Women and men who are not overweight but have isolated areas of fat they cannot get rid of through diet and exercise are candidates for liposuction.

Liposuction can enhance your appearance, but it may not change your looks to the ideal image in your mind. The best candidates are healthy, of normal weight and are realistic in their expectations.

Localized fat is often an inherited trait and liposuction is usually the only way to eliminate them. Liposuction is not effective for cellulite (dimpled skin). Liposuction is effective on many areas of the body: arms; abdomen; hips; knees; thighs; and under the chin.

You will realize good results from this procedure if your skin has the tone and elasticity necessary to achieve a smooth result following fat suctioning. If you have hanging skin liposuction will not reshape the skin to your body. Dr. Wardle will assess the quality of your skin and may ask you how your areas of localized fat were affected by weight loss in the past.

Fat is removed by first inserting a small tube (cannula) through tiny incisions close to the area to be suctioned. Incisions are very small, usually under a quarter inch. There are three methods of liposuction: a “dry” technique, a “tumescent” or “super wet” technique that introduces large amounts of fluid and an ultrasonic technique. The latter two are used most frequently today.

Though infrequent, some complications include bleeding, infection and reaction to anesthesia. Skin numbness is to be expected and is usually only temporary. Occasionally, there is skin discoloration in the areas that have been treated, which usually resolves naturally over time.

You will be asked to wear a compression garment for the first several weeks after surgery so that the tissue can “learn” its new shape. You will be given medication for any discomfort you might have. You can return to work in just a few days, though you will still have some swelling and bruising; this subsides within about a week. It may take several weeks before skin sensation returns. You may not do vigorous exercise until approved by Dr. Wardle.

You new appearance will not be fully evident for a few months or until the fluid retention and swelling have fully subsided. You will notice that your clothes fit better as long as you maintain your pre surgical weight.

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