Liposuction

Liposuction or “lipo” is used to remove excess fat deposits and reshape areas of the body to improve your look and body contours.

Liposuction can help address fat deposits that do not improve with diet and exercise. Liposuction is not a treatment for being overweight. Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight.

Liposuction can be combined with other forms of body-contouring surgery, including Arm Lift, Tummy Tuck, Mini Tummy Tuck, or Thigh Lift.

The Procedure

Liposuction or “lipo” is used to remove excess fat deposits and reshape areas of the body to improve your look and body contours.

Liposuction can help address fat deposits that do not improve with diet and exercise. Liposuction is not a treatment for being overweight. Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight.

This procedure is performed in Kaiser Permanente’s operating suite with local anesthesia, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Liposuction is performed through small incisions. Then a cannula, a thin tube, is inserted to loosen excess fat and the fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe.

The incisions will depend on the areas addressed with liposuction, but generally scars are inconspicuous.

Preparation

Your Kaiser Permanente plastic surgeon will work closely with you. Be prepared to discuss your expectations and desired outcome. Make sure to address all of your questions and concerns.

Aspirin, Motrin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some over-the-counter herbal medications must be discontinued at least two weeks prior to surgery. These and other drugs and substances may cause excess bleeding and bruising. You can usually begin taking them again after a week or so.

If you are a smoker, it is important to quit at least four weeks prior to surgery and refrain from smoking until four weeks after surgery to ensure your wounds heal properly. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this in detail with you and you will also be given a list of common medicines to avoid for a short period. Your plastic surgeon will detail the risks associated with surgery. Plan to have a family member or friend drive you to and from your surgery appointment and stay with you for at least one night following surgery.

Recovery

Following your surgery, elastic bandages or compression garments will be used to cover the areas treated with liposuction. This will help to minimize swelling and support your body as it heals. Small drains may be placed temporarily to drain any excess fluid or blood that may collect.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for your incisions and drains, including any medications that you may need to take. We will arrange for your follow-up visit at our Kaiser Permanente office.

Drains are typically removed after one to two weeks. For most plastic surgeries, there are no sutures to remove. It is most common to use absorbable sutures which melt on their own within a few months.

You can shower the next day after your procedure but should stay out of the ocean or pool for a week or so. Initial swelling and bruising can last up to two weeks, but complete resolution of swelling may take several months. It is important to avoid strenuous activity for two to three weeks after liposuction to avoid bleeding complications.