FAQ liposuction FAQ

Liposuction Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am a good candidate for liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)?
Liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat are removed to recontour one or more areas of the body. Through tiny incisions, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed and pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump.

To be a good candidate for liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy), you must have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. The best candidates for liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. Body contouring procedures such as liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) are not intended as a substitute for losing weight via diet and exercise. Individuals should be physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Age is not a major consideration; however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin, or may not be a candidate for the liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) procedure.


What is the length of a typical liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) procedure?
Liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) generally requires 1 to 3 hours to perform. The variation in time relates to the type of anesthesia used and the number of areas being treated.


What type of anesthesia is used for liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)?
Various types of anesthesia can be used for liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) procedures. You and Dr. Mayfield will select the type of anesthesia that provides the most safe and effective level of comfort for your surgery.

If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) can be performed using local anesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. Intravenous sedation is usually used along with the local anesthetic to keep you more relaxed during the procedure. Regional anesthesia can be a good choice for procedures on the lower body. Some patients prefer general anesthesia (completely asleep), particularly if several body sites are involved.


Is liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) performed as an outpatient?
Generally, liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) is performed as an outpatient. If liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)is being performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty), breast lift (mastopexy), or abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) as examples, an overnight stay in a hospital or surgical hospital may be required.


Where are liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) procedures performed?
Liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) surgery is performed in the safety of an ambulatory surgery center, a surgical hospital or the outpatient surgery department of a hospital.


What is the cost of liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)?
The total cost of liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) ranges from $2,500 to $6,000. The variability in cost is related to the time and complexity of the procedure required (type of anesthesia and number of areas treated) in each individual.


Is liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) covered by insurance?
No, liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) and other cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance.


How long will it take to recover from liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)?
Individuals usually return to work within one or two weeks, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Jobs that require significant physical activity will require additional time off work. Sutures are removed in seven to ten days.


How will I feel and look immediately following liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) surgery?
There is temporary soreness, swelling, and some bruising. To control swelling and to help the skin better fit its new contours, you will be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated areas for several weeks. Tiredness may persist for several weeks. Numbness of the skin may last for several weeks. You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of the areas treated quite soon after surgery. Improvement will become even more apparent after four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible.


Is liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) a painful procedure?
There is discomfort for several days following liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) that is controllable with the use of pain medications taken by mouth.


What are some of the risks of liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)?
Though they are rare, complications can and do occur. Risks increase if a greater number of areas are treated at the same time, or if the operative sites are larger in size. Potential risks of liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) include blood clots, infection, bleeding or development of a fluid collection under the skin. Fat or blood clots may rarely migrate to the lungs and could cause death. Poor healing may result in conspicuous scarring. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. Imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon after liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy). The skin surface may be irregular, asymmetric or even "baggy," especially in the older patient. Numbness and pigmentation changes may occur. A second operation may be needed to correct complications or to improve the contour of the areas treated or the appearance of the scars.


Are there scars that result from liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy)?
Yes, every surgical procedure is associated with scarring. Every effort is taken to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. The scars from liposuction are small and, when possible, strategically placed to be hidden from view. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. The appearance of the scars may continue to improve for 6 to 12 months after surgery. A variety of non-surgical scar reduction techniques are utilized after surgery to improve the final appearance of the scars.


 
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