In actuality, aside from the differences between standard (tumescent)liposuction and ultrasonic liposuction, liposuction, lipoplasty, liposculpture, lipectomy, and lipo all refer to basically the same procedure.
Liposuction is Best Suited for those who…
Are near their ideal body weight and are seeking reduction of specific areas of diet-resistant fat, such as the hips (love handles), outer thighs (saddle bags), abdomen, neck, inner thighs, knees, or arms. Those whose weight has been stable for at least 6 months do better with liposuction than those whose weight has been changing. Skin tone is also important. If you have good skin tone, your skin will retract (shrink wrap) after lipo. If you have poor tone with loose, saggy skin or stretch marks, then your skin will not tighten and may in some cases look worse.
Liposuction of the Abdomen vs. Tummy Tuck
Liposuction will reduce the thickness of your abdominal fat. It will slightly tighten your skin (provided you have no stretch marks). So, If your only problem is extra fat, then lipo is a good choice. Unfortunately, for many women (especially those who have been pregnant), the problem is more than that. In addition to excess fat, they also have loose skin, stretch marks, and a loose inner girdle (also called fascia or gristle). Liposuction will not tighten very loose skin. Nor will it remove stretch marks or tighten your loose inner girdle. If you have all of these problems and choose to have lipo instead of a tummy tuck, you will probably be very disappointed, because a tummy tuck WILL address each of these problems.
Will I get scars after this procedure?
Scars are multiple and small (usually less than ¼ inch). They will be hidden in skin creases where possible. some cannot be hidden and may be highly visible for several months.
As for anesthesia, Lipo can be performed under general anesthesia (in which you are completely asleep and paralyzed), sedation (twilight), or local anesthesia (for very small areas). It can be performed in the office or hospital. If performed in the office, be certain that your plastic surgeon’s office has been accredited and that your plastic surgeon has hospital privileges for liposuction.
Length of surgery is from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the extent of fat to be removed. A Garment is necessary. At the completion of surgery, you will be placed in a liposuction garment, which is the equivalent to an extensive girdle. You must wear this for several weeks. After surgery, you can go home in most cases. If your surgeon performed a large-volume liposuction (over 6 -8 liters) then you should stay in the hospital overnight for observation and safety. Discomfort during your recover period varies from mild to severe. Anticipate 2-14 days of prescription pain medication. Swelling peaks within a week and dissipates over 2-8 weeks, although it lasts longer in some.
As swelling resolves, it will settle to lower parts of your body (knees, ankles, and genitalia). Do not be alarmed if your labia or scrotum swells after liposuction of your abdomen. Bruising lasts for 2-10 days. Numbness and tingling may occur in suctioned areas and may be due to damaged or irritated nerve endings. Sensation will return, and tingling will abate over 1-3 months. Stitches will be removed in 5-10 days. You will be Presentable in a bathing suit once your bruising has resolved, and your swelling has improved (approximately 2-4 weeks). You can return to work in 5-10 days, assuming you have stopped taking prescription pain medication. If your job requires lifting, wait 2-3 weeks. Exercise may be resumed in 2-4 weeks. Exercise within 2 weeks of liposuction will increase swelling and postpone your final result. Your Final result will be seen following resolution of swelling (usually 4-8 weeks).