Liposuction: What You Should Know Before Your Procedure
Diet and exercise are not always enough to give you the shape you have worked so hard to achieve. You may still have bulging, stubborn areas of fat that seem immune to your efforts. An experienced cosmetic surgeon can eliminate your stubborn fat and leave your problem areas looking smoother and more toned. If you are contemplating liposuction, there are a few points you should know before your scheduled surgery.
Your Surgeon Will Determine the Location
Liposuction, typically performed under general anesthesia, is a cosmetic procedure safely done in an outpatient surgical facility, in a hospital, or in your cosmetic surgeon's office. Areas affected by the process depend on the extent of the fat removal needed and the areas treated. For smaller treatment areas, a local anesthetic in your surgeon's office may be all you need.
You Will Need to Wear Compression
You will need to wear graduated compression garments after your procedure to reduce swelling and help your skin adhere to the newly sculpted area. Your cosmetic surgeon will let you know what type of garments and the level of compression to purchase. You may want to buy a second set of compression garments for wear while laundering the first set.
You Will Need to Arrange Transportation
You will need someone to drive you home, and you may also be advised to have someone stay with you the first night after your procedure. Since you will not be at your best immediately after surgery, having a friend or family member available for assistance may help you rest comfortably.
You Will Need Pain Management
Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to ease the discomfort for the first few days after your procedure. After those early days, you should only need to use over-the-counter pain relievers, which you should get before you have your surgery.
You Should Expect Swelling and Bruising
Fluid retention is an expected part of post-surgery. Most of the additional fluids will be drained or reabsorbed within the first few days after your procedure. Your compression garments will help reduce most of the swelling after your treatment. You will want to be sure to follow your doctor's instructions and wear the garments as directed.
You can also expect a fair amount of bruising after liposuction, although that should clear up within the first month following your procedure. Your doctor will give you instructions for applying ice to the treated areas to minimize swelling and bruising.
You May Experience Numbness
You could notice, once the anesthesia wears off, that the treated areas feel numb. That is an expected side effect of your treatment. The feeling will probably return within two weeks after your surgery.
Returning to Your Normal Activities
Your doctor will advise you on your anticipated recovery time. Some people find they can return to work after a few days off to heal; others choose to take additional time off. Most people can return to their usual activities within two weeks.
Prepare Yourself with Realistic Expectations
The results of your procedure will not be immediately apparent. You will notice some changes in your form in a week to 10 days, but it can take four to 12 months before you see the full results.
Liposuction is Not a Weight Loss Tool
Liposuction works best when performed on those who have maintained a stable weight. You will not notice a drastic drop on the scale, but you will see changes in your shape. You have a set number of fat cells, and once removed from your target areas, weight gain may cause them to accumulate in a different location. By managing your weight, the results of your liposuction procedure should be permanent.
For many people, diet and exercise are not enough to eliminate stubborn fat deposits. Liposuction permanently removes stubborn fat when your efforts do not reveal the shape you were hoping to achieve. Liposuction may not be ideal in every situation. Your cosmetic surgeon can help you select the best fat-eliminating treatment based on your unique needs.