Obtaining a beautiful, healthier body is easier than you might think. Whether you’ve become dissatisfied with your appearance due to age, genetics, pregnancy, or the rigors of life, cosmetic body procedures can help restore a tighter, more youthful look–and your self-confidence! If you’ve been thinking about a cosmetic procedure, such as liposuction, tummy tuck, mommy makeover, or body contouring, here’s what you need to know to prepare for best results, including what to do and what to expect before, during, and after your procedure.
Early Pre-Op: First Steps
So you’ve noticed some extra skin-or perhaps things simply aren’t as tight and young-looking as they once were. If diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes aren’t enough, the next step is a consultation with your surgeon. We’ll go over all the options available to you, including:
-Brazilian Butt Lift
If any of the above is a fit, it’s time to plan your surgery date and start preparing for your procedure.
Like for any other procedure, smokers should aim to stop nicotine usage for at least 4 weeks pre-procedure and stay smoke-free for 4 weeks post-procedure to reduce the risk of complications like infection. Nicotine use may also cause nausea, aggravate the lungs, and decrease blood flow during surgery–all of which puts your body at more risk of heart attack or stroke.
Your surgical team will also advise on what medications to continue or discontinue. Typically, patients are advised against taking NSAIDS, blood thinners, and Vitamin C, herbal, or weight-loss supplements for at least 2-4 weeks pre-procedure. Be sure to go over your complete list of medications and supplements with your surgical team to avoid potential interactions with anesthesia and/or post-operative prescribed medication.
Finally, depending on the procedure being performed, patients may be asked to complete lab work (such as CBC, blood chemistry tests, or liver function panel) in order to be cleared for surgery. Your surgeon may also ask for body scans or imaging, such as MRI, CT, or X-Ray.
Pre-Op: Just Before Surgery
The best time to plan your recovery is just before your procedure. Recovery time may vary depending on the procedure, from as little as 5-7 days for liposuction or up to 6 weeks for a Brazilian Butt Lift.
In the days leading up to your surgery, fill any prescriptions you’ll need post-op, plan out easy meals, and clear your schedule so you can rest and recuperate. It can also help to have someone nearby for the first 24 hours post-op to help with basic tasks and ensure the patient can rest comfortably.
Additionally, patients should abstain from alcohol for roughly 72 hours before their procedure, as it can affect their immune system.
The Day of the Procedure
If you have questions or concerns, don’t wait until the day of your procedure to bring them up. Remember, communication and transparency are crucial to both a quick recovery and best results.
Your surgeon will tell you what medications you can and cannot take leading up to, directly before, and after your procedure, including the morning of. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding food and drink; most procedures don’t permit eating or drinking after midnight the night before your procedure.
Dress comfortably and avoid wearing jewelry. Have your insurance card and all proper documents handy, as well as your personal effects securely organized.
Make arrangements for someone to drive you both to and from your procedure, as well as to stay nearby for at least the first 24 hours so you can rest and focus on your recovery. Try to arrive at our facility to give yourself enough time to adequately check-in and prepare for your procedure.
Post-Op: Just After Surgery
After your procedure, the most common side effects are mild discomfort, bruising, swelling, and redness. The most important immediate treatments are rest and ice. We recommend taking any prescribed pain medication before you start to feel pain and/or discomfort. Preventing pain is easier than trying to manage it.
Depending on which procedure you had (namely liposuction, Brazilian Butt Lift, and arm lift), your surgeon may provide a compression garment to help the skin tighten up and facilitate healing. These also reduce swelling and provide much-needed support to core muscles as part of the healing process. Your surgeon will provide instructions, including how to wear it and how long to wear it.
Once our team has determined it’s safe, you can return home. As mentioned, it’s important to have someone to drive you home and stay with you so you can rest and recover.
Within a few days post-procedure, your doctor will check your bandages, assess your condition, and ensure you’re well on your way to optimal recovery. Make sure to let your doctor know if you’re experiencing any significant pain or discomfort, as these may be signs of something serious.
Post-Op: What to Expect After Your Procedure
You should expect soreness, swelling, and mild discomfort for at least a few weeks post-procedure. It’s normal to experience fatigue or tiredness as part of the healing process; it can take 5-6 weeks for you to return to your pre-procedure energy levels.
Try to walk a little each day and remember to stay hydrated. Avoid strenuous activity such as exercise or heavy lifting. Start with light activity and bit-by-bit, ramp up the intensity, but avoid abdominal exercises and stay away from bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, and aerobics for at least 6-8 weeks.
Recovery from body procedures can range anywhere from a few days to 6 weeks or more. Typically, however, patients can return to work within one week of the procedure (depending on how strenuous the job is). Again, depending on what procedure you had, there are various limitations. For example, labiaplasty patients are advised against sexual intercourse for at least 6-8 weeks post-procedure.
Your surgeon will also schedule a follow-up appointment (within a week of the initial procedure) to monitor your progress and recovery, as well as to finalize any parts of the procedure. It is possible you may need an additional follow-up procedure to correct any issues that arise from the first surgery or if you’re not satisfied with your initial results. However, it may take months before you can accurately determine your satisfaction with your new look.
Women Who May Become Pregnant
A common question often asked is whether or not women who may become pregnant again should undergo cosmetic surgery like liposuction, tummy tuck, or a mommy makeover. While there is no inherent harm to fertility, we typically advise patients to wait until they’re done having children. The significant changes that occur during pregnancy often counteract the work done by cosmetic procedures, meaning patients often require revisional procedures if they become pregnant again after surgery.
Pre and Post-Op Recap
Quit smoking & nicotine use.
Talk to your doctor about what medications you can and cannot use.
Complete lab work.
Ask any questions/clear any concerns.
