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Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries available, one that involves removing excess fat from various places on the body, such as the stomach, hips, buttocks, thighs, inner knees, calves, upper arms, back, cheeks, chin or neck. Through a specially designed suctioning technique, this procedure reshapes problem areas in order to improve an individual’s overall shape and contours. While it is not a medical treatment for obesity or a replacement for healthy lifestyle choices, liposuction can be an effective way to correct or improve excess fat deposits that have not responded to diet or exercise. It may be performed on its own or alongside other cosmetic procedures like facelifts or tummy tucks.

How Liposuction Works

Liposuction isn't for everyone—it typically yields the best results for adults who are within 30% of their ideal weight to begin with, don’t smoke, have not been diagnosed with any life-threatening conditions, have good muscle tone and possess a positive, goal-oriented outlook on life. For someone who fits this description and is likely to be deemed a good candidate for liposuction treatment, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a liposuction expert. Then, only after being deemed a good match for the procedure, a patient will undergo the following parts of the liposuction process:
  1. Marking the Area(s): Before heading into the procedure room, Dr. Potyondy uses a pen to mark the specific areas of the body where fat will be removed.
  2. Anesthetizing the Patient: Some sort of numbing or pain medication is required before the procedure begins, as recommended by the physician in that particular case. Typically, small procedures will only require local anesthesia and a sedative, while larger procedures will require general anesthesia and intravenous sedation.
  3. Making the Incision(s): During the liposuction procedure, Dr. Potyondy makes a small incision or incisions in which to insert what’s called a cannula into the fatty layers of targeted areas. The cannula, a thin, hollow tube, gets moved back and forth to loosen and dislodge fat. That fat then gets suctioned out through the cannula into a surgical vacuum or syringe and then into a flask.
Because the body loses fluids as fat and surrounding liquids are removed, the physician will be monitoring levels throughout the procedure and using an intravenous line to replace fluids as needed.

Recovery after a Liposuction Procedure

Afterwards, once anesthesia has worn off, a patient may be able to go home as soon as that same day or after just one overnight stay. When this happens, Dr. Potyondy will provide specific instructions about caring for the surgical site, taking medications, preventing infections, etc. In the days that follow surgery, it can also be helpful to wear elastic bandages or tight-fitting compression garments around the treatment area in order to control swelling and promote healing. Because there may be some fluid drainage as the site heals, the physician may have placed small drains in the incisions under the skin, allowing for blood or other fluids to escape during the healing process. Also as part of the healing process, it’s normal to experience some tenderness or soreness at the site for a while after treatment—and even for several months. Major swelling, however, could be a sign of infection and should be examined by a physician as soon as possible.

Results Following Liposuction

Once a patient has healed completely, his or her improved body shape will be easier to see than it was immediately following surgery. If there are scars, they will be very small, located at the insertion sites, and they may fade over time. Because the removal of fatty deposits is usually significant enough to create an obvious physical change, many patients are happy with the slimmer appearance that results. If the patient follows a lifestyle of healthy habits, the loss of fatty tissue can continue well into the future.

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