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The Right Diet to Follow After Surgery? Part 2: Advice for Your “Un-Diet”

The mechanisms by which each human body manufactures, stores, and burns fat are complex, unique, and governed by genetics. While your diet and exercise choices contribute to your health, they don’t change your genes. So how much power do you have to control your body’s fat after your liposuction?

The good news is that there are several guidelines that many clinicians can agree upon. And rather than restricting you to a “one size fits all” menu, you can use these guidelines as a framework to make your own preference-based dietary choices.

We explore some of the guidelines here, and the Nutrition Coalition provides a complete list on its website.

  1. A low-fat diet may not be the best choice. A low-fat diet has been associated with heart disease. Instead, focus on foods contain “healthy” fats and incorporate more of these into your diet.
  2. Consider a low-carbohydrate diet. Insulin is produced in response to food intake (carbohydrates in particular), and it plays a key role in fat storage and management. As a result, adding flavorful low-carb options into your diet may provide some benefits.
  3. Learn to love whole foods. Try replacing some of your favorite processed foods with their whole-food counterparts. Whole foods– including whole grains–provide vitamins, minerals and fiber that processed counterparts do not.
  4. Aim for the right amount of salt. A 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine concluded that, while too much salt is bad for human health, too little salt can harm you as well. Instead, research the recommended salt intake for your age and health, and aim for that amount.
  5. Move your body for enjoyment, rather than weight loss. Choose movement-based activities you enjoy, whether that’s running a 5k, tending your garden, or playing with your kids. Enjoying the activity is likely more important than what the activity is–because if you get something out of it, you’re more likely to keep doing it.

Curious about how you could transform your body with liposuction? Our experienced, careful Cleveland doctors at The Cosmetic Surgery Center can help. Call us today at (216) 264-8100 to set up an appointment with Dr. Matt Goldschmidt.

Below is an example of a typical result:

liposuction of the arms

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

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The Right Diet to Follow After Surgery? Part 1: Why Traditional Diet Advice Might Not Work

After you’ve taken the plunge, talked to a doctor, and had liposuction performed, you want those results to stick around. If you’re like many people who struggled with problematic fat deposits, you’ve probably already tried dieting and exercise–and you may turn to them again. You may also wonder what diet advice to follow after your procedure.

While the overall health benefits of moderate exercise are well-documented, the science of dieting to address fat growth is more complicated. It isn’t as simple as “calories in, calories out.” Instead, each body has a unique pattern of generating fat, distributing it throughout the body, and storing the fat. This is all governed by a complex dance of hormones and enzymes, directed by the body’s genetic makeup.

In other words, your genes affect the fit of your jeans.

Diet contributes to an overall healthy life, just as exercise does. However, when it comes to fat generation, scientists debate what the “real” dietary villains are. In the past several decades, theories have ranged–from “eating fat makes you fat” to “carbohydrates are the real culprit.” Hearing this contradictory advice, many people have bounced from one diet to another, often in vain.

According to a letter signed by over 250 medical experts and published in the New York Times, insulin–a hormone secreted by the pancreas–plays a key role in the body’s fat storage and burning processes. The body secretes insulin in order to break down the foods we consume. How much insulin it secretes, depends on what kinds of food we eat. For instance, if we consume more carbohydrates, the body releases more insulin to deal with them.

Therefore, dietary choices may affect how the body stores fat, by regulating the flow of insulin into the bloodstream. As just one example, this may be the mechanism behind so-called “low-carb” diets–why controlling carbohydrates helps some people manage their weight, when if controlling calories did not.

Below is an example of a typical result:

Liposuction of abdomen and flanks

Liposuction of abdomen and flanks

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery

Our experienced Cleveland liposuction surgeon, Dr. Matt Goldschmidt, at The Cosmetic Surgery Center can help you explore your liposuction options. Call us now at (216) 264-8100 to set up a free consultation.

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What to Expect, Long Term, From Your Liposuction Surgery

Once your surgical site has healed, the swelling and fluid retention have resolved, what comes next? What can you expect from liposuction surgery in the long term? Here, we talk about a few experiences that many of our patients share after liposuction surgery.

