What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is the removal of excess pockets of fat on certain areas of the body. The most common areas include:

  • Abdomen
  • Knees
  • Neck & Jowls
  • Flanks (muffin top)
  • Upper back
  • Outer Thighs (saddle bags)
  • Inner thighs

How long will surgery be?

The length of surgery depends on the combination of procedures and how many areas are to be addressed. In general, surgery takes about 30 minutes for each area treated.

What kind of anesthesia will I have?

General anesthesia is used for liposuction because it is safe and very well controlled. For small areas or for touch ups, local anesthesia in the office is sometimes an option. West Magnolia Surgery Center, on site at West Magnolia Plastic Surgery, is fully accredited by the AAAHC. Local anesthesia in injected into the incisions once the patient is under anesthesia for enhanced postoperative comfort.

What is recovery like?

Liposuction is performed though small stab incisions adjacent to each area treated. Once under anesthesia, the area to be treated is flooded with a dilute solution of anesthesia to help minimize bleeding and help with postoperative pain management. At the completion of the procedure, it is my preference to leave the incisions open and allow what might be left of the fluid to drain. This is messy but temporary and an exercise in reducing bruising and swelling in the long run. Drainage usually stops after 3 or 4 days and the port sites close naturally on their own. Patients are in a compression garment for up to 8 weeks after surgery to encourage the skin to contour to the new shape.

What are the risks?

The risks of liposuction include contour irregularities, injury to adjacent structures and infection. Sometimes the port sites do not heal as desired when allowed to close on their own and a revision is indicated. If a contour deformity from liposuction occurs, a minor office procedure to move fat from one area to another can be performed to address this.

How do I prepare for surgery?

A preoperative appointment is scheduled approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery. At this time, all consents and recommendations, instructions for before and after surgery are reviewed. A long list of medications to avoid is reviewed and prescriptions are given for postoperative management.  The day before surgery, all patients are called to review final questions, confirm nothing has occurred since the patient was seen at preop that might require rescheduling of the procedure and to finalize arrival time at the facility. All patients are given ample information at the preoperative appointment regarding a time line of what to expect in the recovery process and when.