Liposuction FAQs

Liposuction FAQs

What is liposuction?
Is liposuction safe?
Who is a good liposuction candidate?
Who is not a good candidate for liposuction?
How long is the surgery?
How many areas can be done?
When can I exercise?
When do I see the results?
Can I combine this with other procedures?
What happens at my consultation?
What happens prior to surgery?
What happens post surgery?
How is the tumescent technique of liposuction performed?
When is liposuction indicated?
How much fat is typically removed?
Are there any possible complications?
What are the limitations of liposuction?
What is the most that can be removed?
At what age can a patient have liposuction performed?
Is liposuction better before pregnancy?
What if I gain weight after liposuction?
Does the fat come back?
Does the fat go to other areas?
Does it hurt?
What about touch-ups?
What are the chances of irregularities, dimples, or asymmetry occurring after liposuction?
Will I have loose skin?
What about post-liposuction scars?
How long do I need to wear the garment?
Do I go home that night?
When can I fly?
How much does liposuction cost?
What are the side effects to liposuction?

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is the removal of excess fat with a small, straw-like instrument called a cannula that is attached to a liposuction machine. The fat layer under the skin is converted to a network of tunnels and the cannula is manipulated within the layers to remove unwanted fatty deposits. An elastic garment is then worn for compression and healing. The result is a resculpting of bulging areas into more attractive contours. Click here to learn more about the tools and techniques used in liposuction.

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Is liposuction safe?

Liposuction is a safe procedure, but there are risks and potential complications associated with any surgery. Dr. Amron’s skill and technique greatly lessen the risks, but there are general liposuction safety issues that you should familiarize yourself with before considering surgery.

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Who is a good liposuction candidate?

Dr. Amron’s philosophy is that a good candidate is someone who has disproportionate stubborn areas of fat storage that cannot be lost with diet or exercise. Click here to read more information to see if you are a good candidate.

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Who is not a good candidate for liposuction?

Someone who is simply overweight but proportionate. If the patient can achieve a perfectly balanced physique with diet and exercise it is a mistake to do liposuction.

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How long is the surgery?

Most surgeries are between 45 minutes and 2 ½ hours.

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How many areas can be done?

Usually between three to four areas can safely be done with one procedure. More than 90% of Dr Amron’s patients only need one surgery for all areas. If additional areas are needed they can be done as soon as 48 hours later.

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When can I exercise?

You will be up and moving the day of your surgery. Dr. Amron wants every patient to take a 2-mile walk the day after surgery, this promotes healing. Most patients return to their regular exercise routine between one to two weeks. If you would like to know more, you can read Dr. Amron’s recommendations for returning to regular activities.

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When do I see the results?

Final results usually take between 6-12 months. But most of the results are usually seen at 4 – 6 months. Usually by 3 weeks much of the swelling is down and most patients are looking better than before the surgery and are able to wear a swimsuit and go on vacation. It is always best to have realistic expectations going to into the surgery. Click here to read more about expectations for the outcome of your liposuction.

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Can I combine this with other procedures?

For many of the reasons previously stated, Dr. Amron prefers to focus on liposuction and not combine it with other major procedures. If very few areas are done and the other procedure can be done under IV sedation he may agree to combine it with another minor procedure such as eyelid surgery if he feels it is safe and will not affect results.

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What happens at my consultation?

At your consultation you will be greeted by Jacolyn, our friendly Patient Care Coordinator who will be your guide through the entire consultation process.

During the consultation, Dr.Amron will thoroughly evaluate your body’s disproportion and answer any questions you have as well as what results might realistically be expected. After you will meet with Jacolyn to go over your surgical plan, answer any remaining questions and help schedule your surgery and pre-op appointment.

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What happens prior to surgery?

Once you have elected to move forward with surgery. A pre-op appointment will be scheduled 2 weeks to 10 days prior to your surgery date. This appointment entails, bloodwork, pre-op consents, pre and post op instructions, and garment measurements. You will also meet with Dr.Amron one more time to so he can answer any remaining questions you may have.

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What happens post surgery?

