Liposuction uses suction to remove fat from your body. The doctor puts a small, thin tube through very small cuts in the skin. Then the doctor moves the tube around under your skin to reach areas with more fat.
Liposuction is usually done in a doctor's office, a surgery centre, or a hospital. It can be major or minor surgery. It depends on how much fat is removed. You will probably go home after surgery. But if a lot of fat is removed, you may have to stay overnight.
You may be asleep for the surgery. Or you may get medicine to make you relax. Most of the time, the doctor gives you a shot to numb the area. This reduces pain and bleeding. The doctor may also use a laser or ultrasound to change the solid fat to liquid.
After the surgery, the area where the fat was removed will have some kind of wrap on it. You may have elastic bandages and tape on the area. Or you could have support hose, a girdle, or another type of tight clothing. These can help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. You may have to keep the wrap on for 3 to 4 weeks. The area will probably be bruised and swollen for at least 10 to 14 days.
After several weeks of soft swelling, some areas may feel hard and lumpy. Your doctor may recommend massage to help take care of any lumps.
You can return to your normal activities when you feel comfortable. It may take several days to a few weeks. Most people can go back to light work in a few days. But sometimes it takes longer.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: April 18, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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