Stephanie*, 39

Procedure: Water-assisted liposuction
Performed by:
Dr. Sean Rice

*Patient name has been changed

Elevate: Why did you decide you wanted liposuction?
Stephanie: "I'm almost 40 years old and probably fitter now than I have been in years. I run, swim, do yoga. But regardless of my fitness level, I had certain areas on my legs with fat deposits that I just couldn't get rid of. They've been there since high school and they've always bothered me. When I decided the time was right to have this procedure done I had had my two kids and I wasn't planning on having anymore. I really couldn't think of anything that would make my body change drastically from then on. The decision was also partly financial. I had my first consultation with Dr. Rice a year before having the procedure done, so it was something I planned for."

Elevate: How did you choose your doctor?
Stephanie: "Dr. Rice was one of the surgeons my GP recommended. I actually went for consultations with two different surgeons but decided on Dr. Rice because he has a great reputation and at the time he was one of the only surgeons in the GTA offering water–assisted liposuction. On my second consult he told me more about the procedure and I was totally sold. I liked the idea of minimal downtime, minimal bruising and the procedure's skin–tightening effects."

Elevate: Did you have any hesitations about the procedure?
Stephanie: "After seeing before–and–after photos I noticed that a lot of results were very subtle, which made me wonder if my results were going to be too subtle. But, actually, I've seen a huge difference — my clothes fit better, my tight jeans fit perfectly now, I see a difference in the mirror when I wear my yoga pants. I'm more proportionate now."

Elevate: How was your recovery?
Stephanie: "My recovery didn't restrict my regular activities much. Right after the procedure there was some swelling and my legs pretty much looked the same as always. Then for several days the area was tender and there was some bruising. I also had to wear a compression garment that looked like a pair of biking shorts for two weeks."

Elevate: When did you notice the results of the procedure?
Stephanie: "I began noticing a difference in volume just days after the procedure. Then after two weeks I was quite surprised at the results. The next time I really noticed a change was about a month afterward. I had the procedure just over two months ago, and Dr. Rice says it takes up to three or even six months to see the final effect, especially the final skin–tightening effect. There is one particular area where Dr. Rice says that there is still some healing left to go."

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Sean Rice, MD, MSc, FRCSC

What is water–assisted liposuction?
Dr. Rice: "It is the latest technology available for liposuction. The machine that performs this type of procedure is called Body–Jet, which uses a very fine spray of saline solution to dislodge fat from underneath the skin and then sucks it up immediately. It's very comfortable and gentle, and can be done under pure local anesthetic. Another benefit is that it allows you to harvest purified fat that can be used for contouring or fat–transferring procedures."

How long is the recovery period?
Dr. Rice: "Most patients go back to work the next day. Light exercise, like walking on the treadmill, is also no problem the day after. For more aggressive exercise, like a spin class, I say wait about two weeks. Patients also need to wear a compression garment for about two weeks afterward day and night, taking it off only to shower. Most patients see a significant improvement in about two weeks and full skin–tightening effects in about two to three months."

How much does it cost?
Dr. Rice: "A procedure starts at $4,000 and goes up from there, depending on the person and area being done."