The local anesthesia (lidocaine) injected into the tissue remains for 13 to 24 hours following liposuction surgery greatly minimizing postoperative pain. After tumescent liposuction, patients are usually alert and able to function without nausea, grogginess and the washed out feeling associated with general anesthesia. You will be able to walk out of the surgery center and be driven home by a companion or nurse to relax for the rest of the day. With the tumescent technique, there is minimal bruising, and many patients do not require post-operative medication for reduction of pain. You can usually return to a desk-type job within 48 hours, physical exercise generally can be resumed three to seven days after liposuction.

A post op appointment will be made within a week after surgery to check on incisions and make sure there are no post-operative complications. A six month checkup is then scheduled after that to see 80% of your results. A further 20% of results will be seen after 6-12 months. Read here for more information about liposuction post-op recovery.

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How is the technique of tumescent liposuction performed?

With tumescent liposuction, large volumes of a solution containing dilute lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and dilute epinephrine (a drug to shrink capillaries and prevent blood loss) are injected with minimal discomfort directly into areas of excessive fatty deposits. Once the liquid is injected, a small incision is made in the skin, and a tube connected to a vacuum is inserted into the fatty layer. Using to and fro movements, the fat is drawn through the tube into a collection system. The tumescent method enables Dr. Amron to remove large amounts of fat more uniformly with fewer skin irregularities and less bleeding and bruising.

Dr. Amron performs liposuction in our out-patient state certified surgical facility, by the use of local anesthesia (often used with light sedation) via the tumescent technique.

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When is liposuction needed?

Liposuction is most effective for removing localized fat deposits in body areas that do not respond to dieting or exercising. Liposuction is not intended as a substitute for weight loss, but rather is a contouring procedure. It is best utilized in a program of exercise and optimal weight maintenance.

Liposuction also has many valuable therapeutic applications and has been used effectively to treat medical conditions like excessive sweating and non-cosmetic fat accumulation, such as lipomas (benign fatty tumors) and gynecomastia (enlarged, male breasts.)

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How much fat is typically removed?

The correct answer is the amount that makes a person proportionate and achieves a natural result. The goal is not to remove as much fat as possible but to remove the right amount in the right way from the right areas. It may be 200cc (1/2Lb.) or 4 ½ Liters (10Lbs.). Typically the average person has about one to two liters removed (2 ½ – 5 Lbs.). But remember this is pure fat! It is much more that a 2 ½ – 5 Lb weight loss would accomplish.

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Are there any possible complications?

The tumescent technique of liposuction is a remarkable safe procedure with few significant side effects. A recent study in Dermatologic Surgery Journal reported that 112 patients who underwent the tumescent procedure had an average of two quarts of fat removed with no significant complications. Clinical studies by other specialists have also demonstrated the safety and efficacy of tumescent liposuction.

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What are the limitations of liposuction?

Liposuction is not intended as a method for weight loss. It is used as a shaping procedure for areas where hereditary fat deposits resistant to diet and exercise have accumulated. The best results from liposuction occur in body areas where there is reasonable muscle tone, where skin has good elastic quality, and where fat is not excessive. In cases where there is a significant loss of tone and elasticity superior cosmetic results may require a combination of both liposuction and surgical skin tightening to remove the excessive loose tissue.

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What is the most that can be removed?

The safe limit for one surgery is five liters (about 11 Lbs.). But more typically it is not the amount of fat that limits the surgery but how many areas that can be safely done at one time.

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At what age can a patient have liposuction performed?

Provided they meet the criteria for a good candidate liposuction can safely and effectively be done on someone age 15-78 years. However with advancing age skin elasticity decreases. When elasticity decreases dr. Amron will choose to be less aggressive in his fat removal to achieve a smooth result. However, if Dr. Amron feels the elasticity in a particular area has decreased too much to achieve a smooth result he may suggest that liposuction is not a good option.

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Is liposuction better before pregnancy?

Because it is always easier to liposuction areas of good skin tone it is better to have it done before pregnancy. However, even after pregnancy if the skin tone is too poor Dr. Amron may refer the patient for an abdominoplasty procedure (tummy-tuck).

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What if I gain weight after liposuction?

