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What happens during the procedure?

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

Let's go ahead and answer a few more of your lipo questions.

To begin - after the patient has been anesthetized small surgical incisions are made at the appropriate sites.

Tumescent solution is typically injected into the surgical area through a blunt-tipped needle controlled with a foot pedal.

The surgeon aspirate the fat and tumescent solution with a cannula (a hollow wand-like device attached to a suctioning machine) using back and forth strokes.

The surgeon pushes and pulls the cannula through the fatty deposits and tumescent solution, breaking up cells and suctioning up the resulting mixture until the desire effect is achieved.

Okay. So - what happens after the procedure?

I'm going to break it down for you in three steps: 1)Getting back home, 2)Once you're at home 3)Your follow-up appointment

How do they get you ready to go home?

Lipo Questions: Answer #9

After surgery you will be monitored for blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, level of consciousness, pain, and effects of anesthesia. Once the discharge criteria are met and the doctor deems you well enough for the ride home – you will be released.

It is always a good idea to have someone with you for up to 24 hours after surgery.

Lipo questions and more...

You will be somewhat vulnerable after surgery.

It is a really good idea for a friend or family member to accompany you on the ride home and sit with you a while in case you need further care after discharge.

What about once you're at home?

Lipo Questions: Answer #10

Your activities will be limited for 5 to 7 days.

Within about 24 hours after surgery you should be able to walk around with some discomfort. Depending on what procedures you had done - within 3 to 5 days you should be able to return to your desk job. However strenuous activity is discouraged while you are convalescing.

You will be encouraged to eat a balanced diet. And you will be given instructions for returning to your supplements, medications, etc.

You may be in significant pain.

The doctor will make sure that you have prescription for pain medicine – and will give you instructions for taking them. You will be given wound care instructions as well that you should adhere to.

Smoking during this time is not a good idea. If you are able to continue abstaining from cigarettes it is a good idea to for up to 3 to 6 months post-surgery.

Your follow-up appointment.

Lipo Questions: Answer #11

You will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment within 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery.

The doctor's office may also choose to call you while you are convalescing to assess your progress. Your healing, drainage, and general recovery, as well as the aesthetic effects will be assessed during this time. It is a good idea to bring up any concerns about things both unexpected and expected.

Just because you were given information post-surgery, doesn't mean that the doctor won't review this information with you again should you have questions.

Some practitioners will also make therapeutic massage available to you. Careful therapeutic massage and manipulation of soft tissues can increase circulation, reduce the appearance of scar tissue, and stimulate lymphatic flow to reduce swelling.

Finally, many surgeons will give you an exit interview which gives them ideas on how to improve their services to future customers.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Lipo Questions: Answer #12

After your surgery when you are convalescing/healing/recovering at home if you have concerns and/or unanswered questions you should be able to call your physician during office hours and speak with a nurse or the surgeon when she/he is available.

For extreme pain, profuse bleeding, or on the instruction of your physician – you may be directed to go to the emergency room.

Are liposuction results permanent?

Lipo Questions: Answer #13

The honest answer to that question is both "yes" and "no".

What I mean is that when fat cells are surgically removed from the body – they are gone for good. So in that aspect the surgery is permanent.

But, if you expect liposuction to be some magically bullet that will prevent you from gaining weight in undesirable places ever again no matter what bad life-style choices you make – you can forget it.

Because the truth is that studies have shown that most liposuction patients will eventually gain the weight the surgery removes back (perhaps in a different of the body) – and more. It is thought that the body has a "thermostat" for weight and fat content. And any factor that changes something about your weight or the content of fat on your body – the body will work actively to make sure you gain that weight back.

So patients have reported an increasing of the appetite after surgery – for instance.

Your best plan to maintain your new appearance would be to make a strong commitment to exercising regularly, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and watching your portions and overall calories. This has to be done throughout the remainder of your life to maintain your result indefinitely.

The only magic bullet is to commit to diet and exercise for the remainder of your life.

You may never quite gain weight the same way in the areas that were treated with liposuction. But the body can compensate by increasing weight-gain in other areas of the body.

Who do you report adverse reactions to?

Lipo Questions: Answer #14

Health professionals and or consumers should report serious adverse reactions or other problems related to medical equipment or medications used for liposuction through:

FDA's MedWatch Program (www.fda.gov/medwatch/). The FDA's reporting address is: Reporting Systems Monitoring Branch, 1350 Piccard Drive HFZ-533, Rockville, MD 20850.

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You HAVE to Watch This:

Part 3: British journalist documents his liposuction journey in sunny California..

Affordable Liposuction References:

  • "Liposuction: Adult Health Advisory." Lee A. Mancini. Clinical Reference Systems. Nov 2008 v2008 i3 pNA.

  • "The Skinny on Liposuction." USA Food and Drug Administration - Consumer Halth Information. (From Web January 20, 2010) http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/liposuction082007.html

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