5 Things to Do Before Liposuction

Liposuction isn't a weight loss surgery. Instead, it's designed to get rid of those areas of stubborn fat. Dr. Paul Vitenas | Houston, TX
Liposuction is designed to get rid of those areas of stubborn fat.

Liposuction, or lipo, isn’t a weight-loss surgery. Instead, it’s a procedure designed to get rid of those areas of stubborn fat and improve body contour. Dr. Paul Vitenas | Houston, TX. This treatment is primarily for addressing targeted problem areas, rather than as a solution for drastic weight loss. In addition to liposuction, some patients may choose to undergo breast augmentation or other procedures, such as implants, performed by skilled surgeons and their support staff. To enhance the liposuction procedure, fate removal can be assisted by laser technology, and patients may choose to include supplements, medications, or other treatments in their overall plan to reduce inflammation and improve results. Post-surgery care often takes place in a hospital or clinic, providing plenty of health support and assurance that any downtime is well managed.

One question people often ask before they have liposuction is what steps they can take and what questions to ask the doctor to get the best results possible. Since an office visit to discuss the risks, benefits, and anesthesia options can be helpful, it is essential to address any doubts or questions. It is also important to prepare yourself for the procedure by getting adequate sleep, maintaining proper hygiene, and taking care of your body; this may include avoiding actions such as applying nail polish, wearing contact lenses, or taking a hot shower right before the surgery. Plastic surgery of any kind, such as liposuction and breast augmentation, is an investment in the improvement of your body’s appearance in areas like the abdomen or chin. You’re spending time, money, and energy on these procedures, so you want to get the most out of them while minimizing the risk in the process. It’s only natural that you want to get the most out of it. To better understand your options, review before-and-after photos and discuss the different techniques surgeons use in your specific area. A photo gallery could be a useful tool in visualizing potential results.

What you do before liposuction can have a significant impact on the type of results you get. Here’s how to make the most of your body contouring surgery and help ensure that you are happy with the results.

Hit Your Target Weight

You’ve probably heard it said countless times, but it’s worth saying again: Liposuction isn’t a weight-loss surgery. Instead, it’s designed to get rid of those areas of stubborn fat that might be hanging around after you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. As the chances of bruising and infection are a part of the surgery process, it is important to prepare yourself well. You might have some unwanted fat even if you’ve always been at a weight you’re happy with.

If you have liposuction too soon before you have lost most or all of the weight you want to, you aren’t likely to see the results you hoped for. You might realize if you continue to lose weight, that you need to have additional surgery later on. Exercise can play a role in achieving desired results, as it can help you manage your weight better.

It’s also important to remember that you won’t lose a lot of weight after liposuction. At most, you might drop a few pounds after the fat is removed, but you won’t see a dramatic change.

Change Up Your Diet

If you’ve been working to lose weight before liposuction, you might have already made some changes to your diet. As you prepare for surgery, the healthier the foods you eat, the better. Eating foods that are full of vitamins and minerals and that are excellent sources of fiber will help you heal more quickly after surgery. Certain foods are also great at increasing or promoting skin elasticity, which will help your skin bounce back after the fat is removed. Avoiding aspirin and other blood thinners is also essential during pre-surgery preparation. Additionally, reducing your consumption of high-sodium foods is highly recommended.

Foods that are full of water, such as cucumbers and melons, and fruits that are bursting with antioxidants, such as strawberries and blueberries, are all worth adding to your diet as you prepare for liposuction. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids or other types of ‘healthy’ fats are also worth seeking out. Examples include avocados, olive oil, salmon, and nuts.

It’s also a good idea to focus on increasing your hydration and taking care of your body, as this technique is crucial for overall well-being. Try to drink a glass of water when you first wake up in the morning and again with each meal. One way to get into the habit of drinking more water is to always have a bottle of water by your side. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to take sips from it. Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized by applying lotions to your arms and other areas can also make a positive difference. Ensuring you wear comfortable clothing that allows your skin to breathe, and avoiding alcohol, are anything but trivial considerations for both men and women to keep in mind.

Quit Smoking

Any plastic surgeon will tell you to quit smoking at least a few weeks before your liposuction surgery and to continue to avoid nicotine use for at least several weeks afterward. There are many reasons why quitting smoking is the right choice before liposuction. If you have concerns or need help, don’t hesitate to discuss them during your appointment with the surgeon, as doctors commonly deal with such issues. They can also provide guidance on managing swelling and recommend over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, to help with discomfort.

Nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow throughout the body. As you heal from liposuction, it’s very important that blood is able to circulate freely through the body, delivering oxygen to the healing tissue. This is critical to avoid complications such as bleeding and delay in the healing of incisions. Proper care of the incision sites, including the use of bandages, can further aid in the healing process.

If you need help quitting smoking, your plastic surgeon can be a great resource and can provide you with advice, instructions, and recommendations for smoking cessation programs, if needed. They may also suggest alternative pain medication options during your healing process. In addition, your surgeon may be able to recommend books or local support groups to help you get on the right track and keep your head in the game.

