Answers to Most Common Questions About Tumescent Liposuction:
What is a Tumescent Liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction is the process of permanently removing unwanted localized fatty deposits that are most commonly seen on the thighs, buttocks, love handles, stomach, arms and chin. This process involves numbing the area to be treated with a dilute solution of numbing medicine while the patient is awake and alert. The process of numbing the fatty tissue before removal is termed tumescence and is where the procedure gets its name. Once the areas to be treated are numb, a long suction device called a cannula is used to remove the fat through tiny incisions in the skin that are easily concealed.
What Kind of Patient is the Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?
The person that gets the most benefit from liposuction is someone who eats well, exercises regularly and has stubborn localized collections of fatty tissue that don’t seem to get any smaller no matter how hard you exercise. Liposuction is not a substitute for a good diet and regular exercise and is unlikely to make a significant difference in people who are significantly overweight. Keep in mind that it may take as long as six months after the procedure to see the final results.
Is Tumescent Liposuction Safe?
Tumescent liposuction is very safe. The only significant side effects include temporary bruising, swelling and mild bleeding. There may also be some mild, temporary numbness in the skin overlying the areas treated. There is a minimal risk of bacterial infection for which you will receive antibiotics before surgery to reduce this small risk even further.
I Have Heard in the News that Patients have Died from Liposuction. Has Anyone Ever Died from Tumescent Liposuction?
There has never been a death reported from tumescent liposuction. The reports of deaths associated with liposuction have been in patients who have received general anesthesia (patients who were put to sleep) in association with the procedure. Many of these patients also had more than the suggested amount of fat removed in a single session.
Will the Fat You Remove Ever Come Back?
The fat cells we remove are removed permanently and never grow back. However it is impossible to remove every fat cell in the area being treated. If you gain a significant amount of weight after the procedure the fat cells that remain in that location will enlarge in proportion with the amount of weight gain.
I Have Heard that if you Remove Fat from One Location it Will Grow Back in Another Part of the Body, is this True?
This is not true. However if you gain weight after the procedure, the fatty tissue in areas not treated will enlarge just the same as if you never had liposuction. The area treated will not enlarge to the same degree because there are fewer fat cells there after liposuction.
Is the Treatment Very Expensive and Will My Insurance Pay for the Treatment?
The cost of treatment varies per person, and depends on the amount of fat you have in the area and the number of areas you want treated. This treatment is considered a cosmetic treatment, and is not accepted by insurance companies. Therefore, payment by the patient is expected at the time of service.
Liposuction Pre-Op Instructions
2 weeks before the procedure:
- Stop taking ANY Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, ibuprofen or any other blood thinners. Also discontinue any Vitamin E, Gingko, diet aids or herbal supplements. Tylenol is okay to use.
- Fill the antibiotic prescription and pain medication prescription.
- Purchase the compression garment(s) that you will need:
Chin area: order one of the special compression garments made for the chin. Most people will need the large or medium size as they tend to run a little small.
Women – for abdomen, hips or thighs: purchase two girdles that cover the areas to be treated. Styles with an opening at the crotch are more convenient. Plan to wear a swimsuit or old underwear during the procedure.
Men – for the abdomen: order one of the stretchy waist wraps from www.GarmentsDirect.com.
Also buy a Speedo swimsuit or tight Lycra compression shorts; one of these is necessary to provide compression and prevent swelling after the surgery. In addition, it will make your photos more consistent.
- Get an antibiotic ointment (Polysporin or Bacitracin) and small band-aids – these will be used to treat the incision sites after the drainage has stopped.
- Buy some REGULAR maxi-pads and paper tape- the pads are used to prevent fluid leakage onto your clothing. The tape is used to secure the pads. One package of pads and one roll of tape should do.
Arrange for transportation home from the procedure: you WILL NOT be allowed to drive home. A taxi is okay, but we will need to let security know if you plan to leave your car in the parking lot overnight.
The morning of the procedure: Start antibiotics. Wear casual, loose clothing and EAT BEFORE THE PROCEDURE.
BRING WITH YOU:
- Your compression garment (Girdle, wrap, Speedo, swimsuit, etc.).
- CDs or iPod- anything you would enjoy listening to during the procedure.
Cancellation policy: We require one-week notice if you need to cancel the procedure; otherwise your appointment deposit will be forfeited. Rescheduling the appointment due to an emergency will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Go home and take it easy. You may appear larger than prior to the procedure because of the large volume of anesthetic that has been infused into the area.
- The compression garments should be worn continuously for at least one week. They may be removed to clean them and for bathing. During the second week, continue compression during the day, but you may remove it at night. The firm elastic or corset-like garments will act like a mold for the desired contour, and also help to decrease swelling and reduce the chance of bleeding or bruising.
- Drainage: You will experience some drainage from the incision sites the first few days after the procedure. The fluid will appear bloody, but it is mostly anesthetic fluid. Absorbent pads, such as Maxi-pads can be used to prevent leakage onto clothing. These pads will need to be changed several times over the first two to three days. Drainage from the incisions will actually reduce swelling from the anesthetic fluid more rapidly. Although most of the swelling due to the anesthetic will resolve in about a week, final resolution of all swelling will take three to six months.
- Incisions: After the drainage from the incision sites stops, you will need to clean them once per day with hydrogen peroxide then cover them with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment (Polysporin or Bacitracin) and a band-aid. This wound care needs to be done until the incision is closed.
- Discomfort: Recovery from liposuction can be remarkably rapid. Some discomfort in the days following the procedure is normal, but can be controlled with Tylenol or your prescription pain medication. Aspirin, Motrin/ibuprofen, Aleve, any blood thinning products, and alcohol are not to be used for one week after the procedure. Use of these products in the immediate post-operative period greatly increases your chance for post-operative bruising and/or bleeding. There may be some patchy numbness in the treatment area. This is usually temporary, but may take several months to resolve.
- Working out: You will be able to resume working out in one week. You may feel achy in the treated areas, but this will improve more quickly if you resume your exercise schedule. Ibuprofen (Advil) can be used at one week following the surgery – you can take it an hour or so before working out in order to reduce discomfort. Although the fat removed is permanently gone, it is indeed still possible to gain weight overall. Remember, liposuction is primarily a contouring procedure, and your best results will be obtained at your desirable body weight. You have invested in the discomfort and cost of the procedure; be sure you get the maximum benefit by maintaining your fitness.
- Swelling and skin: You will not have your “final” results until three to six months following your surgery. In some cases, it will take even more time for your skin to finish shrinking to your new size. Most patients, however, will notice at least some difference immediately.