The procedure is performed under a general anesthetic the majority of the time. Sometimes, small areas can be treated with tumescent solution alone with the proper local anesthetic. However, large-volume Liposuction is almost always performed with a general anesthetic. At Raleigh Plastic Surgery Center, our board certified anesthesiologist is present throughout your entire procedure to make surgery as safe as possible.
During surgery, small incisions are made inconspicuously, hidden in body creases, or in undetectable locations so the tumescent fluid can be introduced. After a suitable waiting period to allow the medications to become effective, instruments called cannulas are used to extract unwanted fat. The cannulas have holes at the tips and sides to assist in the extraction. After surgery, patients should expect a contour change and a change in the thickness of tissues. Over-aggressive Liposuction has to be avoided to prevent unfavorable dimpling, contour deformities, and loose skin.
Liposuction generally creates more of an overall sore and bruised feeling rather than sharp pain. The pain is easily managed with oral pain medicine. Patients will wake up in a compression garment which allows for uniform compression of the surgical sites. This facilitates proper skin contraction and reduction of swelling.
Most people can return to work within one week and return to light exercise in 3-4 week. The final results are not judged until at least 3 months post-operation since it does take a significant amount of time for skin shrinkage and for swelling to diminish.
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Q: Does Liposuction treat cellulite?
A: Cellulite is still a very difficult problem to treat. It is the result of the tethering of fibers from the skin to the underlying tissues and Liposuction is not the answer to such a problem. Some techniques can be used during Liposuction which can help improve cellulite. However, Liposuction alone rarely addresses cellulite.
Q: If you gain weight, will the fat come back in different locations?
A: Liposuction removes fat cells which will not regenerate. However, the existing fatty tissue that remains can enlarge and weight can can occur with bad diet and lack of exercise. To some degree, liposuctioned areas may be more resistant to enlargement than other areas of the body that were not addressed. This is not a result of relocation of fatty tissue but rather just enlargement of existing fatty tissues.
Q: Can you predict what my dress size will be?
A: It is impossible to predict what sort of effect fat removal will have on your clothing size. We have seen that most patients realize significant reduction in dress size and pants size. Some patients will still wear the same dress size but say that their clothes fit better than ever.