  1. It may take your mind a little while to catch up to the new reality of your body.

You chose liposuction because years of struggling with finding the right clothes, camouflaging your least-liked body features, and fighting a losing battle with diet and exercise. Before surgery, you may have been excited and exhilarated–looking forward to clothes shopping or to shedding your feelings of discomfort or embarrassment. But post-surgery, you may feel as though you’re still dealing with those same concerns.

Discovering some of your old insecurities are present may feel discouraging in the extreme. It may help to remind yourself that this is normal. You lived in your pre-liposuction body for many years. During that time, you developed a number of habits, from feeling self-conscious about your body to reaching for clothing to hide yourself. Retraining your mind takes time. Be patient. As you get more comfortable in your new body, you’ll develop new habits to match.

  1. Your fat cells won’t return….

“Fat” can be thought of as having two separate parts: the fat cells themselves, and the fat substance that fills the cells. When people “lose weight” through diet or exercise, they lose the substance inside the cells, but the cells themselves remain.

During liposuction, however, fat cells in the targeted area are removed from the body. Even if you gain weight, the bulges that were removed will not return, because there are significantly fewer fat cells in that area to create the “bulge.”

  1. …but it’s still wise to pay attention to a healthy lifestyle.

Despite the fact you have fewer fat cells in treated areas, you are not immune to gaining weight, and it’s possible to develop “new bulges” in other areas. Your body still contains fat cells, and that’s good for you. Some fat is required for healthy functioning.

Therefore, use your liposuction surgery as a great jumping-off point for a commitment to a new healthy lifestyle. Get out more. Discover new nutritious foods for your diet. Explore new exercises or physical activities you might enjoy. Doing so will maximize your surgical results, and it help you feel better, inside and out.

Below is an example of a typical result:

liposuction before and after

liposuction before and after

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

For a free, private consultation about your liposuction options in Cleveland, please call our team at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.

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Recovering From Liposuction Surgery

Although liposuction procedures have become safer and less invasive as new techniques have developed, liposuction remains a surgical procedure. Your body will still need to recover from the surgery. Here are a few tips to help your recovery process.

While you are recovering from liposuction surgery:

  • Put the doctor’s instructions in a prominent place. You may need to double-check these instructions several times over the next few days or weeks. Put them someplace you can do this easily, such as on your bedside table.
  • Use your compression garment. You may receive a compression garment to wear after surgery. Use it! This garment helps control swelling and pain, improve healing and the contour of the tissues, and reduce the risk of fluid accumulations (seromas). The more closely you follow instructions on wearing the compression garment, the better your results will be.
  • Be patient. Liposuction can cause significant swelling and fluid retention. In the first days and weeks after your procedure, you may see little to no change in your body shape. You may feel as if the area has gotten larger. In fact, your body may continue to “shrink” for up to six months after the surgery. (Consider waiting to buy new clothes until several months have passed.)
  • Limit activities. Moving too much or overexerting yourself too soon after surgery may reduce the effectiveness of your results–and potentially damage your body. Plan to do too little, rather than too much.
  • Pay attention to your body. Stay alert for signs of infection, like additional pain, tenderness, inflammation, discharge or fever. If any of these signs appear, don’t ignore them. Your body is trying to give you vital information about its health and safety. Contact your doctor at once.
  • Go to follow-up appointments. As the weeks pass, you may start feeling perfectly healthy again. Proud of what you see in the mirror, you may decide that your post-op appointments are a lower priority. Keep these appointments nonetheless. They help your doctor spot any early or developing medical issues, and they help ensure you can fully enjoy the results of your liposuction for years to come.

Below is an example of a typical result:

31 year old male for liposuction of the abdomen and “love handles”. Side view before surgery.

31 year old male for liposuction of the abdomen and “love handles”. Side view after surgery.

 

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

Would you like to know more about your liposuction surgery options? Our experienced Cleveland doctors are standing by to assist: get in touch with Dr. Matt Goldschmidt at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.

