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Liposuction - Frequently Asked Questions

Before having liposuction, make sure you have your questions answered, including these common questions about the procedure. Read on to hear common questions and answers about this popular procedure.

If you find yourself in the position of considering liposuction surgery, you may have some questions. Always discuss your questions with the surgeon prior to having your procedure. Here are some common questions people considering this particular plastic surgery often ask. 

Am I a Good Candidate?

Good candidates for this procedure are patients who are close to a healthy weight, yet have stubborn fat deposits that they have not been able to exercise away. They are typically in good overall health, are free from emotional and psychological problems, and understand the likely results of the surgery. Often surgeons caution women looking to have the surgery on their abdominal areas to wait to have the surgery until they are done having children, as future pregnancies could cause the fat deposits to come back, requiring another surgery, but this is not necessarily a prerequisite. 

What Are the Risks of the Surgery?

Liposuction is a fairly non-invasive surgery, but it does carry some risks. You will lose some blood during the procedure, and for some patients it requires going under general anesthetic, which could cause an adverse reaction. Most patients experience some swelling after the procedure, and any time you have surgery you are at risk for infections.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost for liposuction varies tremendously depending on the skill and reputation of the surgeon, your location, and the size of the area being treated. In 2004 the average charge reported by American Society of Plastic Surgeons doctors was just over $2,200. This amount has gone up over the years, but may be lower depending on your location. 

Is This a Good Weight Loss Procedure?

Many people mistakenly assume that this is a cosmetic procedure designed for weight loss. While a small amount of weight will be lost, the main purpose of this procedure is to change the contour of the body. The main goal is to remove fat deposits that you cannot remove through exercise alone. Because these represent such a small percentage of your overall body weight, it should not be considered a weight loss procedure.

What Is the Recovery Time?

Liposuction typically does not require an overnight stay in the hospital, but patients may need help the first evening after their procedure if they feel much pain. Depending on the type of surgery performed, you may be able to return to a non-strenuous job within two days of your procedure. Your body will dictate what physical activities you can perform after the procedure. If you find that you are sore, wait longer to do more strenuous activities. 

What Major Complications Could Occur?

Major complications with liposuction are extremely rare, but as with any surgery, they are possible. Potential complications include blood clots, infection, abdominal perforation, hematoma (bleeding under the skin), seroma (leakage of serum under the skin), nerve damage, and an adverse reaction to drugs. Modern techniques further limit the likelihood of these complications. Compared to other cosmetic proceduresFeature Articles, this is one of the safest. Always discuss any concerns you have about complications with your doctor before your procedure. 

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