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Although a healthy lifestyle, proper diet, and exercise are the optimal tools to achieve and maintain a healthy, toned, and youthful body, there are certain areas of the body where fat deposits are highly resistant to these modalities. For these areas, liposuction offers a great alternative to eliminate the amount of fat present, and to contour the remaining tissue to a more desirable shape. Although a rudimentary type of liposuction was performed as early as 1921, it wasn’t until the 1970s when the available technology made it possible to perform liposuction as we know it today. Liposuction has reached such popularity that it has become the most common cosmetic surgery procedure performed in the United States.

Is Liposuction For You?

Liposuction is intended to address problem areas of fat deposition which are resistant to diet and exercise and to improve the contour or shape of the body. It is not intended as a weight-reduction modality. Thus, liposuction is indicated on healthy patients who are within a certain range of their ideal body weight (within 30% is recommended).

Liposuction results are best noted in younger patients who have optimal skin elasticity. Liposuction has been successfully performed in all areas of the body including face/neck, arms, torso, and legs. Although most of the time liposuction is performed as the sole procedure, there are times when it is combined with other surgical procedures such as a facelift or a tummy tuck in order to optimize the results.

Understanding The Surgery

Local liposuction of a small area can be performed in an office setting and even with local anesthesia. When the areas to be treated are more extensive, however, usually a hospital facility and general anesthesia are required. After the patient is positioned, usually the areas to be treated are injected with a solution which contains saline, local anesthesia and epinephrine (a solution which shrinks the size of the blood vessels in the area). This is done in order to minimize the amount of blood which is suctioned with the fat. This, in turn, will not only decrease the chances that a blood transfusion will be necessary after liposuction, but will also minimize the swelling and bruise after the procedure.

After the areas to be treated are contoured to the surgeon’s satisfaction, the small skin incisions are closed with small (usually resorbable) sutures. The surgeon will then usually apply a compression garment to the areas that were treated right in the operating room. This garment is to be worn for a period after the surgery which can last from days to weeks, depending on the area that was treated. By doing this, it allows the skin to reattach to these tissues in the proper place and also minimizes free space under the skin where fluid can accumulate in the postoperative period. You might find that this compression garment will give you added support and comfort as you heal in the first few days after the procedure. You should be able to return to normal daily activities within a couple of days. As your body heals and the skin shrinks over the next few days to weeks, the improvement in the areas treated will soon become evident.

What To Expect After Surgery

For any significant liposuction, your surgeon might keep you in the hospital overnight. This is to allow you ample time to recover from your anesthesia and to make sure all body fluids removed by the liposuction process are replaced. The day following your surgery, however, you will be able to go home. You will be encouraged to be as active as possible and you should be able to return to normal daily activities within a couple of days. ou can anticipate some swelling, bruising and numbness at the surgical site. There might be some soreness as well, which is usually easily controlled with mild to moderate pain medication. Bruising and swelling will be greatest within the first couple of weeks and will then begin to dissipate. With time, the swelling and numbness will resolve. This will be further enhanced as your level of activity progressively increases. The incisions will heal to the point where they will become almost imperceptible. This process will take several weeks to months and it is important to be patient while your body heals.

Real Patient Stories

I absolutely love everyone in this office. I personally got a breast augmentation and arm lipo by Dr. Garri and I am so happy with my results. The team at Mosa med spa are super professional, very friendly and attentive to all of their patients. From Carmen, to Graciela, to the ladies at the reception area, all are very sweet and make you feel very calm and comfortable. Honestly I don't have one bad thing to say about their care and service. -Jessica F.

The New You

As opposed to other procedures in plastic surgery where the final changes become evident almost immediately, liposuction is the type of procedure where the initial changes are followed by the continued improvement over time, as the residual tissue swelling diminishes over the course of weeks to months. Your initial result will be enhanced with time as you feel increasingly better and more confident with your new body shape. Furthermore, this might lead to a more active lifestyle which will reap further benefits in creating a more youthful, toned, and healthier you.