Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes bothersome, localized, disproportionate deposits of excess fat from specific areas of the body, face and neck. Liposuction can be used to slim the hips and thighs, flatten the abdomen, shape the calves and ankles, or eliminate a double chin. Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed today. Liposuction may not be the appropriate procedure choice in all cases, and there are limitations as to the amount of fat that can safely be removed in a single operation. Liposuction is not a substitute for weight control.
Liposuction is usually done under light general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Small, discreet incisions, hidden in natural skin folds or placed as inconspicuously as possible, are placed adjacent to the areas to be treated. A cannula (small metal suction tube) of variable size (2.5 – 5 millimeter) is attached to a surgical vacuum machine or syringe, inserted through the small incisions, and directed below the skin into the fatty deposits requiring treatment. The procedure may take an hour or more, depending on how many areas will be treated.
The recovery from Liposuction surgery is relatively easy. Initially, you may feel somewhat stiff and sore. The day after surgery, you should be up and walking around to promote normal circulation. You should expect a fair amount of swelling and bruising in the two weeks following your procedure. You will wear special elastic compression garments provided to apply pressure, minimize swelling and provide support while healing. These garments also assist in retraction of the skin, and although they may be somewhat hot and uncomfortable, they must be worn continuously for the first few weeks after surgery, except when showering, in order to maximize your cosmetic outcome. Stitches will be removed in approximately one week.
You can return to office work in 3-5 days, and more strenuous activities at 10-14 days. You may increase your activity daily until full activity is resumed at 2-4 weeks.
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