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Ron Shelton M.D.

#317 East 34th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10016. 

Laser Liposuction in New York City

Q: I had liposuction on my thighs one month ago and I have one area the size of a quarter that seems to be very sensitive to the slightest touch. Nearby, there is an area that is more sensitive. How can this be and will it go away?

A: You should see your surgeon to evaluate your skin. Irregular distribution of hyper and hyposensitivity is not that unusual after any liposuction. Possibly this may occur at a greater prevalence with more superficial liposuction or laser-assisted or ultrasonic liposuction because of the additional heat delivered.

Q: Liposuction was done on my neck one month ago and I am very hard and tender in the area. Is this normal?

A: One month is just the beginning of your healing. Tightening will occur more and more. You may find some tenderness, more at some times and less at others. You should, however, see your surgeon to get the situation evaluated and be reassured that this is normal.

Q: I used to be in great shape before I gave birth. Now my abdomen always seems to have drank, not be, a six-pack. What happened and how can I help this? Should I have liposuction?

A: Without photographs it is difficult to determine the correct answer. You may have stretched out your connective tissue (rectus abdominus muscle fascia) to the point it won’t recover. An abdominoplasty may be the best treatment for you. Other people have a good muscle but have just gained too much fat above the muscle layer and need liposuction.

Q: Will my facial liposuction change my skin’s appearance long term?

A: There may be acute changes such as swelling, firmness, redness, bruising, change in the pores, depressions, elevations and other changes. Usually these are temporary but they can improve over four or more months. Try not to obsess initially and avoid looking every day (or several times per day). It takes time and looking too frequently and closely can only serve to drive you crazy.

Q: How can I minimize my swelling after liposuction?

A: Wear your compression garment. Avoid exercise initially and ask your surgeon when you may resume the activity. Try to sleep with your head elevated, not flat, and minimize the salt and alcohol intake.

Q: Can I have liposuction if I have a thyroid problem?

A: Hyperthyroidism could increase the heart rate and this in combination with the local anesthetic with adrenaline (epinephrine) can create more of the same problem. Your thyroid hormones, whether low or high, should be brought into a normal range prior to undergoing liposuction.

Q: If I had liposuction four months ago, should I be more swollen than before surgery?

A: No, you should not, but is it swelling, or did you gain weight because you’re not exercising as much as before surgery and ate the same or more calories as before? See your surgeon to be sure you don’t have a liquid collection called a seroma, or other issues that might create swelling.

Q: Should I be concerned two weeks after cheek liposuction that I look terrible?

A: You should see your surgeon for reassurance and ask no one else at this time. There can be much temporary significant disfigurement from swelling which will go away in several weeks. Your surgeon may recommend other treatment to help the swelling go away faster.

Q: I’m thin but don’t have a waist. It’s rather flat. Can liposuction help?

A: Possibly, liposuction can recontour your shape by removing fat from the waist and give you more of an hour-glass shape.

Q: After liposuction, can I sleep in any position?

A: If you had neck liposuction I would ask that you keep your head elevated and sleep on your back. Your surgeon should tell you how long this is important to do. Otherwise, as long as my patients use their compression garments, they can sleep in whatever position makes them comfortable.

Q: I had wanted liposuction of four areas but I think only three were done. What should I do?

A: You should ask your surgeon! Was there a safety reason not to do all, such as a limited amount of tumescent anesthetic that can be injected and after the three sites, no more anesthetic could safely be administered? Was there miscommunication? You should speak with your surgeon before asking other opinions. There might be an easy-to-understand explanation.

Q: I had liposuction on my lower legs three months ago. There is improvement but I want them to be better. What can be done?

A: You should have patience as there can be six months or more of gradual improvement. It takes longer for the legs to reach their maximal result because of swelling.

Q: I had liposuction on my buttock and now it is flat and fallen. What can I do?

A: Sometimes a dropped buttock can be improved by fat injections which can act as grafts and provide a long term solution, but some if not all the fat can die, even after several treatments.

Q: I had liposuction on the buttocks but I’m unhappy with how my upper thighs on the back look. Should I see my surgeon or see someone new? 

A: It is always best to at least first see your surgeon, who knows your body better than a new physician, as they have already done surgery on you. Most surgeons will not charge a complete fee when revising results, unless it is a stage treatment because of excessive work involved that would be dangerous to do all at one time. Some will charge a facility fee and anesthesia fee for secondary procedures, others will charge the same plus a small provider component, but usually not the same as the first surgery total amount. You may require fat injections or more liposuction and the cost can be different.

Q: I am a 32 year-old male and had neck liposuction two months ago and now notice some thinning of my beard hair, should I be concerned?

A: Hair loss is not uncommon after a surgical procedure, from stress. It may take more than three months to see hair regrowth, so observe and see a dermatologist if there is no improvement in that period.

Q: I had liposuction of the abdomen two weeks ago and I really wanted definition of my abs. Now I’m splotchy brown and red. What should I do?

A: See your surgeon to ensure that the coloration of the skin is normal and not a sign of a problem. Many people do develop temporary discoloration from inflammation (not infection) and pigmentation after liposuction.

Q: If I want a breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, liposuction and fat injected into my buttocks, can this be done as an outpatient?

A: More importantly, the question to ask is, should it be done at all. Multiple surgical procedures when done at the same time significantly increase the risk of complications. It is safer to stage out the procedures. It may be inconvenient for you but it would be safer.

Q: I had liposuction one month ago and now have pain in my side that I didn’t have before. Is this common?

A: No, delayed pain is not common and should be evaluated by your surgeon to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong such as an infection, which is very rare but can occur.

Q: If I had liposuction on my face, should I have one side larger than the other still at four weeks?

A: Some people have asymmetry before surgery and the swelling can look magnified on one side vs. the other for some time after surgery. If there is considerable swelling, or pain, redness, warmth or any other concern, then you should call the surgeon now for them to advise you if you need to be seen right away.