If you are considering liposuction, you are far from alone. Statistics show that in the mid 90s as many as 300,000 people had liposuction each year. That number is increasing as the popularity for cosmetic surgery grows. The best statistic you’ll hear if you are considering this procedure it has a very high satisfaction rate!
First introduced in 1979, liposuction has changed significantly over the years. When first performed, this surgery required lengthy stays in the hospital with long recovery times and even blood transfusions. Known as a “Tummy Tuck”, the procedure was done in a similar fashion to a c-section a big smile incision was cut from hip to hip and then removal of the skin and fat underneath was accomplished. However liposuction performed in this way resulted in patients generally not being able to walk upright for up to six weeks, suffering great pain and scarring.
Today, liposuction can be done as an outpatient procedure at one of many surgical center facilities. It is relatively painless with bleeding, infections and other complications very rare. The normal events that will occur when liposuction is planned are the following:
Consultation with the doctor. At this visit, the doctor will look over the patient and draw on areas where he will be performing the liposuction. These drawings will occur around the entire body, as the doctor will normally be looking at improving the look of the body from all angles.
Day of surgery:
Upon arrival, the patient may be given something like Valium to help them relax (if nervous).
Demerol or other pain reliever is injected.
Lying down, the fatty areas of the body are filled with a solution of sterile salt water, adrenaline and anesthetic.
When the anesthetic takes effect, small holes are made in the skin with small needles where fat is to be removed.
A cannula, or thin tube, is then inserted into the fatty areas. Suction removes the fat through this tube and puts it into a disposable container.
After the fat is removed, you are wrapped in a dressing that stays on your body for approximately five days. Foam pads are placed on the areas where the cannula entered the skin and the patient is then placed in a garment similar to a girdle. This girdle-like garment holds the patient’s skin tightly and holds the foam pads firmly in place.
Day of surgery After the procedure is completed, the patient can normally return home in about an hour. When home, many take the rest of the day “off” and rest or sleep.
Day after surgery Most patients feel sore, but there is little discomfort. The girdle-garment begins to feel constricting on the day after surgery.
Second day after surgery Many patients have called this the “worst” day of the entire experience. The overall feeling of being sore and bound up is the most unpleasant on this day.
After that, the liposuction experience just keeps getting better and better. Small amounts of activity can be done from the day after surgery and many patients are back to work by the third day after the procedure. The foam pads can be removed after the fifth day. When the pads are removed, the patient has an opportunity to see a glimpse of their new bodyand most love what they see!
The rest of the recovery period is just the body gradually healing. Drainage from the treated sites normally stops by the seventh day after surgery, the slight bruising that can occur will heal in about two weeks, and puffiness and swelling can take several months to completely disappear. The garment given to the patient after surgery must be worn for up to 4 weeks.
After the recovery period has ended, the patient’s opinion of the liposuction is almost always positive. Dropping a size or two can make anyone feel better about themselves.
The only thing those who are thinking about liposuction must realize is that this procedure doesn’t permanently eliminate fat. If you have liposuction and return to your old habits (lack of exercise and overeating), the fat will come back quickly. However, liposuction in addition to a new lifestyle of moderate exercise and healthy eating can lead to a much thinner, shapelier body in the end.