Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes fat that you can’t seem to get rid of through diet and exercise.
A plastic or dermatologic surgeon usually does the procedure on your hips, belly, thighs, buttocks, back, arms, and under the chin or face to improve their shape. But liposuction can also be done with other plastic surgeries, including facelifts, breast reductions, and tummy tucks.
Am I a Good Candidate?
You’ll want to have realistic expectations. Liposuction won’t get rid of cellulite, so if you hoped you’d come out of surgery without any, you’re out of luck.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure, and with it comes risks. So you need to be in good health before you get it. That means you must at least:
Be within 30% of your ideal weight
Have firm, elastic skin
Doctors don’t recommend the procedure if you have health problems with blood flow or have heart disease, diabetes, or a weak immune system.
What Should I Know Beforehand?
The first step is to consult with your surgeon. Talk about your goals, the options, the risks and benefits, and the costs. Ask all your questions.
If you decide to go ahead with liposuction, your surgeon will give you instructions on how to prepare for it. These may include diet and alcohol restrictions.
Tell your surgeon about any allergies you have and any medications you take, including over-the-counter and herbal supplements. They will likely recommend you stop taking certain meds, such as blood thinners and certain painkillers several weeks before surgery.
What Should I Expect?
Your liposuction may take place at your doctor's office or a surgery center. Make sure that the place where you’re getting it done is accredited, and is known for its professional standards, safety and good results.
You’ll go home the day of the procedure. Make sure to have someone drive you home afterward. (If you’re having a lot of fat removed, you should get the surgery done in a hospital, where you might stay overnight).
Before your liposuction starts, your doctor might mark the areas of your body that will be treated. They may also take photos to use later for before-and-after comparisons.
Next you'll get general anesthesia -- which means you will not be awake during the procedure -- or a “local,” which means you will be awake but not feel any pain.