10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Liposuction

  • 3 years ago

In our liposuction community many people look back on their experiences and say, "I wish I had known..." some information prior to undergoing the procedure. Here are tips from RealSelf community members that you may find helpful. Feel free to add your own in the comments! --Sharon

1) You're not "cheating" when you get Liposuction

  • High heels Make up False Eyelashes Colored contacts Hair Dye Spanx (ha ha)/Girdles Underwire bras Fake nails Hair transplants Tooth whiteners ~ are these "cheating?" No. They are "enhancers and helpers". Do what you want to do to be your best self (for you). Life is short. Be wise in choosing your surgeon!!! Lipo is no different. 'Nuf said. [by Nancy4436]

2) Lipo, however, is not a fast way to a fit body

  • Exercise and a balanced diet is the only permanent solution. Being emotionally and physically healthy is the ultimate goal when it comes to medicine. [by Exercise]
  • Trust me, lets not get lazy. If it is just some fat and flab, burn it out. Liposuction might be good for severe cases. But for 50 to 100 pounds, excersice can do the wonder. I see many people at the gym who have lost 6 dress sizes! [by Daisy]

3) Final results may take 3 months to show up

  • Don't go buy an entire new wardrobe just yet. I definitely had a shape change from 4 weeks to 11 weeks, so be patient. [by ann in indy]
  • At three months I think I'm seeing the complete effect of liposuction. I'm still experiencing some swelling but nothing too visible to others. [by MRZPOWERLIPO]
  • Three months post-op I don't think my arms will change much more. My arms look normal now and in proportion to the rest of my body. I've had lots of compliments this summer and people are amazed that I don't have any scars. There is some loose skin under the arms, but it's more the normal skin that appears a bit for someone my age so it doesn't look strange or saggy. [ by Amy Lynn]

4) Pick a doctor that's a specialist in plastic surgery/lipo

  • This is probably the most important advice I have for you. Do not, do not, do not, go to a doctor that does not do this as his only line of business. Do not use a pediatrician, a general doctor, an ear, nose and throat doctor - get my point?? Do not use any doctor that has added this to his practice and sandwiches your smartlipo inbetween allergy shots and annual physicals [by bowling babe]
  • The most important questions you can ask are, "How long have you been doing this procedure on the areas I want treated and how many have you done?", "How do you determine where to sculpt and contour?" and lastly, "Can I have three references that I can call that have had the same areas done?". Don't gloss over any answers that you're not totally comfortable with, and if they cannot give you three references, thank them and never call them back. Any doctor who is good at this will have several happy customers who would love to tell you how happy they are. [by bowling babe]
  • It is not all about the machine, but more so about the Dc. I see all of you talking about the technology being used, but nothing about the provider of the service. I had Smartlipo done and loved my results because I did a ton of research and went to 4 different consultations in Manhattan. [by Abby Love

5) Anticipate some post-surgery pain

  • The pain from lipo is not that bad. Yes, you feel pain of course -- any surgery is painful -- but I can say that the treated spots only feel like I have a really bad bruise. [by Lipoat25]
  • The nurses on surgery morning said I would feel like I had a nasty dose of road rash. I would totally agree. I felt like someone took a metal scraper inside me and totally separated my skin from my muscle tissue... actually that is what happened. Imagine when you scrape your knee or leg and it starts to scab over and heal how it feels as the scab gets smaller and it feels like your skin is tightening. That is how you will feel. I felt these signs for about 10-12 days, but it improved dramatically after the first four days or so. [by ann in indy]
  • First night, on a scale from (1-10) pain tolerance I would say it was a 6. It wasn't as horrible as I imagined. Once I popped some Percocet I was off to la la land..... When I woke up it felt like a hard workout where your muscles have been through more sit-ups than you could tolerate. But I still was able to manuever without help. To be honest, after my surgery the only thing that I had trouble with was putting on my own compression garment after coming out of the shower, and bending. Other than that I had no issues with anything. Yes, I walked a little crippled, but definitely nothing severe. [by MRZPOWERLIPO]

6) You may gain weight after Liposuction

  • I think I still have about 8 lbs of swelling (I weighed 137 day of, they removed 3.2 liters which is about 6 lbs, and I'm 140 lb today). It's all in my butt and hips. [by 8806anon]
  • I am 4 lbs up from pre-op weight. I am just laughing at this point, like, am I the only woman in the world to actually go up in weight and size after paying all that money for surgery? I can feel huge swelling spots under abs and flanks, so I know that this is not leftover fat. [by Lynn1978]
  • I never weighed myself afterwards. I didn't care if I lost weight or not. I'm only concerned with inches, especially because I know liposuction is not for weight loss, although some do have success with weight loss. [by MRZPOWERLIPO]

