportion. Frequently, these fat deposits do not go away despite increased exercise and changes to diet.
Older patients may have difficulty achieving a good result with liposuction because the skin may have become less elastic. This makes it more difficult for the skin to tighten after surgery over the area where the fat has been removed. The doctor will be able to tell you if you are likely to have a good result from liposuction. Below are the areas of the body that best respond to liposuction: Waist and abdominal area.
In some cases, the fat which has been removed is used in other areas of the body for fat augmentation. This is commonly done in the buttocks or areas of the face.
What is the Procedure Like?
Most of the time, liposuction is performed in the doctor's office operating room, but it may sometimes be performed in a hospital. Most patients prefer to be asleep under general anesthesia, but some patients will be just slightly drowsy under a sedative and local anesthetic that numbs the area where the surgery is taking place. In either case, you will feel no pain during the procedure.
The doctor uses a small tube called a "cannula" to remove the fat. Tiny incisions are made, and the cannula is inserted into the area where the fat will be suctioned. The cannula is attached to a vacuum machine which actually sucks the excess fat out of the body.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
In many cases, you can go home within a few hours of surgery, but you will need someone to drive you home. When larger volumes of fat are removed, you will need to spend one night under observation. You may also need someone to help you around the house for a day or two after you go home. Compression garments are applied to the area after surgery, and these will have to be worn for a period of time, which varies depending upon the extent of your liposuction procedure.
You will be able to remove the garment in order to bathe. Recovery time varies from patient to patient. You will be instructed to move around after your surgery in order to get your blood circulating, but you will not be able to return to your regular exercise regimen for about two weeks after liposuction. You may be able to return to work within a week, however. It is normal to have some bruising, swelling, temporary numbness, and pain after liposuction, which can be treated with prescription pain medication and cold compresses. Swelling usually lasts for about a week, but bruising and numbness may last for a few weeks. Because of these factors, it may be some time before you will be able to see the final results of your liposuction procedure.
The incisions are very small and can usually be placed in an inconspicuous area where the slight scarring will not be easily seen. Any stitches will dissolve on their own.
What Are the Risks of Liposuction?
Liposuction is very safe and is performed thousands of times every year with no complications. In rare cases, a patient may experience some lasting numbness in the area of surgery. Skin wrinkling or uneven contours can also occur but can generally be corrected with further treatments. Risks of liposuction increase when combined with other procedures. Dr. Rubinstein can advise you of the risks and benefits of your planned procedures.
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