Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure in which unwanted fat is removed from specific areas of the body. There are several different types of liposuction, including tumescent and laser, but all procedures have one thing in common: the goal to remove fat, which can cause many health problems if left untreated.
Liposuction can be a good option for people who have trouble losing weight or are not physically active. It may also be used to remove excess fat after other types of cosmetic surgery.
However, there are risks associated with liposuction, including bruising and swelling at the area where fat was removed, bleeding, infection and nerve damage. In addition, some people have complications after treatment or don’t see long-lasting results.
If you’re considering liposuction, it’s important that you take steps to prepare for the procedure. There are several things you can do before your surgery to ensure a successful recovery. Here are some tips:
Know your options
If you’re interested in liposuction, you’ll have several choices of procedures and locations. Some areas of the body can be removed with a small incision, such as the abdomen or buttocks; other areas may require more extensive surgery, including an incision along the side of the chest or back.
Have reasonable expectations
Don’t expect that one surgery will permanently fix all your body issues — or give you the perfect body — because it won’t happen overnight! Liposuction can help improve specific areas of fat, but it won’t remove all excess fat from your body or eliminate cellulite completely. Realistic expectations will help guide you through recovery so you know what to expect after surgery and are more likely to be happy with your results.
Get a doctor who’s qualified to perform liposuction.
Make sure your surgeon has experience performing liposuctions on patients like you, whether that means age or weight. Ask about any training he or she has had in this area as well as any certifications they may have received.
Stop taking certain medications.
If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin or aspirin, you need to stop taking them two weeks before your surgery. If you use any other type of medication on a regular basis, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe to continue taking it before and after your procedure.
Schedule time off work.
If you have a desk job and can’t afford to be out of work for more than a week or two, schedule your surgery during the winter months when you’re least likely to be needed at work. Alternatively, look into telecommuting options or taking an extended vacation through your employer or through paid leave.
Do not drink alcohol
Alcohol increases blood pressure and dilates the blood vessels, which speeds up the healing process — but also increases bleeding risk. It also interferes with medications used during liposuction procedures. The day before your surgery, stop drinking alcohol altogether to avoid any complications during surgery or recovery time afterward. You might also want to stop smoking cigarettes two weeks prior to having liposuction done because nicotine causes increased blood flow in the skin and can increase bruising after the procedure is over.
Smoking slows down blood circulation and increases your risk of complications during and after surgery. Smoking also causes wounds to heal more slowly than normal and increases the risk of infection at the incision site. Stop smoking as soon as possible before surgery so you don’t increase these risks any further by smoking while under anesthesia or just after waking up from anesthesia.
Wear loose-fitting clothing the day of surgery
Your surgeon might recommend that you wear a compression garment after liposuction to help with swelling and bruising. These garments come in many colors and styles, including bras, shorts, pants and tops. You can even get them with support built in.
Get to a healthy weight
It’s important that you’re at a healthy weight before undergoing liposuction because being overweight can increase the risk of complications. If you need help losing weight, talk with your doctor about options such as dieting and exercise.
Get a physical exam and approval
It’s important that your surgeon evaluate whether you’re healthy enough for liposuction. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight before liposuction surgery so you have optimal results. Your surgeon should also make sure that you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding because this procedure could harm your baby.
Stop Using Blood Thinners
If you’re taking blood-thinning medications, stop taking them several days before your procedure. This includes aspirin, heparin and warfarin (Coumadin). These medications can increase your risk of bleeding during surgery. Your doctor will give you instructions about when to stop these medications and how long it takes for them to leave your system completely.
Prepare a Recovery Area
The first step in preparing for liposuction is to set up a recovery area at home where you can rest after your surgery. This area should be comfortable and private, with plenty of room for you and your loved ones. The ideal location is near the bathroom so that you can easily recover after surgery. If possible, set up several pillows in front of a sofa or bed so that you can lie down comfortably while resting after surgery.
You will need ice packs for the areas where your surgeon extracted fat tissue during the procedure. Pack these ice packs in zipped plastic bags so that they don’t leak on other items at home or during transportation from the clinic to your home. You should also keep extra pillows handy so that you can rest comfortably throughout the recovery period after surgery.
You will need help around the house after your surgery.
You will probably be sore and it’s best not to lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity for at least two weeks after surgery. You will likely have drains in place following surgery to drain excess fluid from your body and these will be removed within 48 hours of surgery.
Be Patient With Results
Liposuction doesn’t work overnight — it takes time for your body to adjust and heal from surgical procedures like this one. It’s important to be patient and give yourself time to see results. You might notice some swelling and bruising after your procedure, but this should go away within two weeks or so. In the meantime, it’s best to wear loose clothing that covers your treatment area and avoid strenuous activity until the bruising has gone away completely (about six weeks).
Get Your Blood Work Done
A health checkup is an important part of any cosmetic surgery procedure. The doctor will want to make sure that there are no underlying health conditions that could affect your recovery or increase the risk of infection after surgery. They’ll also want to make sure that you’re healthy enough for anesthesia, which is required for this procedure. If you haven’t had blood work done in a while, it’s important to get it done now so there won’t be any surprises after surgery.
Eat a healthy diet before surgery
This means eating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains than processed foods. Eat smaller portions at meals and snack throughout the day so you don’t feel hungry before surgery. Limit high-sugar foods if they bother your stomach.
Plan for time off work/school.
If you have a job or school that requires you to be active during the day, you may need to request time off from your employer or school. Depending on your insurance, some facilities offer financing plans that include financing for procedures like liposuction. This can help cover costs such as recovery and travel expenses for those who won’t be able to work during their recovery period.
Gather information about your general health.
You should discuss any medical conditions you have with your doctor before undergoing liposuction. Certain medical conditions could affect your recovery time or require that you have additional procedures performed prior to or following liposuction.
Find ways to relax and reduce stress.
Liposuction can be a stressful experience because it involves surgery, anesthesia and possible pain afterward. To help reduce your anxiety prior to and following your procedure, try meditation or yoga. You may also want to try deep breathing exercises or listen to soothing music before your appointment.