Liposuction Without Wearing Compression Garments
Article by Shlomo Widder, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
Also called “lipoplasty,” liposuction is the number one cosmetic surgery procedure in the country. It is designed to reduce the amount of stubborn pockets of fat that are bothersome because they require very intense diet and exercise, which are difficult to pursue. At the practice of Dr. Widder, the most common areas of the body that receive liposuction include the hips, waist, lower flanks, abdomen, lower chest, and pubic region. This entire region is termed the “aesthetic unit” of the mid torso. Other common liposuction areas are: neck, arms, and thighs.
"My patients do not need to wear compression garments after surgery."
Dr. Widder is aggressive in his approach toward reshaping the body. He carefully, yet dramatically thins out the skin with a cannula in selected areas in a very quick fashion, moving through many different incision points. (They are placed in various areas so that he is able to contour every site, remove as much fat as possible, and induce skin contraction.) Due to his aggressive technique and the fact that compression garments have the potential to cut off circulation, Dr. Widder’s Washington DC liposuction patients do not wear compression garments.
"Abdominal liposuction patients get surgical drains that are an ‘elegant’ way to prevent seromas."
Surgical drains are placed under the flap in order to channel away fluid from specific surgical areas. Dr. Widder prefers that a patient who has received liposuction in the aesthetic unit region have his or her surgical drains brought out at the hip area. According to Dr. Widder, it is a clean, elegant method to prevent seromas as gravity allows the fluid to drain naturally downward. When placed in this location, there is no blood splashing out. Drains are usually removed within four to five days of undergoing surgery. Drains are not necessary in other areas of liposuction.
"You can return to work in three to four days."
One of the most frequently asked questions by individuals who want liposuction is: When can I return to work? Typically, you may go back to your regular work schedule in three to four days, depending on the type of work you do. Questions regarding exercise are also high on the list; about two weeks should pass before you engage in moderate exercise and a month for normal activities. The recovery period for every liposuction patient may be different, especially depending on where you receive liposuction and how many areas were treated. You should be able and are encouraged to get out of bed and walk around immediately after surgery, which may help to prevent blood clotting.
"“Patients must be strict as to what they take in and consume after surgery.”
Pills of any sort, especially Advil® and aspirin, should be avoided one week before and after liposuction; taking them could cause bleeding complications. (Any pain medication prescribed by Dr. Widder is safe.) He instructs patients to avoid any type of caffeine for about two weeks after surgery, including coffee and tea, because it contributes to dehydration, can irritate the digestive tract, and increase blood pressure. Liposuction is long-lasting in the surgical areas, but should you not maintain a healthy lifestyle, you could gain additional weight in other, non-liposuctioned areas of the body. So be sure to follow the diet sheet provided by Dr. Widder during your consultation. You must also quit smoking at least two weeks before surgery and two weeks after, because smoking can affect the healing process.
If you experience any complications, contact my office right away.
If you notice any problems associated with your procedure, or if additional problems or complications develop, whether it is breathing or bleeding, it is important to contact Dr. Widder right away.