The Big Picture of Liposuction: What to Expect from Initial Consultation to Final Recovery
Liposuction is one of the most commonly known terms when it comes to plastic surgery, but many people who may be thinking pursuing this surgery might not actually know as much about it as they think. Who are good candidates, what it exactly does, what are some possible complications, and what recovery actually will look like are all aspects that often are unknown or not considered. Hopefully, this article will answer all your questions (perhaps even the ones you didn’t know you should be asking) and prepare you to go through your liposuction journey with confidence, attaining the body of your dreams before you know it!
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is one of the top surgeries done for men and women all over the world. During this cosmetic procedure, fat is suctioned out of the body from specifically targeted areas. Liposuction is also called suction-assisted lipectomy, or lipoplasty, and is not technically a weight-loss surgery. You will most likely lose some weight, but the main purpose of liposuction is to contour your body, not just to remove mass. There may be some areas of your body that you are battling with, and no amount of dieting or exercise is slimming them down, and that is where liposuction can add definition.
Do You Meet All Of The Qualifications?
During your initial consultation, your doctor will assess and discuss with you whether or not you are a prime candidate for a liposuction surgery. Some factors to consider are:
- are you at or near your ideal weight for your body mass index (BMI), but still have pockets of fat that refuse to budge?
- Are you a smoker?
- Does your skin have a good collagen content? Does it bounce back? Are your muscles toned?
- Are you in overall good health?
- Do you have a solid understanding of what the outcome will realistically be?
- Do you have saggy or loose skin as a result of previous dramatic weight loss? Liposuction may not be the answer for you
Before You Start Your Liposuction Treatment
Before you hop on that surgeon’s table, your doctor will give you a full examination, and send off some blood tests to make sure that your health is stable. You will need to answer questions about your body’s weight in the past and present, and any health issues.
You may be prescribed some medication, or have your current medicinal routine altered to prep your body for your liposuction treatment.
The Kryptonite: What Liposuction Won't Do
Liposuction is an amazing, life changing, self-confidence boosting option for many, but there are some things it just can’t do. Liposuction is ideal for removing anywhere from one to ten pounds; anything beyond that is probably just not realistic. Liposuction will most likely not impact any cellulite you may have, although you can ask your doctor if they offer any cosmetic procedures that can be used in conjunction with liposuction.
But Wait, There's More!
You may decide (with your doctor’s help), that to get your body back to it’s prime, radiant condition, you need a little bit more than liposuction can offer. You might consider doing liposuction AND another procedure like a breast augmentation, or tummy tuck, which will help smooth your body and enhance your natural curves as much as you are dreaming! It is totally possible to do some complementary procedures at the same time as your liposuction, giving you back your beautifully restored body in one go.
Understand The Risks Ahead Of Time
Liposuction, like any surgery, does not come without risks. Some things to consider are
- Necrosis (skin tissues becoming irreparable)
- Anesthesia complications (reactions to anesthesia, etc)
- Continual pain and swelling past the normal point of recovery
- Scarring, discoloration, unnatural body shapes, aesthetic results that you might not have been hoping for
- Asymmetrical body shape
These are a few of the possible complications or risks possible when undergoing liposuction surgery. Many of these risks are significantly lowered when your doctor is a professional, board-certified surgeon who has been competently practicing for years.
What Does Liposuction Cost?
Of course, total costs of liposuction will vary from patient to patient, depending on what part of the body and how much will be operated on, who is the doctor, and what type of procedure you are going in for.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons have stated that the cost of liposuction generally averages around $3500, but obviously this can vary, depending on where you live, and your surgeon’s level of education and expertise.
Your total cost will include things such as a doctor’s fee, anesthetist’s fee, office charges, prescription medicine, and post-operation garments.
It's GO Time: What Liposuction Surgery Day Will Look Like
When the day has finally arrived, and it’s time to go for your liposuction procedure, ask a friend, spouse, or other family member to drive you to the doctor’s office. Your doctor will prep you for surgery by taking “Before” pics, and have you stand while they mark out the areas that will be specifically worked on during surgery. Next, you’ll get an IV and be placed on monitors to keep track of your safety during surgery.
The anesthetist arrives on the scene to give you either general or local anesthesia. You and your doctor will decide what is necessary for your comfort during the surgery.
After you are fully comfortable, your doctor will make very small incisions, strategically placed so as not to leave obvious scarring. The fat being targeted will be prepared for suctioning (your doctor’s techniques may vary as there are several options for this step), and then will be suctioned out of your body using small metal tubes, called cannulas.
After all the fat is removed, the incisions will be closed with sutures, and if necessary, small tubes will be inserted to drain excess fluids.
How Long Will Recovery From Liposuction Take?
Directly after your surgery, you will be brought to a recovery room, and fitted with compression garments to help maintain your new body shape, and to help keep swelling to a minimum. You will be cleared to go home within a few hours, so be prepared to have a friend, spouse, or family member drive you home and stay with you for at least the initial 24 hours post-operation. Most light work will be possible within the first week, and vigorous or highly active activity should be avoided only for two or three weeks. Again, these recovery estimations depend on each individual and your surgery.
You should see your final results around one to two months after the liposuction procedure, when all the swelling and bruising has gone down for good. Your newly slimmed and refined body will be ready to rock that bikini you’ve been afraid of wearing before you know it!
Liposuction is one of the most commonly known terms when it comes to plastic surgery, but many people who may be thinking pursuing this surgery might not actually know as much about it as they think. Learn everything today!