Procedure: 1-2 hours
Recovery: 5-7 days

Do you have stubborn problem areas that diet and exercise do not affect? These areas are often on the outer thighs and hips on women and the waist and back on men, as well as the face, neck, abdomen, back, buttocks, legs, and upper arms. If you are not obese and want to reduce and contour these areas, liposuction may be your answer.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, Dr. O’Brien will insert small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as they are moved around under the skin to target specific fat deposits.

There are several newer techniques that make liposuction safer, easier, and less painful. Dr. O’Brien may use one of the following:

Tumescent liposuction: A local anesthetic is used to numb the area of your body where the tube will be inserted. Next, a large amount of an anesthetic solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the fatty tissue before traditional liposuction is done. Tumescent liposuction may not require general anesthesia (which makes you sleep through the procedure).

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction: This technique uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat, which makes it easier to remove. This technique may be particularly helpful in removing fat from the upper abdomen, sides, and back.

VASER-assisted liposuction: This technique uses low-energy waves to liquefy the fat, which is removed through a small cannula.

Some improvement in body contour is usually noticeable right after surgery. And improvement may continue for several weeks or even months as the swelling goes away. The full effects of having liposuction may not be visible for several months to a year.

Am I a good candidate for liposuction?

The main purpose of liposuction is to reshape one or more areas of your body, not to reduce body weight. Liposuction is typically used on “problem” areas that have not responded well to diet and exercise.

How long is recovery from liposuction?

Most people are able to get up and move around as soon as the treatment is finished and after the effects of the anesthesia and any sedation have worn off. You can return to your normal activities as instructed by Dr. O’Brien.

After the procedure, the body area treated is firmly wrapped to help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Elastic bandages and tape, support hose, a special girdle, or another type of form-fitting garment may be used, depending on which part of the body was treated. You may have to wear the compression garment or wrap for three to four weeks. Expect bruising and swelling for at least the first seven to ten days.

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