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.
You may notice an improved body contour immediately (for instance, if you have your saddlebags suctioned), but your results will be disguised initially by swelling. Swelling should improve dramatically after six weeks and continue to go down over the next six months. If you think you’ll need more lipo to get the result you want, wait at least six months for the swelling to subside, then evaluate the situation with your surgeon. Just keep in mind that you’ll continue healing and seeing better results for up to a year.