Liposuction removes fat from underneath the skin. First a small incision is made, about the width of a staple. Through this incision, fluid containing a numbing medication (lidocaine) and epinephrine is infused into the layer of fat beneath the skin. The lidocaine minimizes pain after the operation, and the epinephrine helps prevent bruising. The fluid also helps to break up the fat. A blunt metal tube is then used to remove the fat.
Dr. Greer performs liposuction both under general anesthesia, and on patients who are awake. Having liposuction while awakes gives you the benefit of no recovery from anesthesia medications, with only minimal discomfort during the procedure itself.
What areas of the body can liposuction be done on?
Liposuction is done most commonly on the abdomen, hips and waist, but it can be done on many other areas of the body, including:
- Under the chin
- The upper arms
- The upper back under the bra roll
- Over the chest in men
- The inner thigh
- The outer thigh
- The knee
What happens if I gain weight?
When you gain weight, the fat cells you have fill up with fat. When you lose weight, these fat cells deflate. But the overall number of fat cells you have is fairly constant, although they will multiply after large increases in weight. Liposuction removes the fat cells themselves, not just the fat inside them. So if you gain weight after having liposuction, you will likely gain it in other areas of the body.
What is the recovery like after liposuction?
As with any operation, your recovery will be unique to you. Everyone has a different pain tolerance and recovers at a different rate. That being said, the recovery from liposuction is generally very tolerable.
- Pain is usually less than with an abdominoplasty, C-section, or other types of surgery that go through the muscle layer. You’ll likely have moderate pain the first one to two days after surgery, and then you’ll experience discomfort or soreness rather than true pain. Most patients take narcotic pain medication for the first couple of days, and then transition over to ibuprofen or Tylenol within a few days after surgery.
- You will have a large amount of drainage from your incisions over the first 24-48 hours. This will taper off and stop by day two after surgery. This fluid is the numbing fluid which is used to break up the fat during liposuction. It is tinged with blood, so it is usually pink or red.
- Liposuction also causes quite a bit of swelling and bruising. The bruising fades within a couple of weeks, but you will have to wear a compression garment for up to three months after surgery to help the swelling resolve.
If you are considering having liposuction, be prepared to take from several days up to a week off work, depending on how physically active your job is. Walking and light exercise are fine after the first week, but do avoid any heavy cardio (e.g. running) or weightlifting for a full month after surgery.
Before and After Photos***
***All patient results may vary, these procedures are for cosmetic purposes only and results are not guaranteed, nor are permanent. All patients are different and in no way will any procedures be alike, nor the recovery period.