Many patients are concerned about the potential risks involved in liposuction. The truth is, while liposuction can have adverse effects, the treatment is very safe when it is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, with the increasing popularity of the procedure, more and more doctors offer the procedure, and not all of them are experienced with this treatment. This is another reason that patients should take the time to find a highly qualified surgeon for their liposuction.
Right now, surgeons follow guidelines that set a maximum extraction limit of 5,000 milliliters of fat (11 pounds) for all patients, regardless of variations in weight or body fat status. But the new study suggests surgeons could use a patient's body mass index (BMI) to determine how much fat extraction is safe. BMI is a rough estimate of a person's body fat based on height and weight measurements.
Disclaimer: Please note, any information on this page is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular procedure, product or treatment. This information is also not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure, product or treatment, visitors should always consult with their doctor or other qualified health care professional.
In addition to your surgeon's fee, you can expect to pay fees for the surgical venue, anesthesia, supportive surgical garments, pain medication, and other possible needs. Many surgeons have their own surgical suite, staffed by their own nurses and other professionals. If your surgery must be carried out in a hospital suite, it can cost hundreds more. In fact, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that non-profit hospitals charge an average fee of about $2,300 for an outpatient procedure, while state and for-profit hosptials charge an average of about $1,800. However, in some instances, the hospital is the better choice. If you need extensive liposuction, complications are more probable, and it pays to have a hospital's resources available.
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.
Liposuction of the entire thigh (circumferential liposuction) is not recommended due to an increase in swelling and lengthened recovery time. Rather, liposuction should be performed in a series of surgeries spaced about one month apart. Focusing the procedure on one specific area of the hips allows the lymphatic tissue to drain excess fluids quickly and evenly throughout the thigh, yielding more desirable results in a shorter amount of time. Liposuction of the thighs may be performed with thigh lift surgery.
If a woman has enlarged breasts, they can cause back pain, neck pain, headaches, and poor self-esteem. Liposuction is a more effective and less invasive method of breast reduction than other forms of breast reduction surgery. Using liposuction to remove excess fat has a natural lifting effect on the breast because there is less volume weighing it down.
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.
Most doctors on RealSelf say that a good compression garment is essential to minimize swelling and bruising, help the skin smoothly adhere to the underlying tissue, and speed up healing; but some don’t think it’s necessary. Doctors who recommend compression garments often have patients wear them 24/7 (with a break for showering) for at least two weeks and then gradually reduce the number of hours they need to be worn over a period of three or more weeks. As a bonus, doctors say, compression helps ease discomfort. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
According to the FDA, there are no hard numbers regarding the risk of death from liposuction. While there have been several studies, the results vary significantly. According to one study, there are 3 deaths for every 100,000 liposuction procedures. However, another study indicates that there are as many as 20 to 100 deaths for every 100,000 liposuctions.
Because of the large pattern of skin cutout with the Inverted T scar (Wise-pattern) the scar complication can look really bad. Here is a photo of one of these wounds using this surgical technique. Although it is not a life threatening problem, this wound complication at the incision location could certainly look very scary to the patient. In addition to scars, this procedure also tends to flatten the breast, instead of making them perky. I no longer perform this technique in my practice as I feel that the other surgical techniques are far superior.
Each year, thousands of women undergo breast lift procedures to restore the shape and volume of their breasts for a more youthful breast contour. Oftentimes breast lifts are combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation or breast reduction. In cases like these, the breasts are lifted as they are increased or decreased in size. The result are breasts that look and feel better!
Most doctors have pictures of past procedures available to view online or in the office. Take a good look at these pictures and decide if the results are satisfactory. Be wary of doctors who provide few pictures and those whose images are so poor that it is difficult to determine the quality of the work. You should also be concerned if a doctor's photos are all taken from the same angle, as this can obscure ill effects, such as ripples or poor contouring.
Your comfort with the scars are a very personal aspect of the surgery, but to the extent you are able, I urge you to keep in perspective the lesser importance of the incision pattern. I advise patients never to compromise contour for a lesser scar. I’d argue that it is more important to choose a highly experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who is a specialist in cosmetic surgery of the breast and body. Good luck with your surgical journey!