No alcohol for 72 hours pre-procedure.
Fill any prescriptions you need post-op.
Clear out your schedule to prepare for rest and recovery.
Day of procedure:
Arrive early enough to check in and prepare for your procedure.
Dress comfortably, and avoid jewelry.
Have insurance card/important documents handy.
Rest & ice.
Wear compression garments
Avoid strenuous activity for ~ one-week post-procedure.
Follow up appointments with your team.
Love your new body!
Ready For Your Procedure? Schedule Today!
At DeLuca Plastic Surgery, the difference is in the details. Whether you’re looking to regain your pre-pregnancy body or roll back the years, our team of experienced professionals has the proven results you’re looking for. From the moment you meet with us for your consultation to the moment you revel in your new look after your procedure, you’ll feel comfortable, listened to, and taken care of. Get in touch with us today to schedule your in-person consultation, phone-in consultation, or instant email consultation, and start on the road to loving your new body!
Patients who are looking for body contouring options may have heard of a new option that has appeared in the U.S. over the last several years. SmartLipo is a procedure that has gained a lot of buzz, causing patients to ask if this is a viable, and even better, option for them than liposuction. Many plastic surgeons haven’t been as impressed by this new technology for a number of reasons. If you’re considering a body contouring procedure, learn some of the basic facts about both approaches here. And remember, nothing can replace a one-on-one consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon. When it comes to liposuction, Albany residents deserve to be well informed about long-standing fat reduction procedures along with the newest products and services available to them.
First, let me tell you more about my stance on fat reduction procedures and what improvements this procedure has seen since 1982, when it was first introduced to the public in the United States. The first major improvement to the process was the addition of a specially designed blend of lidocaine and adrenaline. This liquid acts as an expander in the targeted area, which results in less bleeding and practically eliminates the need for patients to donate blood prior to the procedure. (more…)
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Since Dr. Illouz and Dr. Fournier first brought liposuction to the United States in 1982 – when I was beginning my residency in plastic surgery – there have been only 2 truly game-changing developments in how board certified surgeons approach/perform liposuction:
Suction Assisted “Tumescent” Liposuction (SAL) – First introduced in 1985, the suction-assisted tumescent liposuction technique involves injecting a special ‘tumescent’ solution directly into the subcutaneous fatty layer (which builds up between the skin and muscle layers) that not only makes the entire treatment zone numb, but also acts to constrict surrounding blood vessels so that very little blood loss and trauma to the surrounding tissue, vessels and nerves occurs during the procedure. In surgery, less trauma means less post-operative swelling. Less post-op swelling means less post-op discomfort and a quicker recovery. In most of my liposuction cases, patients are back on their feet the very next day and pain free soon-there-after. The use of local anesthesia in combination with very light general (re: light complete sedation) not only provides a very comfortable experience for my patients but also enables me to be fairly aggressive and very precise while addressing multiple locations which contain large amounts of fatty tissue.
Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) – Approved for general use by the FDA in 1998, power-assisted liposuction differs from un-powered suction-assisted liposuction (SAL) through the use of a special canula that vibrates rapidly (like an electronic tooth brush) while being moved through the fatty tissue by the surgeon. Without power, pushing and pulling the canula in the standard forwards and backwards motion through the fatty tissue requires quite a bit more effort and force. With power, the canula becomes like a hot knife through butter as it gently breaks up the fat before suctioning it out. The benefits to the PAL approach have been well documented and include less time under anesthesia, less bruising and swelling, a faster recovery and most importantly, smoother, more precise results.
And that’s it. Everything that’s followed is nothing more than marketing hype..
Neither Laser Liposuction (SmartLipo) nor Traditional (SAL) Truly “Tighten” Skin
Laser, sonic, super-sonic, and all the other “latest” liposuction products – SmartLipo™ included – are not game-changers…and if they were, there would be articles in scientific journals by board-certified plastic surgeons demonstrating as much. At best, newer liposuction machines have had an incremental effect on the quality and consistency of results. At worst, they’ve done more harm than good (especially when used outside of their very-specific use-cases). Case in point, I’ve personally taken care of patients whose burns from these “more advanced” technologies required surgery to repair.
As with most new products, after the initial hype and marketing settles down, the indications for use diminish. When laser liposuction (Coollipo™, Smartlipo™, Slimlipo™) first came on the scene, it was touted as a stand alone procedure. But after it became clear that the initial results were less than ideal, traditional liposuction got added to the procedure in order to achieve satisfactory results. Perhaps, in very limited use-cases (e.g. under the chin) there can be some added skin tightening, but as I have seen over the years, if properly performed on a properly chosen patient, there’s really no better option than traditional, suction-assisted tumescent liposuction.
What Actually Matters Most: The Skill of the Plastic Surgeon
Ultimately however, it remains the skill and talent of the sculptor rather than the make or model of their chisel that determines whether or not one ends up with a superlatively sculpted thigh, hip, neck, buttocks, arm, or abdomen.
When I first began performing liposuctions some 28 years ago (during my 8 years of formal residency/training) a professor told me that nothing can substitute the skill and technique of a master plastic surgeon who has, through years of training and experience, refined his technique to the point where such procedures becomes less about suctioning and more about sculpting. I remember thinking that this was easy enough for him to say given that he had already attained master-level status. But when I reached equivalent status, it became clear that he was right.
Much of one’s success depends upon how much pure natural talent, spatial intelligence, and aesthetic ‘taste’ one has. Over time, however, most first-rate plastic surgeons become much more intuitive and feel-driven in their approach to procedures like liposuction. And while the difference in CCs of fatty tissue suctioned out may not be much, the smoothness of shape and consistency of silhouette between the treatment area and surrounding tissue is more often than not, dramatic.