Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia
Many patients have concerns about being placed under general anesthesia, or possibly due to some minor health reasons, they should not go under anesthesia.
Fortunately, a technique has been developed and practiced by a few plastic surgeons that can accommodate this.
The technique begins with taking some pills. Pain medications are given to help with comfort. Another medication assists with the anxiety we all have around the time of a surgical procedure.
Then medicine for potential nausea-like Phenergan is taken too. Lastly, an antibiotic is taken. Any of the medications can be modified if the patient has had any allergy issues.
Typically an IV is started but is capped off and not used for any fluids unless the physician feels this would assist the patient’s recovery. Giving IV fluids is rarely done. Prepping the liposuction areas of concern is then done.
How Painful is Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia
The areas for liposuction are then slowly injected with a numbing medication to make the surgical procedure a painless experience. Even large areas can be accomplished.
Liposuction is done via vacuuming out the fat through a small tube (called a cannula). Placed into the fat, the cannula is connected to flexible tubing connected to a jar connected to a vacuum pump.
The cannula is moving back and forth, and as the fat comes next to the holes in the cannula, it is drawn into the flexible tubing and down into the jar. As the fat layer becomes thin enough, we move to another area.
The treated areas have tunnels where the fat has been withdrawn. This is where compression becomes essential. A girdle-like liposuction garment is worn for several weeks to smooth out the contour in the liposuctioned areas.
After the surgery, you can be up and about quicker and more comfortable since there is not anesthetic to wear off. Most patients can drive and return to desk-type work in 3-5 days.
The swelling after surgery takes a while to resolve.
At six weeks, about 60% of the swelling is gone, and several months later, you are close to seeing the final results.
Can your bulge come back? We grow the last of our fat cells at puberty—no more development. After puberty, the fat cells we have can grow (or they can shrink).
When a fat cell is liposuctioned out, it is no longer available to grow. However, not all the fat cells in an area are removed, or you would look deformed. So, the remaining ones can enlarge if you overeat.
To make you feel better, if you gain 5 lbs of fat, it is not like it only goes to liposuctioned areas. It is typically spread around your body; This helps retain your result. Being awake for surgery is not for everyone, and that is ok.
However, if the risks of general anesthesia have been holding you back, well, you do not have to hold back any longer.