Following liposuction, patients often experience some soreness and tenderness in the treatment area. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication, and a physician may prescribe stronger medication, if needed. However, this discomfort is typically minimal, and patients can typically return to work about two days after their procedures. If they experience severe discomfort or if the soreness gets worse after several days, patients should alert their doctors.
However, minimizing the appearance of scars on the breast will be of vital importance to your surgeon. The whole point of a breast lift procedure is to make the breast more attractive, and conspicuous or heavy scarring defeats that point. Most scars will typically heal and fade within two years, but will always be present. Your surgeon will consider it a part of their job to keep these scars discrete, not a bonus. They may also prescribe cortisone cream and use silicone sheeting to help reduce the appearance of scars after surgery.
Liposuction of the hips is generally successful in creating a more contoured figure. This type of liposuction is usually performed on women, as men are not as susceptible to retaining fat deposits in this area. Patients who undergo liposuction to improve the appearance of the hips may require additional procedures to attain the desired contour. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. Liposuction of the hips may be performed with an extended tummy tuck.
Scars are inevitable after any incision in the skin, of course, because scarring is part of the body’s “self-repair” process. Breast lift surgery, in my experience, is a very satisfying procedure for the vast majority of patients–even with the unavoidable, often minimal, scarring. Scars may be in an anchor shape, in the crease below the breast and from the center of the crease up to the areola, although there are other types of scarring. When you choose an experienced surgeon, you’ll find that your breast lift scars are well hidden, even when wearing low-cut clothing. This is one of the signs of a skilled breast lift surgeon.
I personally think nurse-administered anesthesia is perfectly appropriate in many cases. In fact, a 2014 study by the Chochrane Collaboration research group concluded that it was "not possible to say whether there were any differences in care between medically qualified anaesthetists and nurse anaesthetists." But if the patient is anxious about the procedure, or if the treatment scope is extensive, the extra cost of an anesthesiologist can be well worth the money. What I consider extensive liposuction can easily take up to 4 hours, so it would be reasonable to estimate that anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist could cost about $2,000 in this scenario.
"I was drawn to Dennis Hurwitz, MD, for three reasons," my patient Tara explains. "First, his years of helping both men and women achieve results that made them feel better about themselves. Second, my consultation with him was informative. He was engaged the entire time, answering each and every question knowledgeably and honestly. Third, considering his reputation, the pricing was more than reasonable."
In addition, surgical scars typically heal much more cleanly than accidental trauma and often form a thin, almost imperceptible line. For many of my patients, when the scar is fully mature after one year, it is difficult to see that vertical scar, but scar healing does vary by individual. An important aspect of my surgical patient care is a comprehensive scar care regimen to help optimize your ultimate scar.
If you maintain your post-lipo weight, your surgical result should be long-lasting. But if you gain even five pounds, the fat cells in other areas of your body—as well as those that remain in the treated area—will grow larger, possibly diminishing your results. In cases of considerable weight gain, new fat cells can develop all over the body, including in the treated areas, though the area will still look better than if you didn’t have liposuction.
Thankfully, there’s a slew of solutions that have been proven to help with scarring, even completely removing the visual effect. One of the first solutions that may be offered is a steroid injection into the area, which helps with the discomfort and redness of scarring. Cortisone creams are another option that may help to reduce the size of the blemish. Targeted cryotherapy, similar to the type of therapy used to remove warts, may also reduce scarring by freezing the tissue away.
Liposuction evolved from work in the late 1960s from surgeons in Europe using techniques to cut away fat, which were limited to regions without many blood vessels due to the amount of bleeding the technique caused. In the mid-1970s Arpad and Giorgio Fischer created the technique of using a blunt cannula linked to suction; they used it only to remove fat on the outer thighs. Yves-Gerard Illouz and Fournier extended the Fischers' work to the whole body, which they were able to use by using different sized cannulae. Yves-Gerad Illouz later developed the "wet" technique in which the fat tissue was injected with saline and hyaluronidase, which helped dissolve tissue holding the fat, prior to suctioning. Lidocaine was also added as a local anesthetic. Fournier also advocated using compression after the operation, and travelled and lectured to spread the technique. The Europeans had performed the procedures under general anesthesia; in the 1980s American dermatologists pioneered techniques allowing only local anesthetics to be used. Jeffrey Klein published a method that became known as "tumescent" in which a large volume of very dilute lidocaine, along with epinephrine to help control bleeding via vasoconstriction, and sodium bicarbonate as a buffering agent.
Choosing the right surgeon is the most important thing you can do when you are preparing for liposuction. Although this procedure is extremely safe, as with all surgical treatments, there are some risks, so it is important to find a doctor with an exceptional record of safety and success. Additionally, the results of your liposuction could last for decades, so you should choose a doctor who will give you the look you desire. With so many doctors offering liposuction, selecting the right one can seem like a daunting task. However, there are certain things that can make your decision easier.
Be very careful! You are a set up for a bad result. 50% of my revisional patients are people who were just like you and did not want what they NEEDED and ended up making compromises and ended up with terrible results. The irony is they ended up getting what they NEEDED originally except with more cost and suffering. You need what you need. Do not just fill your breast to make up for excess skin. It will look good for a short period of time while it is swollen and then bottom out. Spend more time looking for a surgeon who gets good results and closes incisions well. The vertical scar can in many instances become invisible.
Some surgeons recommend lymphatic massage starting at about four weeks post-op, to help drain fluid and bring down swelling. “I don’t suggest self-massage, because you can counteract the surgery,” Dr. Mesa says. “But going to a massage therapist who specializes in post-surgical massage does make the healing process faster and prevent irregularities.”
In addition to a breast lift, many women also consider having other procedures performed at the same time to enhance the overall result. For example, a “mommy makeover” is a combination of different surgical procedures reserved for women who have been pregnant and want to look like they did before the pregnancy. This may include a tummy tuck, liposuction surgery and breast enlargement or breast reduction. There is also a cost savings of having multiple procedures done at the same time.
Doctors disagree on the issues of scarring with not suturing versus resolution of the swelling allowed by leaving the wounds open to drain fluid. Since the incisions are small, and the amount of fluid that must drain out is large, some surgeons opt to leave the incisions open, while others suture them only partially, leaving space for the fluid to drain out.
A technique called "tumescent liposuction" is the most common method for removing fat around the stomach, buttocks, thighs and ankles. It's also considered the safest. "Tumescent" means that large amounts of buffered salt water are injected into fatty tissue beneath the skin. The doctor makes a cut in the fatty area to be treated, then inserts beneath the flesh a strawlike tube called a cannula that is attached to a vacuum. At the end of the cannula is a stiff wand. The doctor moves it back and forth in rapid motions to loosen fat. The procedure takes 45 minutes to two hours, with a recovery time of up to two weeks. The full effect of liposuction is seen six to 12 weeks after the procedure is performed. After the procedure, the area is bandaged and the patient must wear a compression garment for one to two weeks. Pain and bruising may last up to two weeks, and swelling may last for two weeks to two months.