What to Expect from the Liposuction Procedure
1. The first part is getting your problem area numb. This part can be a little uncomfortable, but is usually not too bad. You are sedated and we explain everything so there are no surprises. Your skin will be cleaned and the 2-4 mm incisions (entry holes for our tiny instruments) will be strategically placed in areas that are less visible. Then a very small 1mm cannula will be passed into your fat layer and a dilute solution consisting of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine (lidocaine is the numbing agent, and epinephrine constricts the blood vessels to minimize bleeding) will be sprayed into the fat layer. Sometimes we add other medications to minimize scarring. This process feels like a pinching or even tickling sensation and is very “weird” but not terribly painful for most patients.
2. Next is a technology step where lipolysis (fat breakdown) is performed. The ultrasound, or infrasonic probes, or the laser fiber will be used for breaking up the fat cells. When used, laser energy causes the tissue in the treatment area to heat up, thereby improving the appearance of loose skin..
3. The next part is the de-bulking of the fat. The broken down fat cells are then removed by the surgeon through a cannula in a vacuum-like technique. A small 3-4mm cannula will be passed into the now numb fat layer. The cannula is attached to suction and will remove the fat. You should be pretty numb at this point and will only feel pressure and vibrations.. Occasionally, there are areas that are not entirely numb, so if you feel any pain, the surgeon will stop and put more numbing medication in that area.
4. Once the bulk of the fat has been removed, a smaller cannula will be used to “sculpt” the area and ensure everything is even and smooth and symmetrical.
5. You will then be cleaned up and garments will be applied to the treated areas. Depending on if,or how much of, the anxiety or pain medication that you take; you may feel drowsy and a little dizzy. In fact, since the numbing medication works for up to 24 hours, you will not have much discomfort until later in the day or the next day.
6. Because our doctor is pretty generous with the local anesthetic, you will likely have drainage of the tumescent fluid from the incisions for up to 72 hours. (usually about 24 hrs.). We use garments and padding to catch the drainage, but additional precautions are recommended to prevent staining of your car seats or furniture and bedding at home. This will be discussed in your consultation.
7. We like to follow our patients at 1, 3, 6 and 12 weeks at a minimum to help track your progress. Even our out-of-state patients find it beneficial to return to Atlanta. During these follow up visits we provide counseling and motivation to help you achieve your appearance goals.
During these visits we provide:
- Early intervention to prevent complications
- Evaluation for “touch up” procedures
- Planning of additional surgeries when appropriate
- Discussion of relevant medical conditions
- Weight loss and nutritional counseling
- Aesthetic services like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or any of our personal image enhancing services.