Liposuction is a surgical procedure under cosmetology that is concerned with the removal of fatty tissue, commonly referred to as “cellulite.” It is an elective procedure that allows the cosmetic surgeon to remove undesirable, subcutaneous fat in isolated areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. These areas include the hips, thighs, saddle bags, abdomen, knees, ankles, face, and neck.
Liposuction is done under general anesthesia or “tumescent local anesthesia, on an outpatient basis in a hospital or surgical center. Patients are sometimes better off staying at the hospital for a couple of days. The surgeon makes small (less than 1/2 inch), discreet incisions in the areas to be treated. A cannula is inserted via a small incision and attached to a suction machine, and fat tissue is suctioned out. The procedure may take an hour or more, depending on how many areas are involved.
Recovery from liposuction is relatively easy. Expect a fair amount of swelling and bruising in the following two weeks. You will wear special garments provided to apply pressure, minimize swelling and provide support while healing. These garments also assist in retraction of the skin. Stitches will be removed in a week to 10 days.
Results are recognizable almost immediately and will continue to improve as swelling subsides. The day after the surgery, you should be able to walk around. Increase your activity daily until full activity is resumed at 2-4 weeks. You will be ready to return to office work in 3-5 days and more active employment at 10-14 days. Avoid the sun until all bruising has subsided. A sunscreen should be used routinely; it is easy to get sunburned during recovery because of decreased sensation.
The results of liposuction are permanent. If you were to gain a large amount of weight you might note rippling in the treated areas, depending on your skin elasticity.