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What's it like: To get liposuction

Liposuction can be helpful in shaping a person's chin, abdomen, hips and ankle areas.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: December 22, 2012 at 12:43 am •  Published: December 24, 2012

/articleid/3739919/1/pictures/1913282">Photo - Dr. Derek Shadid is shown last week in his office, Shadid Plastic Surgery Associates, in Oklahoma City.  Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Dr. Derek Shadid is shown last week in his office, Shadid Plastic Surgery Associates, in Oklahoma City. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

There's also risk of fat embolism, which is similar to a blood clot. A fat embolism is a small piece of fat that breaks off and can get into the bloodstream. It can obstruct the blood supply, for example, in the lungs, and cause you to be hospitalized.

One of the risk factors of liposuction doesn't relate to the surgery but rather what happens afterward. After liposuction, you no longer have fat cells in that area of your body.

If you get liposuction and then later gain weight, the fat that might have gone to the liposuction site will find another place to go. It could go to any other area of the body where you retain fat. This is one of the reasons it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after liposuction.

What's the recovery time?

You should be able to restart your exercise program after about two weeks, and generally, you feel like your complete self after about four weeks. You might have to wear a compression garment for six to eight weeks to reduce swelling.

Meanwhile, the scars from incisions should be almost invisible within six months.

You won't see the full results from liposuction for at least a few months. There's always swelling after liposuction, and it takes time for all that swelling to go away. You will shrink every week and continue to shrink for three to six months.

What's the follow-up?

After your procedure, your doctor will likely want to see you a various intervals to see how you're coming along.

Most people only get liposuction once in an area of the body. For example, if you get liposuction in your stomach, your doctor likely won't recommend you do that again. Sometimes people get liposuction in another area of the body. It's a decision that should be discussed between you and your doctor.

Source: Dr. Derek Shadid, Shadid Plastic Surgery Associates; MedlinePlus; The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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