Liposuction Surgery - Body Contouring Procedure

By: Dave Stringham

Liposuction is a procedure which helps to sculpt the body to achieve a more attractive and youthful shape and appearance. Liposuction is best suited to remove localized deposits of unwanted fat in specific areas such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. Liposuction is not a procedure for general weight loss. Liposuction does not remove cellulite. However, liposuction can be a powerful tool in removing fat from areas of the body which typically do not respond to weight loss such as the outer thighs or saddle bags.

Liposuction achieves the best results in individuals with relatively elastic skin (those without sagginess to their skin tone). In fact, for those patients with already existing loose skin, liposuction may worsen the appearance of the loose skin. In such instances, the loose skin may require surgical excision (removal).

Tumescent liposuction is used in most cases. In this method of liposuction, a local anesthetic (numbing medication) is injected in the areas which are to be suctioned. A small amount of epinephrine is also injected with the local anesthetic to help to minimize bleeding and bruising.

Liposuction is performed usually under general anesthesia. However, most patients go home on the same day of the surgery. In cases where high volume of fat is suctioned, patients are required to stay overnight at the hospital.

A snug-fitting garment designed specifically for the area of liposuction is worn immediately following the procedure. The garment must be worn at all times except bathing in order to promote optimal skin retraction and overall results for 3 weeks. Recovery time for liposuction varies depending on the area and volume suctioned. However, most patients are back to work within 7-14 days.

You will be dressed with a compression garment immediately following surgery. The garment must be worn at all times except for showers for at least 6 weeks following surgery. If the garment is too tight, you may unzip the garment but leave the metal clasps on.

You may take a shower 72 hours after surgery. Remove your compression garment and remove the foam pads which were placed over the skin immediately following surgery. You can use soap and water over everywhere. Once you are done, dab dry and put on your compression garment. You can leave the foam pads off. If the garment is soiled, you may leave it off long enough for you to wash it clean.

On the night of surgery and on the following day, you may have clear and pink drainage coming from your wounds. This is OK. In fact, you want the fluid to come out of you. Use towels over your bed and chairs to absorb the fluid.

Call and make a follow-up appointment for 7 days following surgery.

Do not pick up objects greater than 5 pounds (i.e. phone book = 5 pounds).

Do not apply a heating pad over the area of liposuction. Portions of your skin will be numb and you may get a burn from the heating pad.

Scar therapy for your incisions will start at 2 weeks following surgery. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you regarding scar creams.

Make every effort to walk around the house and sit in a chair starting on the day that you are home from surgery. Staying in bed for long periods of time can lead to blood clots in your legs or your lungs. Also, parts of your lung can collapse and cause fevers.

You may return to normal activity and exercise in 3 weeks following surgery.

You may feel "funny", tingling sensations over the area where liposuction was performed for a few weeks after surgery. This is normal recovery of some sensory nerves in your skin.

If you are constipated, take over-the-counter laxatives. You do not want to strain over the toilet as this raises your blood pressure and may cause bleeding.

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Dave Stringham is the President of Learn more about liposuction at or

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