With minimal downtime, liposuction can be a great way to improve the contour of your body. Learn more about the procedure, the recovery, and whether you're a good candidate for a liposuction procedure.
What's the process of getting liposuction? How do I know if I'm a good candidate?
Liposuction is a good option for people who have areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Good candidates for a liposuction have thick/elastic skin that is able to rebound after the fat is removed. If the skin is thin, it may actually look worse if liposuction is performed in this area. To determine if someone is a good candidate for liposuction, the in office consultation is the key. In my office I carefully examine all areas of concern to get a sense of how much extra fat is present and how elastic the overlying skin is. Only if someone is a good candidate do I offer liposuction. Sometimes will have better results with another procedure, such as a tummy tuck, or no surgery at all.
The time for the procedure varies based on the number of areas and whether any position changes are required during the procedure. My patients are comfortable because I use IV sedation, or general anesthesia, which is performed by a board-certified anesthesiologist. After the patient is asleep, I use a liposuction technique invented by Simeon Wall, MD. The fat is first separated without using any suction, the area is then suctioned, and I then redistribute the remaining fat to help prevent contour abnormalities.
How Much Weight Can I Lose After Liposuction?
The is a great question and it's commonly asked. It's important to understand that liposuction is used to remove fat from problem areas after diet and exercise have failed. It's not meant to provide any significant weight loss. Even after a large amount of liposuction, say 5 liters, the fat would only weigh around 6-7 lbs. When considering a procedure such as liposuction, it's best to be at, or near, your goal weight prior to undergoing the procedure. This give the best chance of having a long-lasting result.
What is the recovery after liposuction?
After liposuction a procedure most patients have some soreness that is easily managed with oral pain medication. They are ready to return to work after 5-7days. A garment will be worn for the first two weeks which is exchanged for Spanx for the following four weeks. Swelling improves dramatically in the first one to two months, but some residual swelling may be present for up to 6-9 months.
Liposuction Swelling - How Long Until It Goes Down?
Swelling after liposuction takes several months to improve. Unfortunately, it takes 6 to 9 months to see final results.
Which garments do you use after liposuction?
In our practice I recommend the patients wear their surgical garment for the first two weeks, and are then free to switch to Spanx for the next four weeks. Spanx are more comfortable because the have lighter compression.
Are there liposuction alternatives? Non-invasive options?
It's a good question. There are many non-surgical alternatives available on the market these days. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to assess the types of results that you can expect. Although they may seem cheaper initially, some treatments require multiple sessions and added cost. In the end, the result may NOT be as good as surgery, but you may have actually had a similar cost.
RealSelf is an excellent resource to review satisfaction with different treatments. Look for the procedures that you are considering. Check out the reviews. At the time of writing this article satisfactions rates were as follows. Traditional liposuction (88%), UltraShape (88%) CoolSculpting (84%), Exilis (74%), Vanquish (67%), Velashape (63%), and Liposonix (42%).
Liposuction is an excellent procedure for the right patient. It may have a higher upfront cost and recovery, but the results can be dramatic and you may find them more impressive than the nonsurgical option.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck - What's the difference?
This is a VERY common question and the answer depends on your goals and the examination during a consult. Liposuction is good for shaping the body and removing fat. The important thing to understand is that the skin must be elastic enough to rebound after the fat is removed. If the skin is not elastic, then liposuction can actually cause it to appear more loose or uneven. After pregnancy many patients have loose skin on their tummy, and laxity of their abdominal wall (rectus diastasis). The abdominal skin may sag, and the loose abdominal wall may cause a bulge in the tummy that cannot be improved with working out. An abdominoplasty treats these two problems. An abdominoplasty uses an incision placed very low on the tummy to remove excess skin. The loose abdominal wall is tightened using sutures. The abdominal wall tightening can have a dramatic effect on flattening the tummy and narrowing the waistline. This is similar to creating an internal corset with results that liposuction can't reproduce.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost? Are there discounts if you have liposuction on multiple areas?
The price of liposuction varies from surgeon to surgeon. The price is based on the number of areas and the amount of time anticipated for the procedure. The price includes the surgeon's fee, operating room cost, and fee for the anesthesiologist. Having liposuction of multiple areas typically decreases the cost for the additional areas. See our price list.
How do I make an appointment?
To book an appointment, or for further information, contact us online or call (503) 297-9340.
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Dr. Austin Hayes is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with offices in Portland, Seattle, and Hood River.