- Who is a Candidate?
- The Liposuction Procedure
- Recovering from Liposuction
- Potential Risks
- Schedule a Consultation
Liposuction of the Body
Liposuction is a technique that removes fat from the deep and middle fat compartments of the arms, chest, abdomen, thighs, and calves. Liposuction can only minimally tighten the skin. VASER liposuction technology that delivers ultrasound energy to the site before it suctions helps to tighten the loose skin over the fat. A good liposuction candidate is a patient who may be slightly overweight, or just at normal weight, who has deposits of fat that are out of concert with the rest of the body.
How Is Liposuction Performed?
Dr. Cherup, a Pittsburgh-based plastic surgeon, will mark the areas to be addressed in the preop area. You will be prepped with an antiseptic wash on your body in the operating room, and then you will lie down on a sterile operating room table and go to sleep under general anesthesia. Very small incisions in areas hidden by a swimsuit will allow our tumescent fluid to be infused into the fat, providing vasoconstriction and some anesthesia. The VASER will be used to soften the fat and tighten the skin. Fat will then be removed from many directions with thin liposuction cannulas. Dr. Cherup checks your contours many times during the surgery to make sure the correct amount is removed, but also left in place from each area that is being treated. The incisions are closed with two sutures each. Small dressings and a liposuction garment complete the surgery.
What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?
Liposuction recovery is like recovering from a bruise. Your skin will be swollen and slightly numb. You will feel stiff wherever we suctioned the fat. You will be allowed to take a shower at two days after surgery and replace your small bandages with Band-Aids. The most important thing is positioning — lying with your legs elevated, your trunk fairly flat and your head elevated. You must get up and walk every two hours for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, you are horizontal for two to three days and driving is not permitted. Sitting is the worst thing you can do, because it will promote abdominal and leg swelling, as well as deep vein thrombosis. You probably can go back to work at seven to 10 days, unless you have an extremely physical job. You will wear your liposuction garment, washing it every day, for three to four weeks. Eighty percent of the swelling will disappear in one month, but it takes almost four months for all the swelling to dissipate.
What Are the Risks of Liposuction?
Dimpling and denting of the skin can occur if the skin has very poor elasticity and too much fat is removed. This risk is uncommon in Dr. Cherup’s hands. In fact, Dr. Cherup frequently is able to correct these dimpling and denting problems caused by previous liposuction surgery. Sometimes there is profound loss of sensation to the skin over the area that is liposuctioned. This occurs more frequently in areas that had a large amount reduced. Sensation almost always returns to normal within two to four months. Discoloration from the bruising can persist for up to two months, but usually will resolve.
The most serious risk from liposuction is deep vein thrombosis in the legs, which leads to a pulmonary embolus. Pulmonary emboli can be fatal. They usually are not if caught early. Factors that may help prevent deep vein thrombosis include having the surgery performed on an outpatient basis, so that you are up and walking within one hour after the surgery; applying compression boots during the surgery to pump the calves of your legs; and keeping yourself well hydrated and in the appropriate horizontal position. Of course, if you have a tendency for clotting too much or bleeding too much that runs in your family, Dr. Cherup will question you about this during your initial consultation.
Learn More about Liposuction
Learn more about liposuction during an informative consultation. To book an appointment, call Dr. Cherup at (412) 220-8181 or (877) 441-0639.