What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure whereby localized fat deposits are removed using a suction device through small, well-hidden incisions to provide improved body contouring to the treated area. Liposuction is not a method of weight loss, and the amounts of fat removed in weight are relatively small relatively speaking. The impact, however, is significant since it’s truly “spot reduction.”

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           BEFORE                         AFTER

Check out our Liposuction Gallery for more before and after photos.

Who are good candidates for Liposuction?

Patients who are candidates for liposuction are generally at or close to their ideal weight, but who are still bothered by problem areas, such as saddlebags, lower tummy, love handles, or chest fat (gynecomastia).

What are the risks of Liposuction Surgery?

Liposuction, when done properly in an appropriate setting, is very safe. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure, and it’s important for patients to understand that liposuction is a surgical procedure, in spite of the fact that incisions are very small and the surgical sites are hidden under the skin. Risks include any associated anesthetic risks, which are generally minimal for young, healthy patients typical of those undergoing liposuction. Surgical risk includes bleeding and infections, though these are quite rare as well. There is typically sensory alteration in the sites treated, but most of the numbness resolves over time. Fluid collections (seromas) can occur post-operatively, and these are usually easy treated with aspiration using a needle and syringe. Long-term issues are mostly related to contour irregularities from under- or over-suction, and these might require a secondary or “touch-up” operation.

How long is the Liposuction surgery?

The length of the surgery depends on how many areas are being treated. Extensive procedures can last several hours.

How long is recovery time for a Liposuction surgery?

After liposuction, patients wear a compressive garment for 4 to 6 weeks at all times except when showering. Over the first week, patients should take it easy—nothing strenuous that might raise heart rate or blood pressure. This is to avoid bleeding or development of a fluid collection, and the first week is the most critical from this perspective. After a week, I encourage my patients to proceed with cardio activities, generally low-impact, in order to recondition themselves after a big surgical procedure and a week off. After two weeks, I allow patients to go ahead with resistance training, and they advance this as they tolerate it over the subsequent four to six weeks.

As for work, many patients can have surgery Friday and be back to work on Monday, presuming they have non-strenuous jobs. Those whose jobs are more physical may need to take a week or two off of work if they’re able to.

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Is there pain after Liposuction?

Liposuction is painful to some degree in all patients, though tolerance varies. In very extensive procedure, patients may require pain medication for several days post-operatively, as compared to smaller procedures, where minimal medication is needed.

Is there a difference between a Liposuction and a “Tummy Tuck?

There is a big difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck, in that liposuction removes fat but not skin, and this is done through very small incisions that are barely perceptible afterwards. A tummy tuck may include liposuction as part of it, but the primary difference that large areas of skin are removed with a tummy tuck in order to tighten the abdominal wall. This results in a large scar across the lower abdomen, which is very different from liposuction.

Are there any drugs to take before or after a Liposuction Surgery?

There are no specific drugs that I recommend prior to liposuction surgery, though there are various homeopathic remedies, such as arnica, which may be popular. I don’t recommend anything specific, but in most cases, I’m okay with patients who use such medications.

When Can I Return to Normal Activities?

This depends on what you refer to as normal activities. Most patients can resume most activities within a few days, other than very strenuous exercise or labor. Most patients are nearly completely back to normal within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Check out our “Getting Back to Training Instructional Sheet” for more information.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about the Liposuction Procedure, call our office in Brighton at (617) 965-9500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rick Silverman. For directions click here.