Any licensed physician can perform liposuction, but it’s usually performed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists in their offices with local anesthesia, though it may be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. No special training is required, though some doctors’ professional associations recommend it. When choosing a doctor, you may want to consider whether they have had specific training for liposuction and how many they have performed.
Some people see lumpy areas after the swelling starts to go down. This should improve after a few weeks, but wearing a compression garment can help prevent lumps. Less commonly, patients can have a hematoma (a temporary pooling of blood under the skin) or seroma (a pocket of fluid under the skin that requires draining by your doctor); changes in skin color or sensation; or scarring from thermal burning, either above or below the skin (usually an issue only with laser- and ultrasound-assisted lipo, if skin ports aren’t used). If you’re concerned about anything you experience as you recover, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.
Doctors on RealSelf stress that post-lipo weight gain can be an issue, if you don’t keep eating a healthy diet and exercising. As Beverly Hills, California, plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken notes in a RealSelf Q&A, “By nature, surgery causes soreness, and patients are usually restricted from full workouts for a period of time after surgery. This explains the weight gains often noticed immediately afterward.” But it’s important to get back into the exercise habit as soon as you’re able. “Some patients gain a false sense of confidence after liposuction,” he says. “If anything, patients should plan on being more active and healthier about their eating habits after surgery than they were before.”
Any surgery—medical or cosmetic—that requires cutting the skin is going to leave a scar. The scar’s size will depend on the length of the incision that must be made, which will depend on the procedure being performed. When you have a breast lift (also called a mastopexy), you will be left with vertical scars that extend from the bottom of your areola to the inframammary fold, the area where your breast meets your chest.
During your search for a surgeon, keep in mind that “as with any cosmetic procedure, the price should not be the primary factor in choosing your surgeon,” Orlando, Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Armando Soto, says in a RealSelf Q&A. “This is not to say that less expensive surgeons are uniformly going to deliver poor care, just that the costs should be secondary to your overall sense of comfort and confidence in the surgeon you choose.”
Call your surgeon: If you have any concerns at all during your recovery and healing process, I’m always available to my patients during this time—I prefer you to call rather than worry about a symptom. I will explain what indicators to watch out for as you recover that might indicate infection or poor healing. I will be checking your progress regularly as well. Any top surgeon should be willing to be there for you during your recovery process.
The “crescent lift” technique is mostly used for women who have a very small amount of sagging to correct, and involves one small incision that runs halfway around the top half of the edge of the areola. It’s usually only done when a patient is undergoing a breast augmentation, and even then only rarely. It’s more of a preventative measure, unlike the other options, which are focused on breasts that have more advanced sagging.
Each year, thousands of women undergo breast lift procedures to restore the shape and volume of their breasts for a more youthful breast contour. Oftentimes breast lifts are combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation or breast reduction. In cases like these, the breasts are lifted as they are increased or decreased in size. The result are breasts that look and feel better!
The technique used for your procedure will also influence the appearance of your scars, so talk to your surgeon to get a complete explanation of the typical scarring associated with each technique, including the standard (anchor) breast lift surgery, doughnut mastopexy, and crescent lift techniques. Together, you can determine which option would work best in your particular case.