Liposuction is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck. Although liposuction is not a substitute for dieting and exercise, it can remove stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods.

The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. You should be physically healthy and realistic in your expectations. Age is not a major consideration, however, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.

The Procedure

Liposuction may be performed in an outpatient surgery center, or in a hospital. Smaller volume liposuction is usually done on an outpatient basis for reasons of cost and convenience. However, if a large volume of fat will be removed, or if the liposuction is being performed in conjunction with other procedures, a stay in the hospital may be required. General anesthesia is commonly used during the procedure to assure the patient’s comfort and safety. The risks and benefits of this will be extensively discussed with you prior to surgery.

Healing is a gradual process. While recovery times vary depending upon individual resilience and the amount of liposuction performed, you should be able to begin moderate activity within a week or two. You will be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for approximately six weeks.

You will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body quite soon after surgery. However, improvement will become even more apparent after about four to six weeks, when most of the swelling has subsided. Most swelling usually disappears after about three months and the final contour will be visible. If your expectations are realistic, you will probably be very pleased with the results of your surgery. You may find that you are more comfortable and at ease with your body. And by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, you can help to maintain your new shape.

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