Strengthen Your Muscles

Liposuction removes fat, making the muscles beneath the fat more visible. If you want a toned, athletic look after your surgery, it’s important to start working out and exercising well in advance. Exercising can also help you reach your weight-loss goals before your liposuction, providing an added benefit. Using the right exercise tool is essential for achieving optimal results. Medspas can offer guidance and recommendations for exercises tailored to your specific needs.

Along with helping your body look toned and shapely after you recover from surgery, strengthening your muscles can aid in the recovery. The stronger your body is, the better able it will be to heal and recuperate after liposuction. In particular, maintaining a healthy muscle tone can assist with the management of post-surgery tube placements.

Get Your Home Ready

After you’ve had liposuction, you’ll need to spend a week or two at home, recuperating. To help the recovery period go smoothly, there are some things you can do to get your home ready. If you usually do the cooking at home, you might want to prep and freeze a couple of weeks’ worth of meals. Another option is to arrange for a meal delivery service during that time or to have someone else cook for you. During this time, consider having movies or other entertainment options readily available to help pass the time while you recover.

You might also want to rearrange your furniture so that your bed is easily accessible from the first floor or so that you have a comfortable chair to relax in near your bed. Another thing to reorganize might be your closet. Push any work clothes toward the back of the closet and bring any comfortable, loungewear items to the front so you can reach them easily.

Essential Steps Beyond the Basics

While you’re likely familiar with the fundamental preparations for liposuction, such as reaching your target weight and maintaining good hygiene, there are additional steps you can take to ensure your body and mind are optimally prepared for the procedure. These steps go beyond the basic requirements and delve into holistic preparation strategies.

Nutritional Optimization for Enhanced Healing

  • In the weeks leading up to your surgery, focus on a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that promote healing. Foods high in Vitamin C, zinc, and protein can enhance your body’s ability to recover.
  • Incorporate leafy greens, citrus fruits, nuts, and lean proteins into your meals. These nutrients play a crucial role in wound healing and immune function.

Mental Preparation and Stress Reduction

  • Undergoing any surgical procedure can be stressful. Engage in activities that reduce stress and promote a positive mindset. This can include meditation, gentle yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Consider speaking with a counselor or joining a support group for individuals undergoing cosmetic procedures. This can provide emotional support and valuable insights from others’ experiences.

Enhancing Skin Health

  • Healthy skin can respond better to surgery and heal more efficiently. In the month before your procedure, focus on skin hydration and care. Use gentle, non-irritating moisturizers to keep your skin supple.
  • Avoid harsh skin treatments or new skincare products that could cause irritation or allergic reactions.

Physical Activity for Circulation

  • While rigorous exercise might not be recommended immediately before surgery, maintaining light to moderate physical activity can improve circulation. This enhances blood flow, which is crucial for healing.
  • Activities like brisk walking or light cycling can be beneficial. Always consult with your surgeon about the appropriate level of physical activity as your surgery date approaches.

Importance of Consultation Before Liposuction

Consultation before undergoing liposuction is a critical step in the journey towards achieving your desired body contour. This pre-operative discussion serves as a foundational platform for ensuring safety, setting realistic expectations, and customizing the procedure to your unique needs. Here’s why the consultation phase is indispensable:

  1. Assessment of Suitability: Not everyone is an ideal candidate for liposuction. During the consultation, your surgeon evaluates your health status, medical history, and body composition to determine if liposuction is suitable for you. This assessment helps in minimizing risks and complications.
  2. Setting Realistic Expectations: Liposuction is effective in removing stubborn fat deposits, but it’s not a weight-loss solution. The consultation allows your surgeon to explain what the procedure can and cannot do, helping you form realistic expectations about the results.
  3. Personalized Treatment Plan: Every individual’s body is unique. The consultation provides an opportunity for the surgeon to develop a tailored treatment plan that addresses your specific areas of concern, aligning with your aesthetic goals.
  4. Understanding the Procedure: Liposuction involves various techniques and technologies. During the consultation, the surgeon explains the different options available, such as tumescent liposuction or laser-assisted lipolysis, and recommends the most appropriate method for you.
  5. Risk and Recovery Discussion: Understanding the potential risks and the recovery process is crucial. The consultation includes a thorough discussion about possible side effects, post-operative care, and the recovery timeline, ensuring you are well-prepared for the post-surgery phase.

If you are going to have a friend or relative stay with you during the first few days after your surgery, make a list of important numbers for them, such as your surgeon’s number, your family doctor’s number, and the numbers of your children’s schools and put the list in an easy-to-find location, such as on the refrigerator. Your plastic surgeon can provide you with more tips and information on what you can do to prepare yourself for liposuction. Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas with years of experience performing liposuction and other body-shaping plastic surgeries. To learn more about liposuction, call 281-484-0088 to schedule your consultation or book a virtual consultation on their site today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preparing for Liposuction