Liposuction or lipoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that trims and contours specific areas of the body by removing stubborn fat deposits. The fat is suctioned off using a vacuum-suction cannula, a hollow pen-like instrument. There are two lipoplasty methods – traditional suction-assisted and power-assisted. Recovery after traditional liposuction takes much longer than with other techniques. Let’s see why.
How Traditional Lipoplasty is Performed
Liposuction may be performed in a doctor’s office, surgical center or hospital.
This versatile procedure can treat almost any area of the body such as the thighs, hips, abdomen, arms, neck, and knees as well as the chest, back, cheeks, chin, and ankles. The patient is administered general anesthesia and a medicated saline solution is injected into the treatment site. Small incisions are made to insert the cannula through the subcutaneous fat. The plastic surgeon moves the cannula back and forth manually to break up the fat which is sucked into the cannula and then pulled by the vacuum pump into the suction tube attached to it. However, fat connected to adjacent fibrous tissue may be difficult to extract in traditional lipoplasty.
After the fat is removed, small drainage tubes may be inserted into the treated areas to remove blood and fluid that collects during the first few days following the procedure. Large incisions are closed with sutures.
- Useful for targeting of large areas of fat
- Can produce impressive results
Recovery after Traditional Liposuction
The recovery period would vary depending on the area treated and the amount of fat that was removed. You may have to wear a compression garment.
Traditional liposuction requires more time to heal. Blood loss would higher than with power assisted techniques, resulting in more bruising and swelling to the area. As complete healing may take several months, the final results will be visible only after about six months.
You should do everything that you can to help in your recovery from the surgery. The most important thing is to follow the instructions of your surgeon correctly. This will help the incisions to heal well and quicker, that there are no complications, and that you get the desired results.
Here are some points to note
- Take only the medications and pain relievers prescribed by the surgeon and avoid drugs that could aggravate bleeding
- Take plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activity for about 10 days to 2 weeks or as advised by your surgeon
- Avoid smoking to speed up the healing process
- Drink plenty of water
- Do not get your treatment site wet for at least one week after surgery
- If bandages are applied in the area, these would need to be replaced on a regular basis
- Follow a healthy diet post liposuction – if you gain weight, fat will build up in other areas of the body
- Keep follow-up appointments
If there is any severe pain or inflammation in the treatment area, seek medical advice.
Take care to choose a skilled and experienced liposuction surgeon in an AAAASF-accredited facility to benefit from safe and comfortable experience and optimal results.