Liposuction FAQ

If you’re considering what liposuction can do for you, it’s perfectly normal to have questions about the procedure that you’d like answered by a professional.

At Chicago Breast & Body Aesthetics, cosmetic surgeon Dr. Anh-Tuan Truong makes sure to respond to all of his patients’ questions and concerns about liposculpture so that you feel comfortable making your final decision on whether to move forward with body contouring. Below, he answers some of his patients’ most frequently asked questions about liposuction. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Am I a good candidate for liposuction?

If you have stubborn bulges of fat that won’t go away no matter how much you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet, you might be a good candidate for body contouring with liposuction. Candidates for lipo should be at or near their target weight, as the procedure is not a substitute for weight loss. Many men and women undergo liposculpture as a finishing touch to their weight loss to help accentuate and fine-tune their slimmer figure.

During your consultation, Dr. Truong will help you decide if liposuction is the best approach to body contouring for you. If you notice the presence of loose or sagging skin, he may recommend a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck instead.

What’s the difference between liposuction and weight loss?

Liposuction is not a weight loss surgery. Instead, liposuction is aimed at contouring the body to improve overall shape. The primary difference between lipo and weight loss is the type of fat that can be targeted. During weight loss, individuals primarily lose visceral fat, the type of fat that wraps around the internal organs. Visceral fat is most commonly associated with diabetes and other health conditions, and responds well to diet and exercise.

Liposuction, on the other hand, can only target subcutaneous fat. This is the type of fat that gets trapped just below the skin. Subcutaneous fat does not always respond to diet or exercise, which is why so many people struggle with “love handles” and other fatty deposits despite their best weight loss efforts.

Which type of liposuction is best for me?

Dr. Truong offers two types of liposuction:

  • Tumescent liposuction, also commonly referred to as traditional lipo, is the gold standard approach to body contouring. In use for decades, the tumescent liposuction technique has steadily improved over the years to deliver reliable, high quality body shaping results by first injecting a special solution to anesthetize the area as well as break apart fat cells prior to their removal.
  • Smartlipo™ is a liposculpting technique that uses laser technology to melt fat cells before removing them rather than tumescent solution. Smartlipo™ may be able to target small areas more precisely as well as contribute to some additional skin tightening due to the heat of the laser.

Either body contouring method can be equally effective, depending on your concerns. During your consultation, Dr. Truong will help you decide on the best approach for you.

How long will my body contouring take?

The duration of your liposculpture procedure depends on the technique Dr. Truong uses and the area(s) being treated. Liposuction can last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours and is generally performed on an outpatient basis, so you can go home after your procedure is complete.

What can I expect during my recovery?

Each individual’s experience of liposuction recovery varies depending on the area(s) treated, the type of liposuction performed, and his or her body’s response to the surgery. In general, you can expect bruising and swelling around the treatment area that can last several weeks. You will likely experience some soreness following your surgery, which can be managed with over-the-counter medications or a prescription from Dr. Truong if you should want something stronger. Be sure to wear your compression garment during recovery, as this will assist with blood flow and expedite the healing process. Dr. Truong provides his patients with detailed post-operative instructions to better inform each patient about what to expect after lipo.

Will I have scars?

Any surgery involves some degree of scars, and this includes liposculpture. However, scars resulting from liposuction are usually quite small, since the incision only needs to be large enough to fit the cannula used to shape the body contours. The number of incisions depends on the size of the treatment area, but it is normal for Dr. Truong to make more than one incision for the best liposuction results. Dr. Truong takes special care to place incisions as discreetly as possible. With proper care, your scars can heal to a point of being hardly detectable.

How long until I see my results?

Your liposculpture results will gradually develop over the weeks and months following surgery. While you should be able to notice an immediate difference in your body contours, post-surgical swelling and bruising may obscure your final results for some time. Most of the healing process will be complete by about 3 months after surgery, and you should be able to see your final liposuction results within 6 months after your procedure.

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