Your Liposuction Consultation with Dr. Bermant
A suction lipectomy consultation takes a good deal of time in Dr. Bermant's office. We are interested in evaluating your health. Your medical history, previous problems, and current medication are important to determine if you are a candidate for this operation. Bring a list of your medications, vitamins, and other drugs. Current cigarette smoking and tobacco use increases surgical risks. Large weight losses or gains at any time are important. Dr. Bermant will examine you for
- locations of fat deposits
- skin tone
- possible underlying hernias
During your consultation we will discuss risks, benefits, and alternative methods of care. Alternatives for redundant skin include abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast lift (mastopexy), face lift, arm lifts, and thigh lifts. If your problem is one of extra tissue, not just localized fat, let us know so we can start you in the right direction for your preliminary educational material in our office. Sometimes a combination approach is necessary.
Most liposuction surgery is done as an outpatient (you go home right after surgery). It is either done in my office, an outpatient surgery center, or hospital. Larger volume liposuction surgery can involve significant fluid shifts and may need hospital monitoring for several days.
If you are having extensive liposuction, we can discuss autotransfusion where your own blood can be set aside ahead of the operation.
Getting the answers you need
Individuals considering liposuction often feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of options and techniques being promoted today. Your in person consultation with Dr. Bermant will help. In deciding which is the right treatment approach for you, Dr. Bermant will consider effectiveness, safety, cost and appropriateness for your needs. This is called surgical judgment, a skill that is developed through surgical training and years of experience. Dr. Bermant will use this judgment to avoid complications, to handle unexpected occurrences during surgery, and to treat complications if they occur.
Preparation for surgery
Our office will give you specific instructions how to prepare for surgery including guidelines on eating, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins and certain medications. If you develop an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your procedure will have to be postponed. Make certain to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and if necessary to help you out for a day or two. If someone is available in the waiting area after surgery, Dr. Bermant can discuss the surgery and post surgery instructions again. A snug compression garment worn after surgery helps reduce swelling. Wear loose fitting clothing on the day of surgery that will easily fit over the liposuction sites.
Various types of anesthesia can be used for liposuction surgery. Together you and Dr. Bermant will select the type of anesthesia that provides the most safe and effective level of comfort for your surgery.
If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs only the involved area. However, if you prefer, intravenous sedation can keep you more relaxed during the procedure. You will be awake but should feel minimal discomfort. Larger surgeries are best under general anesthesia. You would sleep though the operation and a tube will go into your airway through your throat to help you breath during surgery.
Sometimes additional incisions permit better access. If done under local anesthesia, you may feel some tugging, pulling, and vibrations of this cannula motion. You also may feel a stinging sensation as the cannula moves closer to the muscle.
You will lose fluid along with the fat during liposuction. It is crucial that this fluid be replaced to keep your body from going into shock. For this reason, patients need to be carefully monitored and receive intravenous fluids during and immediately after surgery. In some unusual extended cases you might need a blood transfusion. If your blood has been set up for autotransfusion, we would be able to use your own blood. There are several techniques that can be used to improve the ease of the procedure and to enhance outcome. Most patients do not need blood transfusions. (Tumescent and Super-Wet Techniques).
After Your Surgery
After your surgery a snug elastic dressing, girdle, or body stocking must be worn over the treated area to control swelling and bleeding. The garment also helps your skin shrink to fit your new contour. You may need to wear this garment continuously for two to three weeks, then during the daytime for a few weeks more. The schedule will depend on what you are having done and your tissues.
There may also be one or more drainage tubes inserted under your skin for one to three days. The drain helps remove any fluid buildup. You will be given instructions on how to manage the drain and record its output for Dr. Bermant. You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics.
Do not expect to look or feel great right after surgery. You will even be heavier for a while from the extra fluids. The suctioned areas will be swollen and bruised, and you may feel a burning sensation. The pain can be controlled with medications prescribed by Dr. Bermant but you will still feel sore for a few days. You may temporarily lose all feeling in the suctioned area; do not worry, it usually returns.
It is not unusual to feel depressed in the days or weeks following surgery. Try to keep in mind that this is normal and will subside as you begin to look and feel better.
Getting Back to Normal
Healing is a gradual process. Depending on the operation, Dr. Bermant will probably tell you to start walking around as soon as possible (to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs). Any stitches will be removed in five to ten days or dissolve. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days or as much as two weeks following your surgery. Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. When you resume activity depends on the problem we are trying to improve, the extent of the procedure, what activities you are trying to resume, and how you feel.
While most of the swelling and discoloration will be gone a month or two after surgery, some swelling can remain for six months or more. Our office will schedule you to see Dr. Bermant to monitor your progress and to see if any additional intervention is needed.
If you have any unusual symptoms between visits (for example, heavy bleeding or a sudden increase in pain) OR ANY QUESTIONS (such as what you can or cannot do) do not hesitate to call us.
Your New Look
As healing progresses, a more proportional look will emerge. A slimmer body contour can help you feel more confident and comfortable. Suction assisted lipectomy is a highly effective technique for giving you a new body contour with very little scarring. The results can be permanent, providing you eat sensibly and exercise regularly. If you do gain weight, you will probably gain it in a different pattern that before your surgery. Yes, areas that have been sculpted with liposuction can get fat again if there is a positive caloric balance. Your body is designed to store the excess as fat.
Most patients are very satisfied with the results of their liposuction, they feel more comfortable in a wide variety of clothes, and more at ease with their bodies. As long as your expectations are realistic, you should be happy with your new shape.