Although liposuction is a great procedure for removing excess fat, it is not intended to remove excess skin nor is it an effective method for weight loss. However, liposuction can be performed in harmony with a tummy tuck or body lift to achieve a better contour for a patient with excess fat and skin.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks and potential complications of surgery.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your surgeon.
Liposuction is typically performed under a general anesthetic using a small suction device called a cannula. Depending on the area of concern, sometimes liposuction can be performed under local anesthetic. The cannula is inserted into the fatty areas using small incisions where it can then remove the excess fat either using a large syringe or suction pump.
These procedures can be brief however the length of time can vary depending on the area of the body and how much fat needs to be removed.
Following general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, it will take 24 to 36 hours for the full effects of the drugs to wear off. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult, who may either drive you home or take a taxi with you. You may feel a little sleepy or nauseous when you get home, you should quietly rest at home for the remainder of the day.
Following local anesthesia, it may take 4-5 hours for the numbing effects to wear off – similar to something you would have done at the dentist. You can even eat and drink like normal before your procedure. We just ask that you not consume alcohol 24 hour prior to surgery. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult on your way home, who may either drive you home or take a taxi with you. You may feel pain slowly increase as the numbing wears off. Please ensure you have some acetaminophen or ibuprofen at home to use for any discomfort.
Remove all surgical dressings 48 hours after surgery, leave only the pink paper tape over the surgical incisions. At this time you can shower, but do not directly apply water pressure over any of the pink tape, only let the water run over it and pat gently to dry. The pink tape is waterproof and will start to peel off over the next 4 weeks, please cut off the portions that are no longer adhering to prevent the rest of the tape from falling off.
Please do not bathe or soak your incisions until all incisions have completely healed. Swelling and bruising is common following surgery and is to be expected. The bruising should subside within 2-4 weeks after surgery. Swelling can take up to one year to fully resolve. It is essential to continue wearing the provided compression garment for 3 months to help the skin retract and for prevention of fluid buildup (even at night if comfortable). Additional garments are available for purchase through the clinic. Gentle massage is recommended to help avoid any rippling in the skin. Massage also helps to reduce the swelling.
Patients are able to get up and walk around right after surgery. Most patients who have sedentary jobs take about one week or less off of work. If your job involves a lot of physical activity be sure to speak with your surgeon during your consultation with regards to how much time off you will need for your specific daily tasks. There should be no heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks following surgery. Most patients are comfortable driving the next day. However, there is a potential for you to develop a pocket of fluid in your surgical area that will require manual drainage. This is not a serious complication, but it does mean a delay in your expected recovery time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call at (403) 800-9157 and leave a message as necessary. If you are unable to reach us, and need medical advice please call 811 to speak to a nurse, the line is free of charge and available 24 hours a day. If it is a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital, or call the Peter Lougheed Centre Switchboard at (403) 943-4555 and ask to speak to the plastic surgeon on-call.
It is important to note that this procedure is not aimed at removing cellulite and for optimum results the patient should have adequate skin elasticity. Sometimes the excess skin is unable to fully retract and additional surgery to remove the skin may be required later on.
A good candidate for surgery is a patient who is relatively healthy and has realistic expectations for post-operative outcomes. It is also strongly advised that you be a non-smoker at the time of surgery. If you are a smoker we recommend you quit smoking at least 3 months prior to surgery as nicotine can interfere with blood supply and potentially cause complications with healing after surgery.