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How Do I Prepare For Liposuction?

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 10:11

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Consult With Your Surgeon

During the first appointment with your surgeon, discuss your expectations and concerns. Remember that liposuction will improve your body shape, but you will not achieve physical perfection.

After examining you, your surgeon will discuss treatment choices and recommend his or her best option to achieve your goals.

During the consultation, the surgeon will explain:

  • The procedure
  • Benefits, risks and costs
  • Recovery time

Need to know:

If you have large-volume liposuction, take special precautions. Large-volume liposuction removes more than 5 liters (over 10 pounds) of fat and fluid. Make sure your surgeon has a high level of expertise in this risky procedure and that the surgical staff will carefully monitor you after surgery. It is generally recommended that you stay in the hospital overnight.

Follow Your Doctor's Suggestions

Your surgeon is the best one to tell you how to prepare for surgery. He or she may advise the following precautions:

  • If you are on the birth control pill, stop taking it and use another birth control method until after surgery. This is necessary to reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs after surgery.
  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for seven to ten days before surgery. These drugs may contribute to bleeding during and after surgery. Some vitamins and herbs also affect bleeding, so ask your doctor which nutritional supplements to avoid.
  • If you smoke, stop smoking before surgery and don't resume after surgery. Smokers risk chest infections after anesthesia. Smoking also reduces blood flow to the skin, which can increase the risk of circulation problems after surgery.

    For further information about how to stop smoking, go to Smoking: How To Stop.

  • You will probably be told not to eat or drink after midnight (or some other timeframe) the day before the operation.

Need to know:

If you lose weight before your liposuction, lose only as much weight as you can honestly keep off later. A large weight gain soon after surgery could negatively affect your results.

Make Special Arrangements

Liposuction usually takes place on an outpatient basis, allowing you to go home the same day of surgery. However, you may need to plan for a hospital stay if a large amount of fat is to be removed or other procedures are to be done at the same time.

Need to know:

  • Make sure you have someone who can drive you home after the surgery and stay with you for the first day.
  • Arrange beforehand for special care or help for the first day or two after surgery.

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