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Special Considerations for Different Parts of the Body: Thighs, “Saddle Bags” and Legs

One area frequently targeted for liposuction is the outside of the thighs, where fat deposits can cause a “saddle bag” appearance. Saddle bags can make it difficult or impossible to buy pants that fit well, and they can cause a great deal of self-consciousness in those who have them.

Liposuction may be performed on nearly any area of the leg (even the smaller and more delicate areas around the anklebones). In patients seeking liposuction of the thigh area, the procedure may be performed on both the outer and the inner thigh. Focusing on both areas helps to ensure that the shape of the thighs meets the patient’s expectations. Likewise, when work on the inner thigh is done, liposuction on the inside of the knee may also be recommended, in order to preserve the regular, symmetrical shape of the legs.

Unlike other areas of the body, the thighs contain relatively little fibrous tissue. Fat deposits in these areas often have a jelly-like quality that makes them easier to remove with a cannula. If the procedure is not done carefully and by an experienced liposuction surgeon, the patient may experience pitting or other irregularities in the surface skin, because the fat underneath was not removed evenly. Ask your medical team about the tools they will use in thigh or leg liposuction if you have questions.

Patients who have good skin elasticity typically enjoy the best results from liposuction on the legs. When the skin is wrinkled or crepey, liposuction will not improve its appearance and may contribute to skin sagging. In this case, a thigh lift may also be required to get the results you want.

After surgery, the treated area may be taped, you may be given a special compression garment to wear on the treated area, or both. Walking may be uncomfortable for a few days, so it’s wise to plan ahead.

If your job involves a great deal of sitting, talk to your doctor about the best way to care for your body after you return to work. For instance, your doctor may recommend that you take more breaks to stand, stretch, or move around than you normally would. Similarly, if your job demands a lot of standing or walking, your doctor may have suggestions to help you do your work while healing.

Our Cleveland liposuction doctors are here to answer your questions and give you insight into your potential surgical options. Call Dr. Matt Goldschmidt at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100 for more information.

Below is an example of a typical result:

liposuction of the inner and outer thighs

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

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Special Considerations for Different Parts of the Body: Sides, “Love Handles” and Abdomen

Liposuction is commonly sought by people who are upset by the presence of fat deposits on the sides of the torso, known as the “flanks,” or the abdomen. Fat deposits on the flanks are commonly known as “love handles,” while fat deposits on the abdomen and flanks create the “spare tire.” People with love handles or a spare tire may have tried to reduce them through diet and exercise, but to no avail.

Fat deposits in the flanks tend to differ on men’s and women’s bodies. For women, problems most commonly appear either in the area near the bra-line or below the waistline, in the iliac area. For men, the most common areas of complaint are above the waistline.

Because liposuction of the torso and abdomen often targets larger areas and removes more fat tissue than liposuction of smaller body areas, it is more likely to require general anesthesia, rather than local numbing. If general anesthesia is required, liposuction of these body areas is performed as an outpatient procedure: The procedure may take an hour or two, but you can plan to go home the same day the surgery is performed.

Recovery from liposuction surgery of the flanks and abdomen is similar to recovery for other types of liposuction. Your doctor will likely provide a compression garment for you to wear over the surgical site, as well as instructions for cleaning and care of the area.

While the initial healing of your tissues and surgical sites may appear to go quickly, you should wait at least four months before buying new clothes. In the months after your surgery, swelling will recede slowly, and your body will gradually lose the water and other fluids that built up due to surgery. Don’t be discouraged if you appear the same size or even larger at first: Your post-operative appearance is due to fluid retention and swelling that will resolve in time.

Below is an example of a typical result:

liposuction of the “love handles” and abdomen

liposuction of the “love handles” and abdomen

 

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery

Interested in exploring your liposuction options? Call our experienced Cleveland liposuction surgeon at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100 to schedule a private consultation.

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Special Considerations for Different Parts of the Body: Face, Neck, Chest, breast, and Arms

Today, liposuction procedures can be performed on nearly any part of the body that has subcutaneous fat deposits. This includes: the face, chin, neck, chest, breasts, legs, and arms.

Each area of the body poses particular considerations and challenges for liposuction surgeons. Here’s what you need to know about liposuction on the each area.

