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Cosmetic Procedures and Liposuction

How Is Liposuction Done?

Depending on the type of liposuction you are having, you may be able to have it done at a doctor's office or surgery center and go home the same day. If large amounts of fat will be removed, the procedure will be done in a hospital, and you may need to stay overnight.

Before the procedure starts, you will be given an anesthetic. Depending on how much fat is being removed and the type of liposuction being done, you may get local anesthesia or general anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you will be "asleep" during the procedure.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon will make small cuts, insert a suction device inside the cut, and remove excess fat using a suction pump or a large syringe. How long it takes depends on how much fat is being removed.

Types of Liposuction

There are a couple of different liposuction techniques:

  • Tumescent liposuction. With this technique, the surgeon will inject a solution into your fatty areas before the fat is removed. It is made up of a saline solution, lidocaine anesthetic, and epinephrine -- a drug that contracts your blood vessels. The solution helps the surgeon remove the fat more easily, helps reduce blood loss, and eases pain during and after surgery.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction. With ultrasound-assisted liposuction, ultrasonic energy is used to liquefy the fat, which is then removed from your body.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

When liposuction is an outpatient procedure, people usually recover quickly. Most people can return to work within a few days and get back to normal activities within two weeks.

You should expect bruising, swelling, and soreness for at least a few weeks. Your surgeon may require you to wear a compressive garment for one to two months after surgery to control swelling.

However, every person is different. Your doctor will discuss what results you can expect to achieve and how to best maintain your new body shape.

Are the Results Permanent?

The fat cells are removed permanently during liposuction. If you gain weight after the procedure, it usually will not concentrate in the area that was treated.

However, it is important to note that liposuction will not prevent you from gaining weight. To keep your new shape and new weight after liposuction, you must follow a proper diet and exercise plan.

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