Sometimes, even regular exercise and strict dieting aren’t enough to get rid of excess fat. For those stubborn areas liposuction may be a solution.
What areas are treated by liposuction?
Liposuction is commonly used to treat patients who are near normal weight and have firm elastic skin. It is not a substitution for weight loss. Common areas treated are:
- Upper arms
- Male breasts
What happens during liposuction?
Your consultant will assess your overall health, skin quality and the amount of fat to be removed before talking you through what approach will be used.
Various types of anaesthesia are used during liposuction. If only small areas of fat are to be removed you may have local anaesthetic. More extensive surgery may require general anaesthetic. The length of your liposuction procedure will depend on the amount of fat being removed.
Your surgeon will make a small incision in the skin. Using a thin, hollow tube they will break up the fat cells beneath the skin surface and remove them with a special suction or vacuum. Several incisions may be required for larger areas. Any incisions will be stitched at the end of the procedure. The area will be bandaged for support.
Recovering from liposuction
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be able to have the procedure as a day case. You will need pain relief medication once the anaesthesia wears off. You may need to wear an elastic support garment for two to six weeks after surgery. Remember to ask a friend or relative to drive you home.
You will need to have your stitches removed five to ten days following your surgery. You may need to take one to two weeks off work depending on the extent of your procedure. For the first few weeks you will need to rest and avoid any strenuous activity.
Once the swelling has decreased you will notice a difference in your body contour. However it may take up to six months to the area to settle.
This chart is only a guide to stages of recovery post liposuction. Everyone heals differently so your results may vary.
Day 1 – 3
Day 7 – 10
Except when bathing an elastic support garment must be worn day and night around the operation site (does not apply to facial surgery)
Walking may be uncomfortable if your procedure was in the lower part of your body.
Gradually increase your activity.
Any stitches or staples are removed.
Return to work if approved by your surgeon
Normal activity level resumed.
You may need to continue to wear support garment.
You no longer need to wear a support garment
It can take 6 months for any swelling to disappear.
You may feel some numbness in the area
Final result can be judged as long as your weight has remained stable.
The results of liposuction appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside. The overall appearance will be visible within two to three weeks and most of the remaining swelling will have gone within six to 12 weeks. However, your shape will continue to improve over the next six months to a year, as long as your weight is stable.
What are the complications of liposuction?
Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Be sure and discuss any concerns you might have about these risks with your surgeon.
Specific complications of liposuction may include:
- Stiffness and pain
- Unusual sensations
- Fine thread veins
- Lumpy appearance as remaining fat settles.
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