Love handles” and bellies are the result of un-wanted fat accumulation. In fact, fat can accumulate just about anywhere. A certain number of fat cells grow in our bodies until we are 20 years old. Afterwards, they will grow or will diminish in size depending on the amount of fat we consume.

Cellulite and stretch marks will be corrected by 20% with Tumescent Liposuction. Cellulite is perceived as dimples in the skin. Stretch marks are the result of the rupture of elastic fibers. Liposuction stretches the dimples and flattens the depressions caused by cellulite and stretch marks.

Liposuction consists in the removal of un-wanted fat through a small canula connected to a vacuum. Growing scar tissue will occupy the space once taken by fat. Therefore, the skin shrinks by 30% and will flatten with time. The fat cells that were removed will never grow again. The incisions are made inside the umbilicus’ wall, in the pubic area, in previous scars or in stretch marks. Due to the loss of blood, body liquids and to avoid blood transfusions which carry complications, I do not extract more than six pounds of fat per person. The fat extraction can be distributed throughout the patient’s body.

BEFORE THE SURGERY EVERY PATIENT MUST:

  • Schedule an appointment with Dr. Fournier at his office. During this visit you can ask him any questions you might have about the surgery.
  • Have a complete medical check up, an electrocardiogram and laboratory blood and urine tests; including a complete whole blood count, partial tromboplastin time, prothrombin time, platelets, and HIV. If you are over forty five years old, a lipid blood profile is also needed with total Cholesterol, HDL and LDL, their ratio, and triglycerides. Tests are valid for three months prior surgery
  • Take antibiotics such as Augmentin 500mg, (one capsule three times a day with each meal) Cipro or Ceclor 500mg (one capsule twice a day with a full breakfast and dinner); two days before surgery, the day of the surgery, and seven more days after the surgery.
  • Inform Dr. Fournier your daily vitamin and medication intake.
  • Notify Dr. Fournier if you have developed a cold or the flu a week prior your surgery date.
  • Please avoid: aspirin, more than 500mg of Vitamin E, ginkobiloba, ginseng, or any blood thinners two weeks prior your surgery. Also avoid alcohol intake, and passive or active smoking for one month before and one month after the surgery. Remember that nicotine and alcohol delays, and might even complicate your healing processes. Six weeks before surgery suspend and AVOID estrogen or progesterone derivatives or any female hormones.

THE DAY OF SURGERY

  • You may brush your teeth, but do not eat or drink coffee or tea.
  • Please do not wear make-up, remove your contact lenses or dentures before the surgery. Do not put any moisturizer on your eyes or face.
  • Please remove your nail polish.
  • The evening and the morning prior your surgery, clean the operative area with soap and water.
  • Please do not bring any jewelry or valuables to the Hospital.
  • Please wear a robe, housecoat or warm up suit that buttons or zips in the front and flat shoes after the surgery. No tight-fitting clothes.
  • Someone must drive you home, to your Hotel, or to the Recovery Home you choose to stay at.

*Postoperative instructions regarding activity, medications and office visits will be given following your surgery.

HEALING STAGES:

During the first three weeks, bruising and swelling are results for mini bleedings produced by such procedure. In many cases after the surgery, patients tend to drain. All of this is to be expected for the first three weeks after surgery, and it is completely normal. With time, the dark purplish color will turn into a greenish tone. Then, it will turn into a yellow tone which is the last color stage before turning into the patient’s normal skin tone. After three weeks, a maximum of swelling will diminish.

On the fourth or fifth week, the zones where fat was extracted will become bulky as if ping-pong balls were inside the patient’s body. They will be felt as irregular hardenings which will not be seen but felt. Massages and pressure will help areas to flatten. If the procedure is done in an area closer to the head, the faster it will heal. As a consequence, legs take a longer time to heal.

Normally, after six to twelve weeks, the uncomfortable pain around the bone areas such as hips and ribs will diminish. Such pain is the result of friction with the tube used in surgery with the superficial bone layer.
After the body contour normalizes, it will decrease in size, and the patient will notice the amount of fat extracted during surgery. If the person gains weight, the remaining fat cells will fatten.

The effect of Liposuction will be seen after six weeks. 80% of the healing process takes approximately 3 to 6 months. 100% of the healing process will be a year after surgery. A burning sensation or pain can be relieved with a tight girdle and acetominofen. It is the result of the swelling causing pressure in the bones such as ribs or hips.

The use of a tight girdle plays an important role during the recovery period. The girdle applies pressure in the area, flattening and relieving swelling. The girdles cost (in Costa Rica) approximately $70. Girdles, pantyhose support, lycra or tight biking shorts are recommended to be used for the first two to six months according the healing.

If the girdle is too tight it will be reflected in the swelling of the labia majora (females) or testicles (males) causing them to have a purplish color. If you experience this situation, please lay down horizontally with a pillow under the buttocks for over two hours up to six hours.

In most cases sensitivity appears at the end of six months. In other cases it might even take until twelve months after surgery. If the Liposuction is done closer to the head, the shorter the time it would take to heal. The lower the Liposuction is done from the head such as legs and calf areas the longer time it would take to heal. Due to gravity, after Liposuction, the bruising or swelling will occur below the areas where the Liposuction was done.

USES OF EXTRACTED FAT OR LIPOSCUPLTURE:

After fat is extracted from a patient’s body, it can be “recycled” or injected to improve lip contour or diminish excessive lines in the patient’s skin.

For example, fat might be injected at the base of the nostrils or around the mouth to diminish excessive lines. It can also be injected on the mouth for extra volume, or under the eyebrows to diminish the lines in the forehead. As a result, the skin where the fat was injected will swell or even bleed. A strong reddish color will be in the injected zone for approximately two weeks.

Because 70% of the fat will be absorbed by the body, Dr. Fournier injects three times more fat than the amount that will remain in the body. It takes about twelve months for the body to absorb the excess fat. The remaining fat runs about a 30%.

Wherever the fat was injected, bulky areas are normal to appear. These areas can be diminished with massage, and in some cases with a simple touch up at Dr. Fournier’s office. The final results are normally seen a year after surgery. In the meantime, you will notice that the area is much more swollen than usual, and it could last from 6 months to year. This is period that it takes the body to absorb the extra fat. If any complications occur such as an infection with bacteria in the injected area, the bacteria will delay immediate recovery.

Patients should avoid excessive anguish caused by stress. Stress reduces the flow of oxygen in the treated areas which contributes to delay the scarring process. Greasy foods and alcoholic beverages must be avoided for two weeks after surgery. They might cause bleedings, seromas or infections.

Women, who have had children, should understand that abdominal Liposuction might not be as successful, as when it is done to women who have no children. After giving birth, the muscles in the abdominal area loosen, and in many cases this and excessive fat results in loosend skin. This problem can be corrected by combining Liposuction and Lipectomy procedures.