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Ron Shelton M.D.

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

Q: I had liposuction of the lower abdomen a few days ago and my labia are so black and blue and swollen. Should I be concerned?

A: This is very normal. Both men and women will see this. It is expected. It usually resolves within several weeks at the latest. See your surgeon for reassurance.

Q: Is there such a thing as safe liposuction?

A: Liposuction has a very safe track record when considering the thousands of cases that are preformed per year and the minimal serious complications that arise. Unfortunately, there is a risk every time surgery is done, no matter how safe it is. Complications do occur very rarely and surgeons can not guarantee that a complication won’t occur.

Q: I heard that there can be complications of nerve injury during liposuction. Is this very common?

A: There are risks and side effects of having liposuction. Numbness is one of these. It may be temporary, but it also could be prolonged more than one year

Q: I had liposuction and my doctor recommended Spanx. Are there better garments for this surgery?

A: Although we have not done a study comparing the two, I still recommend Design Veronique as they have been in the business or redesigning compression garments after liposuction for many years and take into account effectiveness and ease of use and comfort.

Q: I had liposuction and have an indentation right next to a lump? Can something be done to fix this?

A: If your liposuction was done very recently, you should wait three to six months for final healing and to obtain maximal improvement before you revise this area. The lump might have under-resected fat that can be removed by microcannula liposuction whereas the indentation might need several fat injections done over time to lift the area. There usually is not enough fat removed from a lump to use to correct the indentation and the fat will have to be harvested from a different donor area.

Q: I had liposuction done a month ago and I like the result but there are some areas that look slighltly fuller than others. My surgeon said they were pockets of uneven swelling, not residual fat and recommended Velashape treatment. Is this common?

A: Secondary procedures are often used to accelerate the post-operative result and provide patients with smoother contour, sooner. Deep massage of the lymphatics seems to help, but whether this causes a better result than your own healing process is not proven, it may benefit you by helping you see that result in less time. I have had patients undergo external ultrasound, Endermologie and Velashape post liposuction with good results. The external ultrasound has also helped patients feel more comfortable in focal areas of tenderness.

Q: I had liposuction on my lower tummy but only had 300ccs of fat removed. Is this too little, too much, or just right?

A: The answer to this question, is it is perfect if you’re happy with the end result, not how much was removed. The patient is the important individual whose goals should be met if they are realistic. Some people want more fat removed but this would create unnecessary risks so at times the surgeon must place a limit on how much further to reduce the fat. Some patients may only have 150ccs of fat removed from the lower abdomen and others might have 500ccs or more. It depends on the preoperative examination.

Q: Can I as a male, have liposuction on my large breasts?

A: Gynecomastia is an enlargement of breast tissue and pseudogynecomastia involves the fatty accumulation of tissue in a male breast. The former requires surgical excision to get a flatter result whereas the fatty breast can benefit from liposuction.

Q: I had liposuction in my hometown two weeks ago but I feel that my surgeon didn’t touch the area of the upper belly. The rest of me is slightly sore where he worked but this area isn’t bruised or sore. I’m afraid there still is some fat there. What should I do?

A: You need to let the area heal for a few months. There is reduction of swelling and increased tightness for six months after liposuction. Schedule a followup examination with your surgeon to evaluate the possibility that there is excess fat in this area and determine if a secondary procedure can be done down the road for more liposuction. It is possible that the area near the rib cage prevented the instrument from safely removing the fat and positioning you differently on the table may help the next time if more surgery is, in fact, needed.