Liposuction

Liposuction is a popular surgery that can improve your silhouette by removing pockets of stubborn fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.  Liposuction is a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure.  It reshapes the body, but does not remove large amounts of fat.  The most common areas to improve with liposuction are the abdomen, flanks, hips and thighs, though it is sometimes also effective on the upper arms and under the chin.  For the best outcome, skin must be in good condition.  If skin has been damaged by weight changes or pregnancy, liposuction may not be the answer. 

Dr Swanson uses the tumescent, or “wet” technique, in which fluid is injected into the site before suctioning begins.  This allows a larger amount of fat to be safely removed in less time and reduces the bruising and swelling after the procedure.   Liposuction is done under general anesthesia for patient safety and comfort. 

The length of time needed to perform liposuction depends upon the number of areas being treated.  It is an outpatient procedure, which means that you can return home the same day that you have surgery.  Recovery time varies based on the size and number of areas, but most patients can return to office work in one week. 

Following surgery, patients will wear compression garments that reduce swelling and discomfot, as well as help their skin conform to their body’s new contours.  The garment is worn 24 hours a day for the first two weeks and then 12 hours a day for another month. 


Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q:  Is the fat removed during liposuction permanently gone?

A:  Yes, fat cells that are removed during liposuction cannot return, which means that the new contours will remain if your weight changes.  (In other words, your size may change but not your shape.)

Q:  If a person gains weight after liposuction, does that fat go somewhere else?

A:  Weight that is gained after liposuction tends to distribute more evenly instead of collecting in one area.  Similarly, if weight is lost after liposuction, it tends to come off more evenly instead of from on particular area. 

Q:  Why is liposuction done under general anesthesia?

A:  Liposuction is done under general anesthesia because it makes it possible to treat more areas and remove more fat safely than when a local anesthesia is used.  Additionally, it’s more comfortable for the patient, as there is discomfort caused by the fluid installation and suctioning.  Local anesthesia can be used when only a small amount of fat, less than one liter,is going to be removed, which is usually done with the laser-assisted technique.