7) It's surgery: you will experience swelling and bruising

  • The bruising is significant, but expected with such an invasive procedure. I took arnica starting about four days pre-op and started with bromelain the day after. I went through a full bottle in about seven days. I took several at a time and would take them when I woke in the middle of the night so I did it round the clock. I never iced, it is a lot of area to cover with ice and getting chilled was not tops on my list. [by ann in indy]
  • I went back to work within three weeks and my stomach swelled up and started itching really bad the second day. I had to stay out again. I was told (and did my research) that the itching is a result of my body healing, and as far as the swelling, I'm probably over-exerting myself too much. I work retail management in a very trendy Brazilian clothing store, and typically wear tall heels. I'm sure that's what did it, because walking in heels will work the stomach muscles, and i think that's why my stomach blew up. [by morena]

8) Expect to wear a compression garment for an extended period (months)

  • The compression garment really isn't that bad - you get used to it and it really does help speed up the recovery. I have two garments so I'm able to wash one and still wear the other. I was told to wear mine 24/7 the first 4 weeks; I only have to wear it at nights until eight weeks, then I do not need it. I have chosen to keep wearing it all hours though just to help speed up the recovery a little; my doctor told me that would help and since I'm used to it I do not mind. No one can tell I wear the garment even when wearing tighter clothing. [by acgray]
  • It has been nine weeks since I got my surgery done, and yes, I still wear my garment. The doctor told me he wants me to wear it all winter to keep the skin tight. But he said mandatory at least two months. [by Lipoat25]

9) Liposuction can make cellulite look worse

  • My cellulite looks much, much worse and the skin quality is looser and wavy. I look 20 years older without clothes. My shape under clothes is nice, at least, but I'd give anything to have my old legs back. [by clk]

10) Healthy habits are important post-surgery 

  • I figure if I was willing to undergo an invasive procedure like surgery to improve myself, then I am going to do all the things I can in the months to follow to give me the best results. I have heard of the lemon cleanse as well as many others. Cleanses are good, but I would not do anything too drastic right after surgery. Give your body proper nutrients and hydration to allow it to heal properly. Go for walks if your routine has changed. Be active. At two weeks post-op I got on the Treadclimber on a low setting to get the lymph going and get a little exercise. [ann in indy]

Want to learn more about Liposuction?  Watch this:


Comments (7)

We just created the ULTIMATE before and after photo gallery for liposuction- check it out here.
I'm a 193 pound, 53 year old health male with a slight belly. I wear 36 pants and they are getting tight. Was a 30 in High school. I would consider Lipo to remove some belly fat not for cosmetic reasons, but rather for the practical reason when I bend over to tie my shoe I'm not out of breath. Comments?
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Traditional liposuction is NOT GOOD...i almost died the next day because the doctor (board certified) thought he could get 4500 cc's from allover when in fact he almost got 2500 cc's. It was the most awful thing I have experienced in my life! Being a fitness instructor that eats well and lives a healthy life...my skin is a wreck, uneven in texture and the fat pockets did return. Not worth the high price! Go for the I-lipo ultra...or something along that line.
We just published this over in the Liposuction guides and it is related to this post:
10 Biggest Liposuction Myths 

Check it out!
You've got a wonderful thoughts! I don't really think that having liposuction is cheating and swelling is very common.
Everyone is different, but I wish they would have warned me that I might feel like I was beaten to a pulp and run over by a truck with resulting lumps, bruises, massive swelling and excruciating pain immediately after and for several days post op! (Yes, the pain meds make your brain fuzzy and you don't care, but the pain etc. are still there!) I wish I had known to expect that itchy, tingly, creepy sensation while healing. Also, I wish I had researched compression garments prior to the lipo! One type has a zipper that ends at the belly button causing more pain! Another type has an awful seam across the nipple area of the "built in bra", and some just aren't proportionate! Then again, if they'd have showed me pics and told me all these things, I might have cancelled the procedure! However, that said, the pain does subside and the swelling & brusing get better, little by little, day by day! (Although in my case, it's possible I'll need a revision on the left side of my abdomen, which looks like lipo was never done! The right side is great! Then again, my ab/flank/back lipo was only done 9 weeks ago, so more time will tell?) Another thing I should have known...possible "uneven" results? That we might not see true results for 6 months as has been mentioned on this site!