FREQUENT QUESTIONS ABOUT LIPOSUCTION
Liposuction is the name of the operation to correct deformities of body contour. Its primary purpose is to improve the appearance of the body by removal of excess fat that is in localized areas. Each individual has these local accumulations differing on the basis of sex, race, age, and heredity. The amount of fat that can be removed is determined by the patient’s wishes, my recommendations, and limited only by medical safety.
My goal in liposuction is to produce a body contour that appears natural and that is free of unsightly bulges. As with any procedure there are limitations based on the skin texture, thickness, and ability to retract. Once the fat is removed the skin needs to be draped over the newly contoured area. If the skin does not have enough elasticity this may cause loosening of the skin in that area which would need to be corrected by a surgical procedure. Those patients who do not have suitable skin to make them candidates for liposuction can however be helped by other procedures such as abdominoplasty, thigh lift, and buttock lift. All of this will be discussed with you during your consultation.
The following information is to give you a better understanding of what is involved in having liposuction. If you have any questions jot them down so we can discuss them at a later time.
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
Any patient between the ages of 20 to 60, who has achieved the weight at which they are comfortable and who does not plan to gain or loose any further weight is a good candidate for liposuction. Patients who are obese should first diet to achieve their desired weight and then undergo liposuction or other procedures for removal of remaining fatty accumulations. Your skin type is also a major determinant of the suitability of this procedure for you.
How is liposuction performed?
Liposuction is performed through small incisions, placed in inconspicuous areas of the body through which small hollow tubes (cannulas) are placed to aspirate the fat. Power assisted( PAL),Ultrasound liposuction(Vaser) and "smart lipo"(laser)are some of the machines used to make the process easier for the surgeon. The incisions are then closed with a single suture.
Is it possible to show what my shape will look like?
No. During one of your visits photographs will be taken which I use for study. I will sketch what I believe to be the most desirable shaped body for you and what the surgical goal should be. This is for discussion only and to help us agree on what our surgical goals should be.
Will insurance pay for liposuction?
No. Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure which is not covered by any insurance company. In rare cases of marked obesity the insurance companies may cover the cost for a panniculectomy if the amount of excess weight is a threat to the patient’s well being.
Will I need to donate blood?
No. In performing liposuction I regularly inject the tissues with a solution containing adrenaline which will keep your blood loss to a minimum and allow the procedure to be performed without any blood transfusions.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The procedure can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. The choice depends on you. In general, most patients tolerate liposuction of one or two areas under local anesthesia without discomfort. For more areas, general anesthesia is preferred for your comfort. The procedure in all cases is an out patient procedure and you should plan on going home the same day.
Is there much pain?
It is surprising how little discomfort there is with liposuction. Usually oral pain medication the first day or two is all that is necessary for any soreness that may be present.
What do I need to do after the surgery?
You will be placed in a compressive garment at the time of the surgery. On the 4th or 5th post operative day you will return to my office where we will take some of the bandages and tapes off which will enable you to shower at that time. You will continue to wear a compressive garment for the first two weeks after the surgery 24 hours a day. After that it is preferable to continue to wear the garment for another two weeks as much as possible and at least during the night. I shall see you again three weeks after the surgery and again at three months after the surgery if needed.
How much swelling will there be?
Initially you will have considerable swelling which subsides within the first two weeks. However, all of the swelling and redraping of the skin will not be complete until at least three months and sometimes six months. A large part of the initial swelling is due to the solution that is injected to prevent bleeding. This will drain out from the incisions within the first 48 hours.
What are the limitations after surgery?
Patients usually go back to work within three to five days after surgery. There should be no strenuous activity or sports for one month.
What if other surgery is needed?
In rare circumstances you may need to have a touch up of a small area performed to remove any irregularity or bump. If there is a large amount of loose skin we will then have to discuss procedures to remove the excess skin.
Will the fat come back?
No. Once the fat is aspirated from the local area the fat cells do not re-form. However, if you are to gain an excessive amount of weight, that fat which does remain will grow in size.
Hopefully, this information has given you a better understanding of liposuction. Please feel free to call our offices at 703-876-9400 or 301-907-3838 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Tavallali. We look forward to seeing you soon.