In our increasingly instant-gratification society, we always want the quick, easy solution to a problem. Liposuction is being portrayed as one such quick fix – just vacuum all your unwanted fat away! Contrary to this image, you should know that liposuction is a surgical procedure and has risks and side effects. Results are not instantaneous and the decision to undergo the procedure should not be taken lightly. Potential patients must do their research and talk to doctors about liposuction side effects and risks.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure where fat cell deposits underneath skin are removed using a metal rod and a powerful vacuum. Patients will need to be anesthetized for the procedure. Local anesthesia is the most popular method (especially in the less invasive new liposuction techniques) although depending on the procedure and the patient, general anesthesia may be used. Using anesthesia produces its own set of side effects. These include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vision problems and muscle aches. Patients treated with local anesthesia – where only the affected areas are anesthetized – are usually able to go home shortly after the procedure while those treated with general anesthesia – where the entire body is anesthetized and the patient is unconscious – usually have to stay longer in order to “wake up.” This is so that the doctor can make sure the drugs have not caused any harm.
Other side effects of liposuction include swelling and bruising. This is to be expected and while uncomfortable, unsightly, and painful, these side effects are minor and normal. Your doctor will monitor the swelling and the bruising at your follow-up appointments to ensure that you are healing properly. Generally, the swelling and bruising will subside over time, usually a month or two.
Other possible side effects include scarring and skin discoloration. These are usually not cause for alarm although your doctor should be apprised of any changes. The follow-up appointments and constant communication with your doctor are necessary in the recovery process.
Side effects and their intensity depend on the person and the procedure. While you may not be able to minimize certain liposuction side effects, you can lower the discomfort from these side effects by carefully following your doctor’s post-procedure care instructions. In general, refraining from strenuous activities, getting ample rest, and taking care of yourself by eating properly and drinking plenty of fluids can greatly help reduce discomfort immediately following the procedure.
Of course, the first thing you should do when considering this procedure is your homework. Learn more about liposuction; research it on the Internet and talk to doctors and liposuction patients. Find out more about the risks and side effects of liposuction. Choose a doctor who you trust and are able to communicate openly with. Make sure your doctor explains the procedure to you and discusses possible risks, complications, and side effects. Remember, this is a surgical procedure, not a beauty treatment. There will be discomfort and pain. Results will take time. Recovery will take time. If a doctor tells you anything different, you should definitely consider another physicia