What to Expect with Liposuction
Dr. Plant discusses what to expect during liposuction in full detail, so his patients are comfortable and prepared for their upcoming liposuction surgery.
Before liposuction surgery, you will meet with Dr. Plant during your consultation to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. He will make sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure and discuss what can and cannot be accomplished to ensure you have reasonable expectations. Once you have decided to proceed with surgery, a date is selected and a pre-operative visit two to three weeks before surgery will take place where Dr. Plant will help develop a definitive plan, deciphering the precise areas you want to be treated, how he is going to treat them, how much fat he is going to take out, the risks and benefits of the procedure, and go through the full consent process. A consent form is always sent by email ahead of time so that patients can read it at home and take the time to fully understand it.
“I like them to read it, put notes in the margin, come in, ask me all of their questions, and then sign, once they totally understand everything that’s involved, and there are no outstanding questions,” said Dr. Plant. “Handing the patient a 9-page consent form and expecting them to read it thoroughly and thoughtfully without feeling rushed while I am standing there seems a bit unrealistic.”
Once that is accomplished, surgery will take place two to three weeks later. The procedure usually involves a general anesthetic, though for smaller areas, local anesthetic can be used. Dr. Plant will position the patient lying down so that he can access the area he’s working on. He will then make a five to six millimeter incision, and then insert a very thin cannula that infiltrates tumescent fluid into the fatty tissues.
This tumescent fluid provides local anesthetic to help control pain during and after the operation. It also contains adrenaline, which helps shrink the blood vessels in the area so that there’s less bleeding and bruising with the liposuction. Lastly, it adds fluid so liposuction is safe from a cardiovascular perspective. Once Dr. Plant administers tumescent fluid, he will let it sit for a moment. Then using a slightly larger cannula, he enters through the same openings and removes the fat by attaching the cannula to suction.
Ever wonder what a cannula looks like? Follow Dr. Plant on Instagram for an inside look!
Once he has suctioned the fat out, the cannula will be removed and some openings will be closed with stitches. Other openings will be left open so that any excess fluid can drain over the next week.
A waterproof bandage will be placed over incisions so that you can shower starting the next day. You will also be placed in a compression garment which should be worn 23 hours a day, seven days a week for the first three weeks, and then 12 hours a day for the following three weeks. Follow-up appointments are scheduled at one week, six weeks, three months, six months, and then a year after surgery to ensure proper recovery and results.
Patients can expect some pain and bruising for about two weeks. Dr. Plant will prescribe pain medication to help ease any discomfort. “The one thing that I would tell everybody who’s considering liposuction is to keep in mind that despite the fact that the incisions are only five millimeters, the operation is the size of the entire area we’re treating,” Dr. Plant said. “So even if we’re not making huge cuts in the skin like a tummy tuck, if I’m liposuctioning the entire stomach, there may be pain similar to having a tummy tuck without muscle tightening.”
Overall, don’t underestimate the need to recover, and make sure to take some time off work if you’re having more than just a quick lunchtime lipo. “It’s a lot easier to ask your work to come back early than it is to ask for more time off,” says Dr. Plant.
If you are located in the Toronto, ON area and are interested in liposuction, contact Dr. Plant’s office today to set up your consultation.