Face, Chin, and Neck

“Double chins,” sagging skin on the face, chin, and neck, and similar features may be the result of a genetic trait, the consequences of age, or both. Liposuction can address many of these by removing fat cells from the area.

Incisions for liposuction in these areas are placed carefully, to be as difficult to see as possible. They are usually very small–no more than 3/8 of an inch long–and may be closed with bandages, rather than stitches.

Talk to your surgeon about using sunscreen or a hat to protect your face as you heal. Also, ask when you can return to wearing make-up, perfume or other lotions.

Chest and Breasts

Liposuction may be used to remove unwanted fat deposits on the chest resulting from medical conditions, age, or genetics. Around the breasts, liposuction can help to change the shape or size of breasts, or to improve symmetry when one breast is noticeably larger than the other. For chest liposuction, incisions are often placed in a “fold” or crease on the body, so they are less noticeable.

In addition to special tape or bandages, your surgeon may prescribe a special bra to wear after chest or breast liposuction. Typically, this item cannot be seen under your clothing, and it can often be discontinued once your surgical site has healed. After this point, your usual bras and under garments will likely work well.

Arms and Legs

Liposuction of the arms often targets the upper arms, when fat deposits remain stubborn even with exercise and diet. One or both arms may be treated in the same surgical appointment. Incisions are often placed near the elbow, in the back of the upper arm.

The inner and outer aspects of the thighs are another common site of unwanted fat deposits. The thighs may also be suctioned to try and decrease the diameter of your thighs in general. Small incisions are once again used in inconspicuous sites and may also be hidden in small creases.  

After surgery, your doctor may tell you to spend the remainder of the day resting, with your arms or legs supported by pillows, but your doctor may also say to keep your hands and fingers moving. Plan on wearing loose fitting clothing to make it easier to put on and take off as you heal. Also, talk to your doctor about using sunscreen to protect your skin during your recovery.

Below is an example of a typical result.

liposuction of the arms

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

For a free, private consultation about your liposuction options in Cleveland, please call our team at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.

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Preparing for Liposuction

Choosing a doctor, discussing your options, and asking questions are all preliminary steps toward the liposuction procedure itself. When you’ve finally said, “Yes, let’s do this,” you’ll still need to prepare for surgery. Here’s how to get ready physically, psychologically and logistically.

Your Body

The night before surgery, follow the instructions provided by your doctor’s office. These may include instructions not to eat or drink anything after a certain time, to shower and scrub thoroughly with antibiotic soap, or similar instructions.

The day of your surgery, skip any makeup you usually wear, including nail polish. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to make your trip to and from the office more comfortable.

Your Mind

It’s natural to feel a bit nervous on the day of surgery. If it helps you to stay calm, talk about your concerns with the medical staff. Their goal is to help you have the most comfortable procedure possible, and their experience can help you stay focused on what is happening. They can help you attain a sense of control that can do much to allay your nerves.

Likewise, if your nerves are mixed with excitement, anticipation or relief, feel free to share these feelings as well. Medical staff who work on liposuction procedures are often happy to hear that patients are looking forward to the changes they’re about to see in their bodies.

Your Plans

While you can drive yourself to surgery, it’s best if you have someone else to drive you. Choose a friend or family member you trust, and let your doctor’s office know who will be driving and taking care of you after surgery. The office can help by providing your driver with an estimated time that surgery will end and you’ll be ready to go home.

Before you leave for surgery, prepare your bedroom or wherever you will be sleeping, so that you will not have to search around the house for various items. Many patients are encouraged to sleep in a reclining chair (“Lazy Boy” recliner) for the first week or two after surgery. Plan to get up frequently, not only to go to the bathroom, but also to walk around the house or outside. While many people come home from surgery and take a nap, it’s wise to keep your bedside table stocked with books, movies or other quiet activities. This way, you can stay engaged while you rest, if you don’t feel like sleeping. It is also recommended to stock up on some supplies you may need to care for your incisions or if you have any drainage. Your doctor may have specific recommendations about that supplies that you may need.

Below is an example of a typical result.

liposuction of the arms

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery

For a free, private consultation about your liposuction options in Cleveland, please call our team at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.

