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Q: Does it hurt?


A: The pain level is moderate and usually well tolerated. Patients tell me it is about what they expected.


Q: Does the fat come back?


A: The fat cells removed by liposuction are gone forever. Fat cells that are left behind can swell if you gain weight and shrink if you lose weight, but the numbers are reduced forever. Liposuction offers a permanent improvement in body proportions.


Q: Where do you make the incisions?


A: I use as few incisions as possible to cover the areas I need to treat. When treating the abdomen and flanks, one incision is made on either side of the pubic area and one is made on each flank. These are placed so that they would typically be hidden by a bikini. The access incisions for the inner thighs are in the groin crease on each side. The outer thighs are accessed using the same incisions used to treat the flanks, and through an incision on the lower buttock. The knee incision is tucked in the crease just below and on the medial side of the knee. The small scars fade with time and are usually inconspicuous. If any are found objectionable, they may be revised.


Q: Do you leave the incisions open?


A: No. Some patients have heard that the incisions are left open to allow fluid to drain out. However, most plastic surgeons prefer to close them and allow any remaining fluid on the inside to be absorbed. This makes it easier for the patient because it is not as messy afterward. Also, the incisions heal better and with less scarring if they are sutured, as opposed to leaving them to heal in on their own.


Q: Do I have to wear a girdle?


A: It sounds onerous, but most patients feel more comfortable in the garment after surgery. The garment helps limit swelling. You will need to wear it for a month after surgery.


Q: Will liposuction help my cellulite?


A: You should not expect much improvement in cellulite. Liposuction removes fat and improves proportions but is not primarily for smoothing skin irregularities. We still do not have a good treatment for cellulite. I certainly have had patients whose cellulite is improved after liposuction, but I am careful not to promote liposuction as a cellulite treatment. It is a body shaping treatment. If a patient has an improvement, it is welcomed, but it should not be expected.


Q: Does LipoDissolve work as well as liposuction?


A: No, and its popularity has faded because of it.


Q: What about CoolSculpting?


A: Results are unimpressive and may not be worth the time and expense on the part of patients. It has many limitations. Liposuction is the only treatment that can provide comprehensive and continuous contouring involving all areas of the body. For the patient who wants results, there is no substitute for liposuction when performed by a skilled, experienced surgeon. Not surprisingly, liposuction continues to be the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed today.