Ask Dr. Helliwell: Liposuction

We all know the premise of Liposuction. How it reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat to improve body contours and proportion. But what about the details? Maybe you have been pondering body sculpting but are simply too afraid to take the plunge? We sat down with Dr. Helliwell to ask him more about Liposuction to hopefully curb some of the fears associated with the procedure.

Who can receive liposuction?

Almost anyone can get liposuction. You just have to be healthy and able to undergo liposuction by the assessment of your surgeon. Usually, simple blood tests will be done to assess this, and sometimes it will be required to get medical clearance by your probate care doctor to make sure you will be safe during the surgery. But because liposuction is very minimally-invasive and we do it under a type of local anesthesia, (tumescent anesthesia) the risk of surgery is very low, and most patients are cleared for liposuction. The other factor that needs to be assessed is if you are a good candidate cosmetically,  meaning you will have the expected results. Your surgeon will make this assessment at your consultation.

How do I prepare for liposuction?

Your surgeon or surgeon-patient coordinator will help you with instructions before and after surgery. Usually, once it is felt you are a good candidate medically and cosmetically, you will be instructed not to eat the night before your surgery after midnight and the morning of your surgery. Many times your surgeon will ask you to clean with special antibacterial soap in the shower the night before and the morning of your surgery. You might also be asked to take an antibiotic ahead of time to help prevent infection.

How is liposuction done?

At our office, your body or area that is to have the surgery is prepped with an antibacterial solution, and the entire field is prepped in and special antibacterial matter to decrease risk for infection. Next, the special local anesthesia solution (tumescent solution) is prepared and then injected in the area to have the liposuction for numbing. Small incisions (about the size of 2 of fingernails) are made – up to 5. Then a small cannula (tube) hooked up to the suction is used to suck out the fat. The process takes about 1-3 hours depending on how many areas undergo the procedure. The usual is 3-4 areas which take about 2 hours.

Incision areas for liposuction patients.

Are there any risks associated with liposuction?

There are small risks of liposuction such as infection ( f this does occur it usually occurs at the incision sites), bleeding, bruising, and pain. Other than bruising, which is common but resolves, the other risks are very small usually less than 1% of happening.

And of course, there is always a risk that you may not be satisfied 100% with your results. It’s important for a patient to develop realistic expectations with their surgeon before the surgery.

What type of anesthesia is used for liposuction?

It’s call time event anesthesia. This is a type of local anesthesia. It is a mixture of saline, salt water, lidocaine, (numbing medicine), epinephrine (to stop and prevent bleeding), and bicarbonate (to decrease stinging pain that the lidocaine can cause).

The patient is also given oral medication to relax them and reduce pain.

What areas of the body the can be targeted?

Almost any area of the body can be treated with liposuction to reduce unsettled fat. But of course, you need to have a consultation to make sure there is enough fat and the results will be pleasing.

The best areas to have liposuction surgery for men and women

What is the recovery time?

Total recovery time is 3 months. But pain usually resolved by 1 month, and most patients can go back to work in a week, but they will need to have limited physical activity for 1 month.

Does Advanced Women’s Health Center provide Liposuction/Body Sculpting? If so, what kind? Who performs the procedures?

Yes. We provide tumescent liposuction, cool sculpting, body sculpting and skin tightening with j-plasma. These are all minimally invasive procedures with various results and different costs and recovery times. It best to have a consultation to see not only if you are a good candidate but which type of body sculpting is best for you.

Anything that wasn’t asked that you would like to say to your readers?

We enjoy helping our patients achieve their cosmetic goals just as much as we enjoy helping them with their OB/GYN concerns and issues. Please come and see us at Advanced Women’s Health Center so we can assist you in achieve your goals!

Note: No AWHC patient photos provide, models shown.

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