Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

Liposuction is good for treating specific areas where fat has accumulated, but not to treat obesity. It is not a weight loss procedure but more of a contouring procedure. A typical example is excess fatty tissue of the hips or of the thighs. A typical procedure may remove 2-4 pounds of weight, but it makes a big difference in contour. I usually explain to patients that I can remove half as much as they can pinch in a certain area.

What is the surgery like?

Liposuction is the removal of fatty tissue using small metal tubes inserted under the skin. It can be done under local anesthesia if it involves a small area, but it is often done under general anesthesia. The surgeon usually makes two small openings in skin for each area to be treated. These incisions heal with minimal, well-hidden scars.

What is the recovery like?

After surgery, there is mild discomfort, like a bruised feeling. Oral pain medications are prescribed. Exercise is restricted for three weeks after the surgery and compression garments are worn to control the swelling. The swelling can last up to six weeks. A person can usually return to work 3-5 days after surgery.

What are the results like?

The goal of the surgery is an evening out of the contour.

How dangerous is liposuction?

You may have heard of patients who have experienced serious problems during a liposuction procedure. Usually, these cases are actually caused by doctors who aren’t properly trained. A doctor can say he is “board certified” but there are many different specialty boards. For example, pediatrics or emergency medicine. My recommendation is to seek a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.

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