Liposuction is used to remove excess fatty tissues from specific areas to sculpt the body. Patients who seek liposuction often inherit traits that limit them from losing fat in certain areas even through exercise and dieting. In seeking this plastic surgery procedure, Pittsburgh liposuction patients should always have realistic expectations.
At our state-of-the-art Pittsburgh cosmetic surgery facility, Dr. Lori Cherup will discuss what liposuction techniques best fit the patient.» Back to top
As knowledge has increased and technology has improved, this potential problem has become much less common. The use of much smaller cannulas (tubes inserted to remove the fat cells) during liposuction has helped tremendously. Skin that is tight and firm before liposuction surgery will probably remain so after healing. If your skin is loose, wrinkled, or dimpled before surgery, it may remain the same or be slightly worse after liposuction surgery.Asymmetry:
It is not always possible to obtain total symmetry when bilateral procedures such as liposuction are performed. Very few people are totally symmetrical prior to liposuction. If a significant difference is visible following healing, a secondary "touch up" procedure may be indicated to minimize such findings. Our plastic surgeon can perform your second liposuction procedure in or at our nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania location.Loss of Sensation:
Usually, any numbness or loss of sensation is temporary and resolves within a few months.Indentation or Excess Fat Removal:
Although this can occur in an attempt to remove as much fat as possible, careful discussion and preoperative liposuction understanding between you and Dr. Cherup make this an unlikely possibility.Fluid and Electrolyte Problems:
When we anticipate that large volumes of fat need removal (2000 cc or more), our plastic surgeon will request that you donate a unit or two of your own blood during the preoperative liposuction period. This will help your body adjust to the loss of fluid and blood that occurs during liposuction surgery and to the postoperative shift of fluids to the areas under the skin that were suctioned. These changes, the operative fluid losses and the postoperative fluid shifts, help to explain why you may feel "washed out" for a few days after liposuction surgery.
Severe fluid and electrolyte problems, usually associated with large volume liposuction, can cause surgical shock, require hospitalization, and, in the most extreme case, cause death. Autotransfusion (above paragraph) certainly reduces such potential risks.Infection:
This is a very unusual problem. If it occurs, our doctors will prescribe antibiotics.Bleeding and Bruising:
Some bruising almost always surfaces for 2-3 weeks after liposuction. Formation of hematomas (blood clots under the skin) is rare. Resolution occurs with time and massage. Extremely rare cases may require suction of the blood clots.Scars:
Dr. Cherup attempts to put the small scars in hidden sites or locations that heal well. Scars on the trunk take a year to fade.Skin Loss:
Skin loss is extremely rare following liposuction and may require secondary reparative surgery.Lumps or Firmness Under the Skin:
During the healing phase of liposuction (several weeks or longer) you may feel firmness or lumpiness under the treated areas.Seroma Formation:
Fluids can collect under the skin following liposuction (very uncommon). If this problem occurs, aspiration with a needle or even open drainage might be indicated.Pulmonary Embolism:
This is a very rare and potentially fatal complication of all large operations. In occurs when fat droplets in the blood stream are trapped in the lungs. Should this unlikely complication occur, hospitalization and other treatment may be necessary.
Further information on liposuction risks can be obtained by reaching our staff at one of our offices in or near the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.» Back to top
If you have had suction of your knees, thighs, hips, or abdomen, our doctors will have put a compression garment on you at the end of liposuction surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You should not remove this garment at all until the second or third day after liposuction surgery. After that, feel free to remove the garment temporarily for laundering. We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise garment (Lycra or Spandex) whenever it feels comfortable to slip it on or off, as you will have to do so in order to go to the bathroom.Ice Packs:
A significant amount of bruising accompanies liposuction. Ice packs can be helpful with both swelling and discomfort. After liposculpture of the abdomen, it is not uncommon for the groin and genitalia to become markedly swollen and bruised. Do not be alarmed! The swelling and bruises will go away within several weeks. Ice packs will help the discomfort and swelling.Showering and Bathing:
You may shower or bathe the day after liposuction surgery.Taping:
After your visit to one of her locations in or near Pittsburgh, plastic surgeon Dr. Cherup may decide to cover some or all of your suctioned areas with elastic tape or adhesive foam. On the third or fourth day after liposuction surgery, you may peel these off in the shower or bath. This is easier than taking them off "dry."Massage:
If you so desire, feel free to have a gentle massage during your postoperative course.Postoperative Visits:
We will wish to examine you 3 or 4 days after liposuction surgery, once the tape or foam has been removed. Your stitches will need to be removed about 1 week after liposuction surgery.Exposure to Sunlight:
Protect the bruised areas from the sun until the bruising fades completely.Activity:
You must start walking immediately. You may continue the activities of daily living as you feel able. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 2-3 weeks.
Further information on liposuction postoperative instructions can be obtained by reaching our staff at one of our offices in or near the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.» Back to top
Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks after liposuction surgery. The swelling, on the other hand, takes as long as 6-9 months to disappear completely, although you should see vast improvement within 1 month. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed.Numbness:
Scattered numbness in the suctioned areas occurs occasionally and will disappear within a few weeks.Lumpiness:
As you heal, the suctioned areas may feel "lumpy" and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging those areas will hasten their softening.Activities:
If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause pain. Wait at least 3 weeks after liposuction surgery to begin aerobic exercise.
For more information on plastic surgery risks, postoperative instructions or healing information for the liposuction procedure, contact surgeon Lori Cherup at her main office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Back to top