Contouring the body or reducing trouble areas can significantly impact the shape of a patient’s body and the fit of clothes. Some patient’s wanted to reduce and contour areas that are difficult to change with diet and exercise alone. The outer thighs or “saddle bags” in women or the flank area or “love handles” in men are common problem areas that liposuction can contour and improve. Removing fatty tissue can make the body shapelier or define the underlying muscles better and can give a patient a boost to accomplish their appearance and fitness goals.
Although liposuction does not remove loose skin, certain areas of the body will tighten well after liposuction. Liposuction can also be used in conjunction with another procedure, contouring the back with breast reduction or contouring the flanks with an abdominoplasty. Common areas that respond well to liposuction are the flanks, back, abdomen, inner and outer thighs, the upper arms and the chin areas. Tumescent liposuction involves infiltrating a solution of fluid with lidocaine for anesthesia and epinephrine to decrease bruising prior to suctioning out the fatty tissue. This results in a smoother contour reduction and less pain and bruising in the recovery time. While the incisions are small, there is some swelling after the procedure for approximately two weeks. A light compression garment is worn for the first two weeks to decrease the amount of swelling and for two more weeks at night. The swelling will decrease rapidly over the following two weeks but it will take up to 6 months for the last of the swelling to resolve and skin tightening changes can be seen for as long as a year.
Light activity can be performed the day after surgery but strenuous activity and weight resistance is limited for the first two weeks with a rapid return to regular activity and exercise by 3-4 weeks. A consultation can determine if you are a good candidate for liposuction and if it will meet your expectations.