Liposuction: What to Expect Before, During & After Surgery
So many of us, especially as we head toward middle age, have stubborn areas of fat that no amount of exercise can tame. Hormonal shifts, like a post-baby body or menopause, can also lead to areas of fat that neither diet nor exercise can address successfully. Liposuction is a possible solution to these “problem areas.” By surgically removing the fat deposits using small incisions and a special tool, fat is broken up and extracted via suction. This procedure can be performed in the midsection, arms, and legs, almost anywhere!
At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, we perform all procedures in our comfortable, fully accredited surgical facility. From consultation to the final result, our expert staff, and board-certified plastic surgeons will take care of you every step of the way.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during each phase of your liposuction journey.
Our pressure-free, complimentary consultation is the time to tell our team what you want your body to look like. Our job is to listen. At the consultation, your doctor will help you figure out what would be best for you, and then explain the procedure, what to expect after surgery, and answer all your questions. A stable weight is necessary to move forward with liposuction. That weight might be higher than what you want it to be, but it should be stable and not fluctuating. Our surgeons use their expertise and artistic eye to determine which areas of tissue are best treated with liposuction—outer thighs, parts of the abdomen, flanks. Sometimes they recommend additional procedures, such as a tummy tuck if the skin is loose.
Once you have committed to a surgical plan and set the date, a pre-op appointment will be set up with one of our staff. This is typically two weeks before your operation. The purpose of this appointment is to go over the logistics of what will happen on the day of surgery, receive your prescriptions so you can get them filled before the big day, and have your pre-op photos taken in our professional photography suite. Our staff will be able to answer any questions you have about the process and give you helpful suggestions that past patients have found useful. You should also bring your support person to this appointment—it’s very important that one or more people are with you the first day or so after your surgery to administer medication, monitor your progress, and offer support. Encouragement leads to faster healing!
Day of Surgery
Once you’ve made the decision to undergo liposuction and are cleared for surgery, it’s time to take that positive step toward getting your confidence back. Arrive one hour before your surgery with your support person. Your surgeon will then make marks on your body to indicate where the incisions will be made. You will meet the anesthetist, who will talk with you about your general health and previous experiences with anesthesia so that he or she can give you just the right medications. A nurse will then explain to you and your support person how to care for yourself after surgery.
When you go back to the operating room, you’ll be given an IV that will deliver your anesthetic, and put you gently to sleep. After liposuction, a special bandage (compression garment) is applied that often includes a layer of light foam to compress and support the areas of the body that were treated. Expect bruising -it starts off very dark, but will fade over about three weeks. It’s a natural part of the healing process.
The day after your surgery, you’ll meet with your doctor again, who will assess how you are feeling, check the texture of the treated areas and look for unusual bleeding. Pain after liposuction is usually about a 2 out of 10, and is very manageable. But only if you follow doctor’s orders, using ice and our prescribed anti-inflammatories. Narcotics are usually not necessary.
One Week After Surgery
Five to seven days after surgery your stitches will be removed. The doctor will again check the areas where the procedure may have resulted in hardened tissue during the healing process. If this occurs, he will address it.
The recovery process for liposuction takes two to three weeks. By this time, bruising should have faded, and tissue texture will have returned to normal. After three months, you will visit the doctor one last time at which point the staff will take a photo of your new body—it’s the after to compare to your before. Although you can see nice changes right after surgery, the three-month mark is the point at which you will be able to judge the results. It should be a big “wow” moment!
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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.