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Staying Awake During Liposuction: What Are The Benefits?

awake lipo operating room

Liposuction has long been popular for people seeking to reshape their bodies. However, the advent of awake liposuction has changed the field of cosmetic surgery, offering a safer and more convenient option. 

In this article, we will delve into the benefits of awake lipo and why it has become more common. Whether you're curious about the process, considering it, or just want to learn more, this guide has you covered.

The Science Behind Awake Liposuction

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat from various body areas. Despite being less invasive than treatments like tummy tucks, traditional lipo often calls for patients to be put under general anesthesia.

Awake liposuction procedures, by contrast, are an advanced form of surgery that allows patients to remain alert. The benefits of awake fat removal start with the use of the tumescent liposuction technique.

This approach involves the injection of a tumescent solution, typically a mixture of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine, into the targeted region. The local anesthetic solution helps numb the treatment area, control bleeding, reduce pain, swelling, and bruising, and facilitate the removal of unwanted fat cells.

The result? Minimal discomfort, faster recovery, and less downtime compared to traditional liposuction.

Reviewing Key Awake Liposuction Benefits

Most patients are concerned about the idea of staying awake during liposuction. However, there are multiple reasons this technique is better.

By numbing only the treated area, surgeons can receive real-time feedback from their patients, who remain alert and aware. Some chat with a friend, while others prefer listening to their favorite music. 

This element allows surgeons to tailor results and maneuver their patients in a way not possible with traditional lipo techniques. Furthermore, as Boston-area plastic surgeon Dr. Rafael Magana details in the video above, it reduces risks compared to full sedation. 

The use of a small cannula also minimizes trauma to surrounding tissues, reducing post-operative discomfort and speeding the healing process. 

Overall, some of the key benefits of staying awake during fat removal include:

  1. Enhanced Safety: One of the most significant benefits of awake liposuction is its improved safety profile. Since patients are awake, the risks associated with general anesthesia are eliminated, which lowers the risk of complications.

  2. Reduced Discomfort: Thanks to local anesthesia, patients experience minimal discomfort during awake liposuction. This is a stark contrast to the pain and discomfort that can follow traditional liposuction.

  3. Faster Recovery: Recovering from liposuction can be daunting, but awake liposuction streamlines the process. The minimally invasive nature of the treatment means less trauma to the body and a quicker recovery that lasts just a couple of weeks.

  4. Avoid Post-Op Nausea: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of general anesthesia and can last up to 48 hours. With awake lipo, you can return home the same day and enjoy a brief downtime.

  5. Reduced Cost: Awake liposuction often costs less than a procedure that uses general anesthesia due to no anesthesiologist fees. 

  6. More Options: Awake lipo can be done at a certified office or surgery center instead of a hospital.

  7. Balanced, Targeted Results: You can interact with and be maneuvered by your surgeon to ensure proportional and customized results. 

  8. Minimal Scarring: Awake liposuction utilizes tiny incisions, which means minimal scarring. These small incisions usually require no stitches to heal, leaving you with freckle-like marks at worst.

Negative Side Effects of General Anesthesia

While general anesthesia is generally safe, it does come with its own set of potential side effects.

These may include nausea, vomiting, sore throat, confusion, and, in rare cases, more severe complications like allergic reactions or breathing issues. By opting for awake liposuction, patients can bypass these concerns altogether.

Why Would a Patient Want to Be Awake During Liposuction?

The choice between asleep and awake liposuction ultimately depends on the preferences and needs of the patient. They will have to assess how squeamish they may feel watching fat removed in real-time and any fear of blood versus the benefits above. 

A major appeal of awake lipo is being able to talk to the surgeon during the procedure. This helps make changes right away to get the look they want.

While some practices require general anesthesia, with the next-generation AirSculpt fat removal and transfer procedure, patients always stay fully awake.

Candidates For Awake Liposuction

Doctors often suggest awake liposuction for healthy people with areas of stubborn fat that don't go away with diet and exercise.

Candidates must have realistic expectations and clearly understand that lipo is meant for fat removal, not weight loss.

Speaking to a certified cosmetic surgery expert, like those at AirSculpt®, is vital to deciding if awake liposuction is the best choice.

Overall, candidates for awake liposuction should:

  • Be healthy and at a constant weight.

  • Not smoke or quit smoking prior to surgery

  • Understand the risks.

  • Have a positive view and sensible goals.

  • Have good skin elasticity.

  • Have pinchable subcutaneous fat.

How Much Does Awake Liposuction Cost?

Factors such as the location, surgeon's experience, and the number of areas treated can influence the cost of awake liposuction.

According to recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of liposuction is $3,637. In reality, this number falls much lower than the true price, as it does not include surgeon fees and operating room expenses. 

Per RealSelf.com, awake liposuction prices begin around $8,000 for larger areas and $4,000 for smaller areas like the chin. The amount you pay will end up depending on the number and size of treated areas, the amount of fat removed, and your location. 

Awake Lipo With AirSculpt®: How it Works

AirSculpt® leads in awake liposuction with a special device that permanently removes fat cells through small entry points with great accuracy. No needles, scalpels, stitches, or general anesthesia are needed, even for wide-awake fat transfers like a BBL.

Surgeons talk to their patients to deliver the best possible, personalized results. With reduced trauma to surrounding tissues, patients experience a quicker recovery period, often returning to work within one to two days.

As you can see in the live chin liposuction video above, our New York City patient Kaitlyn easily conducted a live interview during her wide-awake treatment. The process involved no pain, just a massage-like vibration. Remaining fully awake, she enjoyed a calm treatment listening to Bryce Vine. 

"It just felt like vibrations. It was wonderful," Kaitlyn said.

Choosing AirSculpt® for Your Awake Body Contouring Journey

Embarking on a body contouring journey is a significant decision, and choosing the right provider is crucial. AirSculpt® sets the standard for awake liposuction, combining cutting-edge technology, safety, and artistic expertise to deliver unparalleled results.

Schedule a consultation at the body sculpting center nearest you and start your journey toward attaining the body you've always desired.

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