Dr. Harris performs high-definition liposuction as an outpatient procedure in our own state-of-the-art surgical clinic. You will receive general anesthesia for the procedure but still be able to arrive and go home on the same day. But your procedure starts long before that.
The first step is your personal consultation with Dr. Harris. This is the time to get all your lingering questions answered and hear in detail from Dr. Harris how high-definition liposuction can reveal the increased muscle tone and definition you hope to see. If you decide this procedure is right for you, Dr. Harris will develop a personalized treatment plan.
Preparing for the Big Day
Once your procedure is scheduled, you can begin preparing for the big day. You will want to arrange for some assistance that day and for the few days afterwards. You can also take some photos of yourself so that you can compare results when you’re fully recovered. Set aside a room or some space within your home to be your recovery headquarters with water, things to watch or read, etc. close at hand. That way, your body can focus on rest and relaxation.
Perhaps the most important preparation is maintaining your healthy lifestyle. Good nutrition and exercise get your body ready for the changes ahead and will help your recovery go faster and more smoothly. Non-smokers are the best candidates for liposuction, but if you do smoke, we recommend quitting at least two weeks before your procedure and stay away from smoking for a time afterward. Smoking constricts blood flow, which interferes with your body’s ability to heal.
Your first stop is our pre-operative area. Since you will be receiving general anesthesia, we will insert an IV to get that started. While we’re waiting, we’ll fill out the requisite paperwork and Dr. Harris will once again review any and all concerns, expectations, or last-minute questions you may have. At this point, we will also take “before” photos to maintain a visual record of your results. Dr. Harris will then draw markings on your body to serve as his guide for fat removal, sculpting and re-contouring. When that is complete, it’s time for your surgery!
We will take you into our state-of-the-art operating suite, where we will clean your skin and cover the areas around the surgical field with sterile towels and drapes. Dr. Harris will numb your skin and then make tiny incisions to insert the cannula through which tumescent will be infused into the areas to be treated. Tumescent is a saline solution that contains lidocaine, bicarbonate and epinephrine. The lidocaine numbs the area(s) to be treated. Bicarbonate decreases discomfort from the lidocaine. And the epinephrine constricts blood vessels in the area to help reduce any bleeding that may occur. Vessel constriction also helps decrease the amount of lidocaine absorbed into the bloodstream.
Once the tumescent solution has had time to take effect, Dr. Harris will use advanced VASER technology to gently disrupt and soften the fatty tissue in the areas that are to be sculpted. The same incision sites are used for each step of the process. The next step is the actual liposuction itself. Small cannulas are used to remove the unwanted fat – for high definition liposuction, Dr. Harris selectively removes both superficial and deep fat cells to sculpt the amount of definition you desire. (Picture a sculptor working with a tiny wand instead of a carving tool.)
Once liposuction, sculpting and final re-contouring are complete, Dr. Harris will perform Renuvion skin tightening, if that is part of your treatment plan. For this, he will gently insert the device under the skin using the same incisions as before.
Finally, sterile pads will be applied and you will be placed in a compression garment. Then, it’s off to the recovery room and once anesthesia has worn off you can head home. Depending on the details of your procedure, it might take an hour and a half to three hours overall. Usually, Dr. Harris and the team will want to see you back in the office the next day for a follow-up visit. At this time, we will examine the entire operative site to make sure all is well and then apply fresh pads. Dr. Harris’ primary concern is ALWAYS patient safety, and this is just another step that we take to make sure you have the best experience possible.
We like to schedule additional follow-up visits to check your progress more often after high-definition liposuction because of its additional complexity, so we will likely ask you to return at one week, six weeks, and four to six months after your procedure. However, our team is always available to answer any questions or concerns at any time before and after your procedure. The more comfortable you are with all the details, the more comfortable and confident you will be as you recover.
High-definition liposuction is a far more intense procedure than general lipo, so you can expect to experience a little more discomfort, bruising and swelling immediately afterward. How long your recovery takes will depend on the areas treated and the extent of the contouring Dr. Harris performs. We will send you home with pain medication to help alleviate discomfort or soreness you may experience. Lymphatic massage during the first week can also help speed the healing process and minimize fluid build-up. Keeping the treated area elevated when you’re at rest helps, too, if you can do that.
However, it’s important for you to get up and walk around for short periods frequently after your procedure. This will help reduce soreness, promote good circulation to help prevent blood clots and speed healing. Moving around will help you feel good about your progress, too.
You can also expect to have a significant amount of drainage for the first day or two following your procedure. It will seem like a lot, but this is entirely normal. We will remind you of that several times before and after your procedure to give you peace of mind. Mostly, the drainage is remaining tumescent fluid that we used during the procedure but which was not removed at that time.
While bruising usually goes away within a week or so, swelling will last longer. Most of it will dissipate within 4-6 weeks, but a small amount of residual swelling may remain up to six months. You will have to wear an elasticized compression garment for a specified period of time depending on the details of your procedure. Most patients say it is fairly comfortable and it is critical to support your skin and underlying tissues as they are healing. The compression garment will also help reduce swelling. Arnika (bromoline) is a useful herbal supplement to help reduce bruising and swelling. You can purchase it over the counter or from us at Image Surgical Arts.
Despite initial swelling, you will still see improvement right away. As the swelling continues to subside, your results will become more visible. You’ll have to be patient, though, as it will take between 6 months and a year before your final results are fully revealed. If Renuvion skin tightening is included with your high-definition liposuction procedure, it will take about nine months to see full results from that as well.
Dr. Harris makes only a few tiny incisions to perform high-definition liposuction (and he uses those same incisions to perform Renuvion, if needed). These incisions will heal completely in 2-3 weeks with minimal scarring. Dr. Harris takes special care for this as he does with all the details of your liposuction/sculpting procedure because he knows your ultimate goal is great-looking results.
You should be able to return to your normal routine within about 4-6 weeks. You may return to light activities and go back to work, but you will need to avoid strenuous exercise and lifting for several more weeks to give your body plenty of time to fully heal. Overdoing it too soon can jeopardize your final results.
At Image Surgical Arts, we understand you will be anxious to get through your recovery as quickly as possible. That timeframe differs somewhat for each individual and depending on the extent of your procedure. Nonetheless, we will be here for you, doing everything we can to give you the best recovery experience possible.
Ultimately, you’re in charge. So the most important thing you can do is to follow the doctor's orders! Everything we ask you to do – or not do – is deliberately designed to enhance your recovery. You will get written instructions for at-home post-operative care, and we will go over those with you before you leave. Our team is always available to answer questions or address any concerns you may have.