Liposuction may be an answer for removing persistent, unwanted areas of fat that have resisted previous attempts of diet and exercise. The tumescent technique for liposuction is an excellent method for contouring the abdomen, hips and thighs, back, and arms. Evaluation of your body and a discussion with Dr. Godat will yield an operative plan that will meet your desired aesthetic goals.
Liposuction can be done with sedation or under general anesthesia. An MD anesthesiologist will perform your anesthesia and an RN will monitor your recovery until you are ready to return home, the day of surgery. The procedure is performed with narrow cannulas that are inserted through 1/4 inch incisions. These tiny incisions are placed in discreet areas, and when fully healed, are not noticeable.
The activity restrictions after surgery include no heavy lifting for three weeks and no swimming or taking a bath (showering is okay the day of surgery) for three weeks. After surgery, patients must wear a post-operative compression garment provided by Dr. Godat. Brief walks the evening of surgery are recommended and extending these over the next few days will help speed recovery and prevent complications. Narcotic pain medication is provided for the patient's post-operative needs, but patients will not normally need narcotic pain medication after three days.
Once the patient no longer requires these, she can resume driving and daily activities, usually three days following a tummy tuck, as long as she abides by the post-operative activity restrictions, i.e. no heavy lifting. Return-to-work time is anywhere from three days to two weeks, depending on the individual and the number of areas treated. The compression garment is worn over the treated areas for three weeks. Bruising may take several more weeks to completely resolve. The body's contour will improve over several months. The full benefit of the surgery is seen at three months. Patients have no incisional pain after the surgery, but do have significant soreness that diminishes significantly after the first week and mild soreness may continue for up to six weeks. This will not prevent return to normal activity. There may be areas of numbness associated with liposuction and restoration of normal sensation to these areas may take several months up to two years. Persistent numbness may occur in some patients in some areas. The incisions take up to three weeks to heal. A small suture is placed in each incision and these will be removed one week after surgery at the time of the post-operative visit. Scar care should begin at three weeks.
Liposuction is frequently done with other body contouring surgeries and can be performed on the chin and neck in combination with facial aesthetic surgery or alone. Finally, liposuction can be performed in combination with fat transfer.