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Tumescent Liposuction Q&A
 

 

Those who heal poorly, have bleeding abnormalities, allergy to local anesthesia, or are in poor general health are not good candidates for this procedure. Cigarette smoking is strongly discouraged

WHERE WILL THE PROCEDURE BE PERFORMED AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
The procedure will be performed in the operating room at the New England Vein and Laser Center. Most procedures take 2-4 hours.

IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
There is some minimal discomfort during the administration of the local anesthesia. After this is complete, the procedure is relatively painless. Most patients feel pressure not pain while the liposuction is performed.

WILL I NEED TO WEAR BANDAGES?
Bandages are not necessary, however you will be asked to wear a compression garment (girdle-like) under your clothing for 3-6 days after the procedure. Gauze pads are worn under the garment for approximately 48 hours to absorb drainage of fluid from the small skin incisions. You may shower the next morning.

WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO WORK AND EXERCISE?
Patients typically feel well enough to return to work in 48 hours and resume a normal exercise regimen in 7 days. Most doctors even recommended gentle exercise (i.e. walking) the day after surgery to help decrease postoperative swelling.

WILL I SEE IMMEDIATE RESULTS?
Some patients see results immediately; however; it usually takes up to one month to appreciate the reduction due to postoperative swelling and bruising. Continuous improvement is seen up to 3 months after the procedure.

WILL I HAVE SCARS?
Because the Tumescent Technique uses very small cannulas, only tiny incisions are required. The incisions are so small (3 mm) that no stitches are used. The wounds heal by themselves and virtually disappear with time.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE EXCESS SKIN?
In most cases the skin, being a dynamic organ, is able to shrink and reaccommodate to the new body contour. In the minority of cases patients may have decreased skin elasticity and can have the excess skin removed if they so desire at a later date. This is almost never necessary.

WILL I LOSE WEIGHT?
Fat cells weigh very little, therefore you will not notice a significant weight loss. Most noticeable will be a loss of inches in the areas treated and looser fitting clothing. Contour changes is the goal.

WILL CELLULITE IMPROVE BY LIPOSUCTION?
Cellulite is dimpling due to superficial fat. It is unlikely that cellulite will improve much with liposuction since liposuction concentrates on deeper fat accumulation.

WILL THE FAT REMOVED BY LIPOSUCTION EVER REGROW?
Once puberty is reached no new fat cells develop. Fat cells simply swell and shrink in response to weight gain and loss. Therefore, if you were to gain weight after surgery the new fat would go to sites other than that treated by liposuction. The only exception to this rule is if there is a massive weight gain. In this case new fat cells can be seen in the treated area.

CAN THE PROCEDURE BE REPEATED?
Occasionally, it is not possible to remove all the excess fat in an area during one procedure. Area can be retreated or "touched-up" if the desired result is not accomplished initially. Touch-ups are quicker and less expensive than the original procedure. It is best to wait at least 3 months. However, new areas can be done sooner.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS AND COMPLICATIONS FROM THE PROCEDURE?
As with any surgical procedure there are associated side effects. Patients will have some tenderness, bruising, and swelling in the areas treated. There will also be drainage from the small incisions for about 48 hours. The drainage is residual anesthetic fluid that was not suctioned out with the fat. In a recent review of 15,335 patients treated by tumescent liposuction the most common complications were infection, skin irregularities and localized areas of firmness which occurred in 0.2-0.4% of patients and are correctable. No serious complications were seen and blood transfusions were not needed in any of the 15,335 patients.

Source from Steven F. Margolis MD, FACS, Concord, MA

 

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