How to Prepare for Liposuction

You've decided it's time for a change. You're going to have liposuction surgery to improve the appearance of your body. Is there anything you need to know when it comes time for surgery?

Before going for your liposuction surgery, you will receive specific instructions about how to prepare. This will include specific instructions on eating and drinking, taking certain medications and vitamins, and smoking. Your surgery may be postponed should you develop a cold or an infection. Some surgeons recommend you have bank your blood prior to your surgery in case there is a need for it during or after the surgery.

You should also make sure there will be a relative or friend available to take you home following the procedure and be available to look after you a day or two after you have been discharged from the clinic or hospital.

Liposuction is performed in the surgeon’s outpatient center or in a hospital. Procedures for smaller volume liposuction are performed in an outpatient centers. This minimizes cost and is more convenient for many people. Should a large amount of fat need to be removed, or if the liposuction is being performed alongside another procedure, a night's stay in hospital is usually required.
There are several types of anesthesia that may be used for liposuction procedures. You should discuss these with your surgeon to decide which will provide the safest and most effective comfort during your surgery.

Liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia if only a small amount of fat and a smaller amount of body sites are to receive treatment. This numbs the affected areas. Some patients prefer to use local anesthesia in combination with sedation to allow them to feel more relaxed while the procedure is taking place. An epidural is a popular choice for more extensive procedures.

Most patients prefer a general anesthesia, especially those who are having a large amount of fat removed. An Anesthetist will be present throughout the procedure to make sure you are asleep during the procedure and that there are no complications relating to the anaesthetic.

The length of the procedure depends upon the size of the area to receive liposuction, the amount of fat that is to be removed and the type of anesthesia that is to be used.

There are several techniques that make the procedure easier and enhance the outcome.

The procedure itself involves removing deposits of fat and re-contouring areas of the body. A narrow cannula (tube) is inserted through an incision in the skin and used to vacuum out the layer of fat that sits deep beneath the skin.

The cannula is then pushed and pulled through the layer of fat to break up the fat cells and suck them out. A vacuum pump or large syringe provides the suction. If you are having many sites treated, the surgeon repeats the procedure on each site. The incisions are kept as small as possible.

Fluid is lost during this vacuum process. It is essential that the fluid you lose is replaced during the procedure to prevent complications such as shock. Patients are therefore carefully monitored and given intravenous fluids during and after the surgery.