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After Liposuction Surgery

The first few hours after surgery will be spent in the recovery room. When the patient is fully alert and oriented, he/she can go home or to a local hotel. A responsible adult is required to drive the patient and to assist them for the first 24 hours following surgery. If a patient does not have such a person available, the Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center patient coordinator can arrange for a specially trained medical assistant to drive the patient to his/her destination and stay with them during this time period.

Some patients will spend the night in the recovery room at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, especially if a large volume of liposuction is performed. Overnight care is provided by a registered nurse who is trained in post-operative care, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification. An additional person, experienced in post-surgical care, is also on hand to assist the nurse as needed throughout the night. In the morning, Dr. Delgado personally checks these patients before they are discharged from the surgery center.

A compression garment is worn over the treated areas for four to six weeks. The purpose of this garment is to control swelling and promote skin contraction.

Discomfort after liposuction is generally limited to soreness, rather than pain. Pain medications are prescribed to lessen any discomfort felt during the first few days. Patients often find that the discomfort is too minimal to merit the use of narcotics.

Bruising is normally quite evident and may not resolve completely for a week or two. Most of the swelling disappears after two or three weeks, but there may be a small amount of residual swelling for up to two months. For six to nine months, the patient may experience a fluctuating return of 10-15% swelling with exercise or excessive activity.

Sutures are removed seven to ten days after liposuction. Patients usually return to work within a few days following a liposuction procedure.

It is important to resume light walking as soon as possible after liposuction in order to discourage swelling and prevent blood clots in the legs. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks because it can trigger unnecessary fluid retention in the treated areas.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Like all surgeries, Liposuction procedures carry the risks of bleeding, infection, blood clots and adverse events related to anesthesia. However, these risks are minimized by the combination of Dr. Delgado’s team of licensed and credentialed professionals and Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, an accredited, state-of-the-art facility, located contiguous to a hospital. These factors create a very safe environment for Liposuction, as well as other surgical procedures.

The most common problems with Liposuction are irregularities in skin contours, due to poor skin quality (i.e., low elasticity, loose skin tone) or pre-existing cellulite. Sometimes under-correction exists and often, this can be easily remedied in the office setting with a touch up procedure using local anesthesia. If over-correction has occurred, fat injections can be done to fill any concavity.

Swelling and bruising are normal and not considered complications. Both of these resolve in time. In a few cases, some bruising will persist beyond the usual one to two weeks. Very rarely, areas of light discoloration can remain indefinitely after Liposuction.

If a patient gains weight in the future, the fat may distribute differently than it did prior to Liposuction. Generally, less fat will deposit in those areas that were treated.

OUTCOME

Patients see significant changes in his/her bodies after Liposuction. They will see an improved esthetic balance in the relationship between the areas treated and the rest of the body, as well as a reduction in overall size. Depending upon the extent and volume of the Liposuction performed, this change could translate into two to three sizes smaller in clothing. Patients also find they can wear a greater variety of clothing styles than prior to the Liposuction procedure. The results are relatively permanent, barring the impact of significant weight gain in the future. Scarring is minimal and continues to fade with time. The attractive results often evoke a higher sense of self-esteem for Liposuction patients. With these satisfying outcomes for patients, it is not surprising that the latest statistics available (www.cosmeticplasticsurgerystatistics.com) show that 341,144 Liposuction procedures were performed in the United States in 2008 alone.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Liposuction

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