Liposuction: What to Expect Before, During, and After
Some people inherit a
tendency to store fat in a certain area of the body such as the
outer thighs or abdomen. When fat remains despite diet and exercise,
liposuction may be an option for removing the fat and sculpting the
area. The following explains what can be expected if you undergo
What to Expect Before Liposuction
consultation is essential. Your dermatologist will take a complete
medical history. Be sure to tell your dermatologist about past
surgeries, over-the-counter and prescription medications, allergies,
and medical conditions. It also is important that your dermatologist
know about all vitamins, herbal supplements, and alternative
therapies that you use.
determine if liposuction is suitable for you, your dermatologist
will perform a physical exam. If all looks well, you will need to
get some tests. These typically include blood work for everyone and
an electrocardiogram for people over 60 years of age. Other tests
may be necessary.
after your dermatologist has reviewed the results from the lab tests
can the doctor tell if liposuction is right for you. If liposuction
is appropriate, the dermatologist will make sure you know what will
happen during the procedure, the expected results, and the potential
side effects. Alternative treatment options will be discussed.
you agree that liposuction is right for you, photographs will be
taken. You also will be provided with instructions to follow before
the procedure. These will include not losing or gaining weight as
well as avoiding alcohol, vitamin E, and certain medications such as
aspirin and ibuprofen for a specified amount of time. An antibiotic
may be prescribed so that you can start it the day before.
What to Expect During Liposuction
Liposuction can be safely
performed in a medical office. Before being prepped for this
procedure, vitals are taken and women are usually given a pregnancy
test. If the pregnancy test is negative and the vitals good, the
person can be prepped. This typically includes the dermatologist
marking the treatment area and confirming what will be treated with
you. Next a sedative is given, the area is cleansed, and the
anesthesia administered. This is a local anesthesia, so you will
remain awake during the entire procedure.
anesthesia takes about 30 to 90 minutes. As the anesthesia takes
effect, the area becomes hard and swollen. Once the area is ready,
the dermatologist makes several small incisions so that a small tube
called a cannula can be inserted. The cannula suctions out the
During the procedure, the
dermatologist may ask you to reposition yourself. Once the fat has
been removed and the area sculpted, the area is dressed — usually
with absorbent pads and a compression garment. Stitches are not
necessary because the incisions are so small that the skin seals
shut in about 1 day. This entire procedure takes fewer than 3 hours.
What to Expect After Liposuction
After liposuction you may
feel a bit groggy and have some discomfort. Someone will need to
take you home. Before leaving the office, you will be given
instructions. These should be carefully followed to ensure the best
results and to reduce the risk of side effects. Your instructions
will include how to care for the treated area. You will need to
change the absorbent pads, wear a compression garment, and take some
precautions for a few days.
Many people return to
work after 48 hours and resume all normal activities within 1 week
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