1206 Somerville Rd
Decatur, AL 35603
The basic goal of an liposuction is to re-contour areas of the body that still have a protuberant bulge even after reasonable weight loss and exercise. Liposuction is used to smooth out areas of the body that will not thin out despite weight loss and exercise. This problem is especially true in women after child bearing years. Liposuction is not a weight loss operation. The goal is to decrease the bulges so that the contours match the surrounding anatomy. The concept is the same for the abdomen, hips, arms and neck.
During your initial consultation we will discuss all of the aspects of the operation and how it relates to you. We will have a second visit that is the pre-operative visit where I will answer all of your final questions, write the prescriptions for the medicines you will need after the surgery and you will do your pre-operative visit at the hospital.
The first mark that is made is for the lower skin incision. The incision length is a little variable and must be long enough to have the end of the incision close smoothly. A second incision is marked just above the belly button. These two incisions mark the lower roll of fat and skin that will be removed. When the roll is removed, the upper abdomen skin is lifted which allows access to tighten the front abdominal muscles if needed. The upper abdomen skin is then pulled downward and sutured to the lower incision. This creates a curved scar on the lower abdomen. The length of the scar is variable. The belly button is brought through a new hole.
Liposuction is always a cosmetic procedure.
The operation is done as an outpatient or day surgery procedure at Decatur Morgan Hospital using general anesthesia. It is done in the main operating rooms at Decatur Morgan Hospital and takes just about 1 hour to perform. We do the operation in the morning you will get discharged to home late in the afternoon or the early evening. You will go home in an abdominal and/or hip compression garment so postoperative blood and fluid does not accumulate in the liposuction sites.
Because one of the main dangers of liposuction is dehydration when patients go home, we have a policy of keeping you at the hospital all day and making sure you are given plenty of intravenous fluids and can drink fluids before you are discharged.
It is crucial that for 10 days prior to your surgery you do not take any aspirin, arthritis or other muscle ache pain medicines. These medicines will make you bruise more and can lead to other complications. The ONLY pain or headache medicine that is safe to take is Tylenol (acetaminophen) because this does not affect blood clotting and bleeding.
All patients are unique and the response to post-operative discomfort is variable. Most patients state that liposuction discomfort feels like bad bruising in the areas that were treated. You will be sore when you move around. You will keep the compression garment on until I see you in the office and give you further instructions. Most patients take the narcotic medicine for a week or two and then switch to Tylenol for pain. As I said, patients are all unique and their pain tolerance is very different. Almost all patients feel normal by 3 weeks. You will wear the compression garment to keep light pressure on your liposuction sites for about 2 to 3 weeks.
For a desk job that does not require any heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 1 week. Some women have gone back to a desk job in as little as 4 days wearing their compression garment. For a job that requires physical exertion or heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 1 week to 1 1/2 weeks. You will be moving slowly because of the bruised feeling. Also, you will feel fatigued because a certain amount of blood loss is associated with the liposuction aspirate. It is helpful to start vitamins that have supplemental iron prior to liposuction surgery and to keep taking them after the surgery.
You will need to come to the office 1 or 2 days after your surgery and you need to arrange for someone to drive you to this appointment because you will be sore and on narcotic medications. At this first postoperative check I will change your dressings and show you have to remove and replace your compression garment. You can take a full shower 24 hours after your first office visit. You will remove your garment, take a quick shower and then get back into your garment. A few days after your surgery I will allow you to be out of the garment just long enough to wash and dry it. The small sutures that close the liposuction entrance sites will be removed in 7 days. Your next appointment will be in approximately 1 week and then again in approximately 2 weeks. At that time we may begin to allow you to gently massage some areas that feel lumpy. Then I will see you at approximately 6 months and 12 months after your surgery and do a final assessment of your result, assess the quality of your scars and get your final opinion on the surgery.
Generally you can resume all of you normal activities, including physical exertion and exercise after 4 weeks.