Although liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the United States, and the majority of these operations are successful, there are risks and limitations to the procedure, as with any surgery.

After surgery, some patients experience dimpling, lumpiness, numbness, scarring, discoloration, or sagging skin in the treated area. Follow-up surgery may be needed to correct these problems. UAL liposuction may cause friction burns to the skin or to the internal organs. More serious complications include blood clots, infection, excessive fluid loss leading to shock, pulmonary embolism due to dislodged fat or blood clot, fluid build-up in the lungs, and drug overdose. A combination of the following factors is associated with an increased risk of serious complications

  • The removal of large amounts of fit
  • More than one procedure being performed at the same time
  • The use of general anesthesia

In order to minimize these risks, it is important that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions, both before and after surgery.

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Because a portion of the fat cells are permanently removed by liposuction, so you will not tend to regain weight in that area. It is important to note, however, that abdominal liposuction does not guarantee that you won’t gain weight or fat deposits in other areas of your body. Moreover, since fat cells have been removed from the treatment site but not from surround areas, this weight gain can appear uneven. It is important to maintain your weight and contour with exercise and proper diet.

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You should see visible results of your surgery within two or three weeks, but the full effects may not be evident for six months to a year. The more fat that you had removed, the longer it will take to achieve optimal results, because the skin has to adapt to a more radical change in shape.

Most people are pleased with the new contour of their abdomen and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence. Although liposuction cannot alter skin quality or muscle tone, and should not be a substitute for regular exercise and a balanced diet, your waistline will always be slimmer than it would be if you hadn’t had this procedure.

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Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. To speed the healing process your surgeon will probably tell you to begin light activity as soon as possible.

You should be able to return to work within a few days if your work is fairly sedentary. You should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks as your body heals, but within 4 to 6 weeks you should be able to resume all normal activities. It’s important to continue wearing the compression garment, which should be easily hidden under your clothing, until your doctor tells you that it is no longer necessary.

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If the amount of fat to be removed is fairly small, your surgery can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, either in your doctor’s office or in an outpatient surgery clinic. If you are having large amounts of fat removed, or are undergoing several procedures at once, you may need to spend the night in the hospital so that medical staff can monitor your initial recovery.

The procedure may be performed under local anesthesia with light sedation, local anesthesia and deep sedation, or general anesthesia.

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