Liposuction for Sagging Skin

In liposuction, a surgeon uses a hollow tube known as a cannula to remove pockets of excess fat from various parts of the body. The cannula is inserted through small incisions made in the skin.

Possible risks

Like any surgery, liposuction carries certain risks beyond temporary and minor side effects. Though rare, serious complications can occur. These include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Infection
  • Skin damage
  • Tissue damage
  • Skin necrosis
  • Puncture of an internal organ
  • Contour irregularities
  • Blood clots
  • Toxic reaction
  • Fluid imbalance

Why choose liposuction for sagging skin

Liposuction is a surgery that permanently removes fat. It is not a good alternative to dieting. Ideal liposuction candidates are older than 18, in good general health and already undergoing a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

What you should know about liposuction for sagging skin

  • In some procedures, the fat is loosened with water or liquefied by a laser to facilitate its removal.
  • The procedure is invasive and is usually performed under local anesthesia.
  • Some patients may be given a sedative.
  • An IV line may be used to maintain the patient’s fluid balance.
  • The patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen levels are monitored during the procedure.
  • After fat is removed, the incisions usually are closed with sutures or bandages.

What to expect after the procedure

Following the procedure, the treated area is bandaged and a compression garment placed over it. The compression garment is worn for one to two weeks. Your doctor will likely recommend keeping the head and neck elevated.

Post-surgical issues include:

  • Pain, which may last as long as two weeks, is usually managed by a prescription or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Bruising last up to two week.
  • Swelling last two weeks to two months
  • Numbness lasting several weeks.
  • Possible drainage in the treatment area, depending on the surgical technique.

Most patients can go home the day as the surgery, though you will need to have someone else to drive you home. Patients receiving general anesthesia are generally discharged at a later time. Patients can usually resume normal activity several days following surgery.

Final results will be apparent one to six months following surgery, depending, in part, on how quickly swelling subsides.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. In addition:

  • No blood-thinning drugs should be taken for at least two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Smoking must be avoided for at least two months prior to surgery.