The surgery:

The time required to perform liposuction varies considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anesthesia and techniques used. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The cannula is then pushed and pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out by a vacuum pump or a large syringe. The fluid lost along with the fat is replaced during the procedure to prevent shock. The patient is under careful observation throughout the procedure and receives intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery.


Your surgeon will select the type of anesthesia that is most suitable and safe for your surgery. If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of areas are involved, liposuction can be performed under local or twilight anesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. General anesthesia is a good choice for more extensive procedures. In such cases the anesthesiologist makes sure you are completely asleep during the procedure.

What is a successful liposuction surgery?

A liposuction surgery is a success when the patient is happy with the results. The surgeon’s goals is to achieve an optimal aesthetically appealing result rather than to maximize the amount of fat removed. The cosmetic success of liposuction relies on removing inches rather than pounds. For example, removing an amount of fat equivalent to a half-pound of butter from each outer thigh of a woman’s saddlebag area or from a man’s love handle areas would result in a dramatic change in silhouette, but would not significantly change the persons weight.

Your New Look

You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become even more apparent after about four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. After about three months, any persistent mild swelling usually disappears and the final contour will be visible.
If your expectations are realistic, you will probably be very pleased with the results of your surgery. You may find that you are more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes and more at ease with your body. And, by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, you can help to maintain your new shape.

Typical Liposuction Recovery Time

In less than a week after liposuction, most patients are able to move normally and even return to work with minimal discomfort. After a few weeks, most feel comfortable enough to remove their compression garment and begin their new lives with more contoured, appealing figures. Liposuction recovery time varies from patient to patient, but most return to normal after two weeks and experience optimal liposuction results over the next several months.

The First Two Weeks

Doctors advise their patients to wear compression garments for at least the first several days after liposuction to speed recovery time. After liposuction, you will be able to move and walk easily. Patients should have someone else drive them home, however, and should rest as much as possible over the next few days. Some patients report pain the day after their liposuction surgery. Usually, this discomfort is minor and may be relieved with pain medication or by simply walking around. In the first several days after tumescent liposuction, the anesthetic solution from surgery drains from the incisions. This drainage is to be expected. It actually facilitates healing from liposuction and reduces recovery time. Patients should take showers instead of baths for about a week after liposuction. During this time, swelling, bruising, and numbness will begin to go away.

The First Several Months

Swelling will continue to go down over the months after liposuction, and the final result will be revealed. The skin surrounding the treated area may seem loose, but it will tighten with time. Depending on the skin’s elasticity, which is a function of age and genetics, skin should tighten in six months’ time. Liposuction patients will continue to monitor their incision sites in case of infection. The surgeon may schedule liposuction recovery check-up appointments to monitor healing. If a large area has been treated or a significant amount of fat has been removed, liposuction recovery time will be longer. Patients can maintain their slender figures with frecuent exercise and a balanced diet alter liposuction.


Every surgical or medical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. To minimize potential liposuction side effects, risks, complications, or other problems, make sure you fully understand the procedures you wish to have done, and discuss your expectations and concerns with your physician.

Possible Problems

With any type of cosmetic surgery, including liposuction, complications may arise, but they are rare. Some dangers of liposuction include infection, a reaction to the anesthesia, blood clotting, and fluid loss. Less severe liposuction risks include bruises and scars, a numbing of the skin, and moderate problems such as changes in skin pigmentation. Liposuction complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Extended healing time
  • Allergic reaction to medication or anesthesia
  • Fat or blood clots – clots can migrate to the lungs and lead to death
  • Excessive fluid loss – fluid loss can lead to shock and, in some cases, death
  • Fluid accumulation – fluid must be drained
  • Friction burns
  • Damage to the skin or nerves
  • Damage to vital organs

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