Liposuction: Q&A session

Gaining weight can lead to deposition of fat in unwanted areas of the body that can make one’s overall appearance unattractive. In such cases, many resort to dieting or exercise to get rid of the excess fat.  Unfortunately, getting rid of that stubborn fat can at times be a daunting task. Liposuction is a surgical procedure where excess fat is removed from the body revealing a shapely figure for both men and women.

Liposuction surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States and around the world.  It is a very effective means of getting rid of unwanted fat stores.  It is common to find individuals seeking this type of surgery having many questions about the procedure and subsequent recovery leaving them anxious about moving forward with the treatment.  However, to get the best experience from the liposuction surgeons in Valparaiso, it is important to understand what liposuction is and how it can help you.

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  1. What is liposuction?

Lipo literally stands for “relating to fat or lipids”.  The fat that can be “liposuctioned” lies between the skin and the myofascial layer.  This is called subcutaneous fat.  Suctioning of this subcutaneous layer of fat can be performed virtually on any part of the body where there are excess unwanted fat stores.  The most commonly performed areas of liposuction include the abdomen, flanks, hips, back, bra-line fat rolls, upper arms, thighs, calves and neck.  At the present time, there are many forms of liposuction out in the market including suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL), power-assisted lipoplasty (PAL), ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), etc.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to explain the differences between these various forms of liposuction procedures.  No matter what the technique is, the endpoint of the procedure involves introducing a cannula through tiny incisions made in the skin and suctioning out the subcutaneous fat.

2. Am I a right candidate for liposuction?

This is probably the most important question that your plastic surgeon can answer for you.  Generally speaking, liposuction can be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with another procedure such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, or a thigh lift.  When you see your plastic surgeon in consultation, he/she will examine the area of interest to assess for excess fat, skin laxity, and stretch marks amongst other things.  Based on this thorough evaluation, your plastic surgeon will be able to help you make an informed decision as to what the best approach to tackle the excess fat would be.  For instance, if you have excess fat in your lower tummy area with good skin tone and minimal to no skin laxity, you would likely be a good candidate for liposuction alone.  However, if the excess fat is accompanied by a surplus of skin with significant laxity, your plastic surgeon may recommend a concomitant mini or a full tummy tuck procedure to address the excess skin.

3. How long before full recovery?

Recovery time from liposuction can vary from person to person and is also predicated on the number of areas treated.  Generally speaking, most patients can return to work within one week.  Most of the soreness can be expected during the first three days but the discomfort improves gradually over time.  Swelling and bruising are also common and can last up to 4-6 weeks or longer.  You may be advised to wear a fitted compression garment for several weeks after your surgery.  With good skin tone with minimal to no laxity, the skin is expected to contract over the next year.  At the end of the day, it is vital that you follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions very closely to optimize your results.

4. What should I expect to pay for the procedure?

The cost of any cosmetic procedure including liposuction generally involves a surgeon’s professional fee, a facility fee, and an anesthesia fee.  The sum total of all these fees can typically range anywhere from $2500 to $8000 depending on the number of areas being treated, amount of time spent on the procedure, and geographic location amongst many other factors.

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