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Liposuction Surgery: How It Works and What to Expect Part 2

Once the surgical staff is confident that the anesthesia is working properly, your liposuction surgeon will begin the procedure. The specific steps will depend on the technique the surgeon has chosen to best fit the results you are looking for and the needs of your body.

Commonly-used Liposuction Procedures

Tumescent liposuction:

The surgeon injects a mixture of salt water, anesthetic, and epinephrine into the area to be treated. Then, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a thin tube, called a “cannula,” under the skin. This tube is used to suction fat and fluid out of the area.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction:

In this procedure, the surgeon first uses an ultrasound wand to rupture fat cells in the treated area, so that they can be removed more easily by the cannula. In some cases, this technique is used along with tumescent liposuction.

Laser-assisted liposuction:

Here, the surgeon uses a high-intensity laser light for the pre-removal rupture of fat cells. The laser fiber is inserted through a small incision, and then the cannula is used to remove the fat cells.

Powered liposuction:

The surgeon uses a cannula that vibrates in a small but rapid back-and-forth motion. The vibration helps remove stubborn fat cells more easily. The vibration also aids in a more precise removal and usually helps create a nice, smooth result. This makes powered liposuction a more common choice on smaller areas of the body–like the arms, knees or ankles.

General Liposuction Protocols

As the surgeon performs liposuction, the medical team will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level. If you are awake for the procedure and experience pain during the procedure, say something immediately. The anesthetist or surgeon can provide additional medication or even change the procedure in order to reduce discomfort.

Once the procedure is finished, the surgeon or staff may apply special tape or bandages and a compression garment to the areas the surgeon worked on. Then, you will spend some time in a recovery room, until the medical staff discharges you to go home.

Follow your doctor’s instructions for post-surgery home care. And as you heal, go to all your follow-up appointments, so your doctor can monitor your progress and help you achieve the best possible results.

Below is an example of a typical result.

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

liposuction of the abdomen and flanks

For a free, private consultation about your liposuction options in Cleveland, please call our team at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.

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Liposuction Surgery: How It Works and What to Expect Part 1

When you arrive on the day of your surgery, you’ll check in with the nursing staff. You will likely be asked to fill out some paperwork, and you’ll be asked to confirm your identity, so bring a photo ID in case it’s required. Please take some time to read the surgical consent form before you sign it. Although it looks like a fine-print formality, its purpose is to inform you about the risks you’re about to undertake.

To prepare for surgery, you’ll be asked to change into a gown, go to the bathroom, and remove any contact lenses, dentures, or similar items you may be wearing.

You will meet with your surgeon before surgery begins. At this time, your surgeon will make drawings or markings on your skin, which serve as guidelines during the liposuction procedure. For instance, your doctor may mark areas of irregularity or sites to pay particular attention. Your doctor may also make circles or ovals to target certain fat deposits for removal. These markings are usually done with a non-toxic pen or marker. You may still be able to see these marks after the surgery, but they will eventually be washed away with soap and water.

The nursing staff will also insert an IV for the anesthesia and to give you antibiotics, as part of the preparation process. Rarely will they wait to do this until you’re in the operating room.

Once you’re in the operating room, the staff will ready you for surgery. The surgical team may place sterile fabric on or around parts of your body that the surgeon is not working on. The anesthesia team will administer medications to relax you and have you drift off to sleep. As it begins to take effect, the staff may ask you to describe how you’re feeling. This provides the anesthetist or anesthesia doctor with additional feedback on how the anesthesia is working.

For some kinds of liposuction, you may have local anesthesia. If that’s the case, you will not be able to feel the procedure itself, but you will be awake during the procedure. If the thought of being awake–even with a local anesthetic–makes you nervous, talk to your surgeon beforehand, about providing a mild sedative to help you stay calm.

Once the anesthesia is working, it’s time for the surgery to begin.

Below is an example of a typical result.

liposuction trunk

liposuction trunk

 

To see more images, please visit our Before and After Gallery 

For a free, private consultation about your liposuction options in Cleveland, please call our team at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.

 

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