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The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. today, liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat from areas of the body that have not responded to diet and exercise. The best results from liposuction of any type come from areas where the skin has the ability to “bounce-back” (elasticity) after the deeper layers of fat are removed. Discussing the amount of “outside” fat (layers of fat just beneath the skin) versus “inside” fat (fat that is deep inside beneath the muscles and surrounding the abdominal organs) is critical to achieving realistic expectations on the abdomen after liposuction.

During your consultation, Dr. Shawn will examine your areas of concern and help you decide if liposuction is right for you, or if the skin needs to be addressed separately with a different type of procedure.

What Can I Expect During a Liposuction Procedure?

Small incisions are then made in as inconspicuous places as possible. A cannula (small hollow tube) is then inserted and moved back-and-forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out with the injected fluid. Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used and can last anywhere from one to five hours depending on the amount of fat being removed.

How Long Will It Take For Me to Recover?

After liposuction, you’ll be sore and a little swollen for a few days. Dr. Shawn can provide pain relievers to keep you comfortable. He will likely advise you to wear a special compression garment to speed healing, and keep swelling under control. Most patients can return to work within a few days. The best results of liposuction are noticed at 3-6 months after the procedure, as long as there is no significant weight gain. However, most patients notice changes within a few weeks.

Strenuous exercise can be restarted at about 3-4 weeks, but Dr. Shawn encourages patients to begin low cardio activities within a few days, with the compression garments in place. Job restrictions will depend on how much lifting is necessary or how strenuous your job is.

What Questions Should I Ask Dr. Birchenough?

  • “How much of my belly fat is ‘inside’ versus ‘outside’ and how will this affect my liposuction results?”

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