Liposuction is something you can’t decide to do on a whim and be perfectly recovered from within a few days. It’s a surgical procedure that requires the careful hand of a skilled plastic surgeon. If you’ve been contemplating liposuction for a while, but you’re worried about how long the whole process will take — from initial consultation to full recovery — here’s a sense of what you’re in for.
The first step is researching a plastic surgeon that you can trust. I recommend spending at least a few hours online looking at the best Venice Beach and Santa Monica liposuction specialists, and then scheduling a few consultations. Each consultation will probably take about 45 minutes, not including the time you might spend waiting in some physicians’ offices. (Keep in mind, at my private Venice plastic surgery practice, I will see you personally and you’ll never have to wait more than a few minutes.)
Once you’ve decided on your doctor and had an initial consultation, you might want to schedule a follow-up consultation to make sure that all your questions are answered and that you have a solid sense of the procedure. There are lots of different types and liposuction, and it’s important to know which one you’re surgeon specializes in. Personally, I specialize in VASER lipo, an advanced body contouring technique that uses ultrasound energy to remove fat without damaging the surrounding tissues.
The actual liposuction procedure will take anywhere from an hour to three or four hours depending upon how large of an area you’re treating. Many small liposuction procedures can be performed with only local anesthesia, which allows you to get out of the office faster. However, if your liposuction procedure is covering multiple areas or if you’re combining it with other procedures like a tummy tuck, the process will likely take a few extra hours and general anesthesia.
It’s a good idea to leave at least two weeks between your initial consultation and your procedure so that you can go off of any blood thinning medications and give up smoking, if that applies to you. Blood thinning medications like aspirin can increase the risk of complications, as can smoking.
Once the procedure is complete, you’ll likely stay in the office for a few hours to ensure that your sedation is wearing off nicely and there aren’t any complications.
I usually recommend that my liposuction patients take three to five days off of work following their procedure. You will be sore in the days and weeks following the procedure, and you will be on pain medication to help ease the healing process. You will also be given compression garments to wear for a few weeks following the surgery. This will help your body heal smoothly and quickly.
All told, you’ll probably feel like yourself again two to three weeks after the procedure.
If you have more questions about liposuction, I’d be thrilled to answer them. As a board certified Venice Beach plastic surgeon, I meet with each of my clients personally and always strive to provide the highest level of care. Contact me to set up your initial consultation and we’ll explore your treatment options together.