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Liposuction: What happens before and after?

Before the surgery or procedure

Before your liposuction surgery, the surgeon may mark circles and lines on the parts of your body that will be treated. How your liposuction treatment is performed is determined by the technique used. Your surgeon will decide the best approach for you depending on your treatment goals, the area of your body to be treated, and previous liposuction treatments.

Following that, you’ll either undergo general anesthesia — in which case you won’t be aware of the procedure — or a “local,” in which case you’ll be awake but will experience no pain.

Types of Liposuction

  • Tumescent liposuction.This is the most common type of liposuction. The surgeon injects a sterile solution — to help in fat removal, an anaesthetic to alleviate pain, and a medication (epinephrine) to constrict the blood vessels — into the area being treated. The fluid mixture may induces swelling and stiffening of the affected area. Following that, the surgeon makes small incisions in your skin and inserts a cannula beneath it. The cannula is attached to a vacuum that removes fat and fluids from your body. An intravenous (IV) line may be used to restore your body fluids.
  • SmartLipo or Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL). This procedure use high-intensity laser light to break down fat  for removal. During LAL, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin and inserts a laser fibre to emulsify fat deposits. After that, the fat is removed via a cannula.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL). During UAL,your surgeon inserts a metal rod that produces ultrasonic energy beneath your skin. This causes the fat cells to rupture and the fat to be broken down for easier removal.
  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL).This method of liposuction involves the use of a cannula that goes back and forth rapidly. This vibration enables the surgeon to more easily and quickly extract excess fat. PAL may occasionally result in less pain and swelling .This method enables surgeon to perform more precise fat removal. If huge amounts of fat need to be removed or if you’ve previously undergone liposuction, your surgeon may recommend this treatment.

During the procedure

Some liposuction procedures may only require local anesthesia and other procedures require general anesthesia. you may be given a sedative, often through IV injection to assist you in remaining calm and relaxed.

Liposuction: What happens before and after?

Throughout the surgery, the surgical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen saturation level. Inform your surgeon if you are given a local anesthetic and have pain throughout the surgery. Adjustment of medicine or motions may be necessary. The process may take several hours depending on the quantity of fat removal.

If your surgeon uses general anesthesia, you will awaken in a recovery room. Typically, you’ll stay at least a few hours in a hospital or clinic while medical experts monitor your recovery. If you are admitted to the hospital, you need to stay overnight to ensure dehydration or shock as a result of the fluid loss.

After the procedure and recovery duration

After the treatment, you should experience some pain, swelling, and bruising. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication and antibiotics to help control the infection risk.

Following the treatment, the surgeon may leave your incisions open and insert temporary drains to aid in fluid drainage. Typically, you will need to wear tight compression clothing for a few weeks to help minimize swelling.

You may need to wait a few days to return to work and many weeks to restart routine activities, including exercise. Expect minor contour inconsistencies during this period as the residual fat settles into place.

Risk factors

In cosmetic surgery, there are many risks involved. You can reduce them by ensuring that the procedure is performed by a board-certified, properly educated cosmetic surgeon.

There are various potential risks associated with liposuction that you should consider, including the following:

  • Burns from instruments
  • Bleeding
  • Infections (strep)
  • Shock (usually not getting enough fluid during surgery)
  • Fat embolism 
  • Change in skin sensation; numbness
  • Uneven fat removal
  • Damage to nerves, blood vessels, muscles and abdominal organs

Another risk is that you will develop a blood clot in one of your deep veins. Clots can be extremely deadly if they spread to other regions of the body, including the lungs.


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