When liposuction is performed correctly, the contours of the body should be permanently improved. If you regain the weight that was removed from the liposuction, then the new contours created from the liposuction will still be visible, just not as apparent. Read Dr. Amron’s liposuction and weight gain page for more information about fat deposits and touch-ups.

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Does the fat come back?

NO. This is a misconception. The fat tissue removed is permanently removed. If it comes back that means that it was either not done sufficiently in the first place or the area is full of another reasons (i.e. loose muscle tone or aging skin tone).

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Does the fat go to other areas?

This is also a misconception. That the fat always goes to other areas. This will happen if the surgeon does not pay attention to body proportion (please see doctor’s philosophy). If the surgeon pays attention to body proportion and does not make the patient disproportionate the fat will not go to other areas.

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Does it hurt?

Besides the good eye of the surgeon as well as the artistry of the procedure there is an art to doing liposuction under local anesthesia. During the numbing process, which takes form 15-30 minutes the local anesthesia, fluid is slowly seeping into the fat. Most patients feel very little and describe this as an occasional pinch. After the local anesthesia is done the areas are numb and one feels only pressure or nothing at all. Almost all patients say the procedure was so much easier then they had imagined.

Patients may experience mild pain or discomfort following the procedure. To learn more about how to manage this discomfort following your procedure, click here to read Dr. Amron’s suggestions.

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What about touch-ups?

The natural rate for touch-ups or revision liposuction is around 25%. Dr. Amron strongly feels it is important to do everything to prevent having to touch-up as it is much harder to make an area perfect the 2nd or 3rd time around. Dr. Amron’s rate for touch-ups is far less than 1%. In the rare instance a touch-up is necessary, the patient usually only covers the operating room time.

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What are the chances of irregularities, dimples, or asymmetry occurring after liposuction?

Very low. Dr. Amron does everything to achieve a smooth natural result and a happy patient. If he feels the chances of irregularities is higher due to a patients poor skin tone or if he has done a revision liposuction he will extensively discuss this with you and may recommend that liposuction is not the best option.

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Will I have loose skin?

No. When liposuction is done properly the skin re-drapes and retracts to conform to the underlying tissue. Most times the skin becomes tighter because it has retracted (pulled back) and this tends to prevent further loosening of the skin. But again, because good skin elasticity is vital to creating good results, if Dr. Amron feels the skin tone is already too loose he may not recommend liposuction.

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What about post-liposuction scars?

Dr. Amron makes as few incisions as possible to achieve a good result while minimizing liposuction scars. These incisions are 2-3 mm in length and usually heal very well without needing a stitch. He can usually hide many incisions in most areas of the body but because they usually heal well. It is important to not make too few incisions this might affect a perfect liposuction result. In the rare instance the incisions discolor or thicken, there are ways to lighten or flatten them.

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How long do I need to wear the garment?

Usually 10 days full time and an additional 10 days part time (12 hours either day or night).

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Do I go home that night?

Yes, you may return home or to a hotel the day of the surgery, but it is required that a friend or family member be with you.  If you don’t have a companion, we will arrange for a nurse to stay with you afterwards for a minimum of 3-4 hrs (cost will vary).

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When can I fly?

In most instances you may fly 2 days after the surgery as long as you are able to walk around every hour.

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How much does liposuction cost?

The cost of liposuction is based on several factors, including the amount of work to be done and the degree of difficulty, the size of the patient, the area(s) of body to undergo operation, operating room fees, the anesthesiologist’s fee, and compression garments used during recovery. The doctor’s geographic location and his or her level of experience also play a role in determining costs. To read more click here

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What are the side effects to liposuction?

Certain post-surgery liposuction side effects are common, like bruising, swelling and numbness. These effects are temporary and will resolve within a few weeks. Irregularities of the skin are possible after liposuction, but the use of microcannulas during tumescent liposuction minimizes this possibility. Microcannulas reduce the risk of noticeable irregularities. To read more click here.

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RealSelf Q&A

Dr. Amron frequently answers questions for Realself visitors. Click here to read answers to some of the questions posed to him by Realself’s community.

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