Liposuction for Aging 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.

  • Liposuction is minimally invasive and is performed under local anesthesia.
  • Some patients may be given a sedative.
  • Occasionally fat is loosened with water or liquefied by laser for ease of removal.
  • The patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen levels are monitored.
  • After fat is removed, the incisions usually are closed with bandages.

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 aging 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. Liposuction primarily is performed on the:

  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Outer thighs
  • Inner thighs
  • Inner knees
  • Back
  • Flanks
  • Buttocks
  • Neck
  • Upper arms

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. Sutures, unless they are absorbable, are removed five to 10 days after surgery. 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 lasting up to two weeks.
  • Swelling lasting 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 of the surgery, though they will need to have someone else to drive them home. Patients receiving general anesthesia are generally discharged at a later time. Post-operative mobility is limited, depending on the procedure. Patients can resume normal activity several days to several weeks following surgery, depending on the procedure.

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.