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Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes fat from various areas on your body, most commonly abdomen, thighs, buttocks and neck. Other names for liposuction include lipoplasty, liposculpture, suction lipectomy and lipo.

Liposuction is not to be used for weight loss, but more so for body shaping, as there are limits as to how much fat can safely be removed in any single treatment. The more fat removed, the higher the surgical risk of the procedure. Liposuction may be performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia. The safety of the technique relates not only to the amount of tissue removed, but to the choice of anesthetic and the patient's overall health. Liposuction is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed with more than 200,000 procedures done in 2012 alone.

Recovery from Liposuction

After liposuction, most patients are generally able to return to work between two days and two weeks, depending on the extend of the surgery, the overall health of the patient and the type of work they engage in.  Compression garments are recommended for approximately for two to four weeks; this garment must have elasticity and allow for use of bandages.

Pain, bruising, swelling and numbness can persist for a few months post treatment. The prolonged soreness and swelling in the post operative period is the result of damaged tissue. This tissue damage requires 3 phases of healing prior to a complete recovery. These 3 phases are; the inflammatory phase, the proliferation phase and finally the remodeling phase.

Many people will also experience fatigue during their post operative phase as the recovery process requires large amounts of metabolic energy. The healing process will require a healthy immune system, healthy circulatory system and the proper nutrients and metabolically active substrates needed to repair your damaged tissue.  Post-operative swelling and inflammatory nodules can last for several months.

How Long Should I Wait After Surgery to Begin Post Operative Treatments?

After surgery, you want to wait for the initial swelling to subside and then start your treatments as soon as possible, beginning as soon as 72 hours post-op. The longer that you wait to start your post-op treatment, the more swelling, lymphedema, and nodule formation and hardening occurs.

What Can I do to Speed Up My Recovery and Reduce My Discomfort after Liposuction?