So you’ve been dieting for what seems like forever and been to the gym so often you’re on a first-name basis with most of the staff. Even still, some of your more stubborn fat is refusing to go away. In the search for a slimmer figure, you’ve turned your eyes to plastic surgery. You’re not the only one. Liposuction is one of the most often performed cosmetic procedures, and for a good reason.
Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure; in fact, an ideal candidate is already close to their goal weight. Instead, liposuction is a fat removal surgery to help reduce and remove stubborn fat cells in ways exercise and diet sometimes cannot.
Looking at the before and after liposuction photos can be inspiring, but now that you’ve committed to one, now what?
Meet for a Consultation
You’ll first start with a consultation. Here you’ll find out everything you need to know about your specific procedure, including your surgeon, potential alternative procedures, financing, risks, and if you’re even a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. It’s helpful to bring a list of any questions, desires, and concerns with you so you may discuss them during your consultation. If you have your medical records and list of medications handy, it can be beneficial to bring those as well.
Preparing for your Surgery
- Make a to-do list: You’re going to need some downtime after surgery. Ensure that any laborious tasks such as grocery shopping, house cleaning, and bed-making are done before surgery.
- Get Loose fitting clothes: At the first stages of recovery, your affected area will be tender. Avoid constricting clothes that can press against your bandages and be challenging to put on or take off.
- Shower or Bathe Prior: After surgery, you’ll likely need to avoid getting your bandages wet for a few days.
- Have a way home: After your surgery, you’ll need a designated driver to take you home. This does not include public transit or taxis. Not having a designated driver can result in your surgery’s cancellation.
- Drink: Alcohol thins your blood. This increases bleeding, bruising, and slows recovery.
- Smoke: Smoking puts pressure on your heart and lungs, increasing risks during surgery and anesthesia. It also slows your body’s healing.
- Take Aspirin: Like alcohol, Ibuprofens can thin the blood. Tylenol is a better alternative, as it contains acetaminophen instead.
- Have Food and Water the night before: Anything but an empty stomach can increase the risk of regurgitating the contents while under anesthesia
- Overextend: Bending and stretching can put pressure on your incisions. Consider a grabbing tool to help with movements like picking something up off the floor.
After your procedure, the designated area is bandaged to help reduce swelling and bruising, and the pressure prevents blood from filling the area. These bandages will need to be worn for a few weeks.
The recovering area may leak at first, but this is normal and will stop after a few days. Excessive bleeding should be reported to your surgeon.
The recovery period for liposuction varies depending on the area and intensity of the procedure. On average, you can expect a recovery of 1-2 weeks, with many returning to daily tasks after a few days. Only return to activity if you feel able, as pushing yourself can create complications during recovery.
You’ll be meeting for several post-op appointments with your doctor or nurse to check on your healing. Be sure to address any questions or concerns you have about your healing process.