The happiest patients are those who understand their options and have realistic expectations. When I ask patients “how would you like me to help you?” That is not the same as “let me treat every part of your body with liposuction to remove as much fat as possible.” Most people considering liposuction believe that all the problem areas can be treated at one time and there is a cost-savings with one procedure. If you are 110-140lb, treating one or multiple areas in one session is reasonable. If your weight is 180-200lb, more fatty tissue will need to be removed to create shape. Removing 3-4 pounds from the body has a completely different recovery than removing 10lb. If you choose a more extensive liposuction procedure, are you prepared for a longer recovery, possibly more time out of work and a longer period of swelling as your body recovers. Here are the questions that you should consider before any liposuction procedure.
Remember, more fat removed will give a “bigger result” but will have a “bigger recovery”.
Will an improvement be satisfactory? If you want a bigger result have you considered two stages?
Remember, the bigger the procedure, the more fat removed, the more swelling you could have and the longer it may take for your body to heal.
Awake means you can drive yourself home and get back to work quickly, but it is not for everyone.
Safety is always the number one priority.
Higher weight patients will have more swelling after liposuction.
Without using IV sedation or general anesthesia, there is less stress and recovery for the body. Once the procedure is completed, you sit up and literally walk out of the operating room. Being awake, you can drive yourself to and from the surgery center. It is most similar to the dentist, who can “block” an area to be numb, while you are awake. There are patients who have returned to work even the same day, though most return after 1-2 days or after the weekend. There is also the advantage of saving the professional anesthesia fees which start at $900.
Having a surgical procedure awake is not for everyone. Some prefer not to be awake, others are too anxious, sometimes the procedure is too long or too complex. If the area has been previously treated, there may be more scar tissue requiring general anesthesia. While liposuction under local does save the anesthesia cost, you should not decide to have local anesthesia only to save money. Having liposuction awake under local anesthesia is a choice.
I tell patients that “you won’t feel 90% of what I am doing” under local anesthesia. The tumescent solution (dilute local anesthesia medicine) is infused in the area where the fat will be removed. Beyond the perimeter of the numb zone, the feeling will be normal. One advantage of being awake, is that if you feel discomfort during the procedure, you can tell the surgeon to add more numbing medicine.
Patients that desire more fat removed, longer procedures (longer than 90 minutes) or patients who need more intensive monitoring are better treated being asleep.
When you do go to sleep for the procedure, professional anesthesia care, provided by an anesthesiologist, another doctor, provides the highest level of safe care.
To learn more about your liposuction options, schedule a consultation by calling our Charlotte, NC office or contacting us online.