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Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Garments provide support for the skin as it retracts following liposuction; they also help to decrease swelling and improve your contour after surgery.

This depends on the extent of liposuction and the area. Dr. Spence bases this recommendation on skin tone and the swelling after surgery. This may vary from 2 to 6 weeks.

Massage can help to greatly speed your recovery; lymphatic massage in the early period after surgery and later followed by deep tissue massage much further out. Read more about how men benefit from massage after liposuction...

Patients who undergo No Down Time Liposuction (Tumescent Liposuction) can often return to work the next day. When the procedure is performed under general anesthesia the recovery time can be slightly longer, about 3 to 5 days depending on the extent of the procedure.

Yes, but this loss of sensation is temporary and typically sensation returns within a few weeks to months.

In general no pounding aerobic exercise is recommended for at least 2 weeks. A basic walk to light jog is usually well tolerated; consult your surgeon before doing so.

Some of the fluid injected will drain from the body via the liposuction entrance site for 24 to 48 hours. The remaining fluid will be absorbed by the body and passed out in the urine.

Yes, this is possible; however, each time this becomes more challenging for your surgeon due to the scar formed from previous liposuction. It is very important to maintain your weight after liposuction.

It is not advisable as the skin does not have full sensation and sun bathing can result in undetected skin burn and serious injury to the skin.

Other than liposuction, the FDA has not approved any fat dissolving agents yet. While these agents do not have proven track records, they can have significant side effects. Please seek the advice of a qualified practitioner before embarking on this route.

While ultrasonic liposuction is safe in the right hands, Dr. Spence has achieved excellent results with power-assisted liposuction without many of the potential side effects of ultrasonic liposuction. Dr. Spence was the 1st surgeon to introduce power-assisted liposuction to the Orlando area.

When the skin has lost its elasticity (sagging with stretch marks) liposuction has limited use as with removal of the fat the skin does not snap back and results in more sagging, stretched skin. In these cases, a tummy tuck is required.

Liposuction work best as a contouring procedure. The more overweight you are the higher the risk of the procedure. Those patients who exercise and diet are the most gratified with the procedure.

No, with liposuction the fat cells are permanently removed. However, to preserve the effects of the liposuction, one must maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The scars from liposuction are quite small, usually much less than 1 cm. depending on the size of the instruments used. These incisions are usually hidden in a body crease or in areas covered by undergarments.

Liposuction works best as a body contouring procedure. If a patient plans on losing weight, this should occur prior to the procedure for maximum benefit. Many patients use liposuction as a jump-start to a more active and healthier lifestyle. In our practice, staged liposuction, with various body contouring procedures, has proven to be very helpful to weight loss patients.

The tumescent technique refers to the performance of liposuction under local anesthesia; in these cases there are much higher concentrations of local anesthesia in the tumescent solution. Patients who do not want to undergo general anesthesia often elect for this method of liposuction. Usually smaller volumes are removed and patients are able to return to work within a day or two.

Tumescent solution is infused under the skin at the time of liposuction to expand the fat space between the skin and the muscle. This solution enables the more efficient removal of fat with very little blood loss. The exact mixture may very from surgeon to surgeon in terms of the concentration of each component. The basic elements are sterile salt water or sodium chloride, lidocaine (a local anesthetic), and epinephrine (adrenaline). Bicarbonate may also be added.

Power-assisted liposuction uses special instruments (a hand piece) with a thin mental probe attached, called a cannula. The tip of the cannula is rapidly moved back and forth by the hand piece; this efficiently removes fat from areas such as the male breast in the treatment of Gynecomastia, large volume liposuction (male and female), male flanks, among many other areas. Because of the efficiency of fat removal, the time on the operating table is often less. Some patients also enjoy the significantly less bruising with power-assisted liposuction.

Any large volume liposuction is referred to as fat removal greater than 5 liters. This is generally performed in a hospital based setting in Dr. Spence's practice. Volumes of 4 liters of less are performed in his fully accredited surgical suite. The Florida Board of Medicine has stated that volumes of greater then 4 liters should not be removed in an office based setting. For patients who want the privacy of an office based surgical setting, their liposuction can be performed in stages in an office based setting. Speak with Dr. Spence about this at your consultation.

The following steps are important to avoid bruising after liposuction surgery:

  1. Stop all supplements that could promote bruising or bleeding within 2 weeks for surgery (this includes all herbal supplements, vitamin E, aspirin, garlic).
  2. If you have a history of easy bruising, please notify Dr. Spence and staff at your consultation.
  3. The use of tumescent solution lessens the risk of bruising after surgery.

Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic procedure in America. Ensure that your plastic surgeon is properly qualified and performs the procedure in a certified setting. Ask about training, number of cases, and the certification of the facility. Also, be sure to ask what specialty your surgeon is board certified in. If in doubt, check with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, or your state licensing board.

Fat grafting is often performed in conjunction with liposuction. This fat can be placed into the lips, cheeks for patients that have lost fat as a part of facial aging, and to enhance the size of the buttock for patient who wish to have fuller, more rounded buttock. Read more about fat grafting...

There is no greater tendency for other parts of your body to gain weight after liposuction.

The responses to Frequently Asked Questions listed here are not intended to be medical advice, but are the practice of Dr. Spence and will vary from surgeon to surgeon and patient to patient.

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To schedule a liposuction consultation with Dr. Spence at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery, call 407-999-2585 or request a liposuction consultation online.

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