Liposuction performed by the board-certified plastic surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group helps men and women reduce fatty deposits around their waists, legs, arms, buttocks, and other parts of their bodies to achieve tighter, smoother, more defined contours.
WHAT IS LIPOSUCTION?
Stubborn excess fat forms in a number of areas of the body over time. This excess fatty tissue is nearly impossible to get rid of through diet and exercise alone. Liposuction offers an effective way to address these unwanted fat cells.
Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove unwanted fat from numerous areas of the body. Lipo can address trouble areas like the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, and chest. It can reduce fat in the upper arms, flanks, calves, knees, ankles, and back. It can also accomplish volume reduction in precise areas like the neck and chin.
While exercise and diet can shrink fat cells throughout the body, liposuction instead permanently removes fat cells from a specific area. This allows for effective and long-lasting spot contouring.
BEFORE & AFTERS
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LIPOSUCTION?
Good candidates for liposuction are men and women who are at or close to a healthy weight before the procedure and want to reduce unwanted fat from one or more areas of the body (see illustration).
Liposuction may be right for you if:
- You are near or at your ideal weight
- Specific areas of your body do not respond to regular diet and exercise
- You do not smoke or can quit smoking
- You have good overall health (your surgeon will consider your health history)
- Your skin has good elasticity
- You have realistic expectations
- You are willing to commit to the full recovery process
- You are willing to observe a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and regular exercise for long-lasting results
Although not every patient meets every criterion, meeting this list would make you an ideal candidate.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN YOU LOSE WITH LIPOSUCTION?
Liposuction is not a treatment for weight loss or a substitute for a healthy lifestyle that includes a proper diet and regular exercise. Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure to help those who have reached or come close to their ideal weight but have remaining concentrated pockets of fat. It can help women and men reduce stubborn fat and present a more attractive body shape.
HOW MUCH DOES LIPOSUCTION COST?
The cost for liposuction procedures typically varies from $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the number and size of areas being treated and other factors. While cost is a necessary consideration, your results and wellbeing depend on your surgeon’s qualifications and experience.
HOW IS LIPOSUCTION PERFORMED?
Liposuction is performed through small incisions using a narrow tube, called a cannula, and a suctioning machine. Your plastic surgeon will move the cannula under the skin to loosen the excess fat from the surrounding tissues and then suction away the excess fatty tissue. You may feel some moving sensations or some minor irritation during the procedure if you have a local anesthesia. You will also be given plenty of fluids during the procedure to replace those that are lost.
Liposuction takes a couple of hours to perform; however, it can take longer depending on the extent of your procedure and whether you are having other body contouring procedures performed at the same time. Generally, liposuction is an outpatient procedure, but some patients prefer to stay overnight in the hospital.
WHAT IS RECOVERY LIKE AFTER LIPOSUCTION?
Keep in mind that you will heal at your own pace. Following the directions of your plastic surgeon is the best way to achieve optimum healing. You can expect your recovery process to generally proceed as follows:
FIRST FEW DAYS
After liposuction, you may have some discomfort around the area of the incisions, which can be relieved by prescription medication from your plastic surgeon. You will see swelling and some bruising. You may also feel some numbness or loss of feeling around the area of the liposuction, but this will be temporary.
If there were stitches placed during your liposuction procedure, they will most likely come out in a few days following your procedure.
FIRST FEW WEEKS
For the first few weeks following your liposuction procedure, you will wear a compression garment that will help treated areas conform to their new shape. After a few weeks, you’ll be able to remove the garment at night and will just need to keep it on during the day.
Some people return to work just a few days after liposuction, and others might wait 1 to 2 weeks. You’ll visit your plastic surgeon several times following your procedure to monitor your recuperation progress.
CAN LIPOSUCTION BE PERFORMED WITH OTHER PROCEDURES?
Our surgeons often perform liposuction along with other procedures, including:
- Tummy tuck to give definition to the waist and hips.
- Facelift to address a double chin and sculpt the cheeks and neck.
- Male breast reduction to provide a masculine chest appearance.
- Mommy makeover to contour various areas of the body affected by pregnancy.
CAN I REDUCE EXCESS FAT WITHOUT SURGERY?
As an alternative to liposuction, we offer non-surgical, non-invasive CoolSculpting®. Both procedures reduce fat. Liposuction can treat more fat in one procedure, while CoolSculpting is a more gradual process. CoolSculpting, however, does not involve any downtime or limitations on activities after treatment.
If you’re considering liposuction for your neck, KYBELLA® is an FDA-approved, nonsurgical option designed to reduce localized fat that causes the appearance of a double chin. KYBELLA candidates must have good skin elasticity. Your surgeon can determine whether you are a good candidate.
HOW SOON AFTER LIPOSUCTION WILL I SEE RESULTS?
While most patients notice improvement within 3 to 6 months, it can take about a year to reach your final liposuction results. Immediately after your liposuction surgery, you won’t likely notice a big change in the way you look. In fact, you’ll probably think you look worse than before your surgery. You will be bloated because of the liquids you received during the procedure. As the swelling subsides, you will gradually see your enhanced body contours.
WHICH IS BETTER COOLSCULPTING® OR LIPOSUCTION?
For patients with minimal localized fat, CoolSculpting can be a great option. Though liposuction will provide more dramatic and immediate results, CoolSculpting can be an effective non–invasive alternative. Additionally, CoolSculpting requires no downtime–patients can return to their normal daily activities immediately after a CoolSculpting session. Results are gradual and will appear over the course of a few months post-treatment.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED FOR LIPOSUCTION?
Usually general anesthesia is used for liposuction, but in some cases, depending on the extent of the liposuction procedure, local anesthetic may be used. Other times, some plastic surgeons use an epidural. Your plastic surgeon will determine what type of anesthesia is best for you during consultation.
ARE THERE A LOT OF SCARS AFTER LIPOSUCTION?
Scarring is very minimal after liposuction. Your plastic surgeon will make every effort to make the incisions in areas that will help hide the scars so that they will be virtually undetectable. Aftercare instructions will also be provided to minimize post-procedure marks as much as possible.
HOW LONG DO LIPO RESULTS LAST?
The fat cells that are removed cannot grow back, so your improvements will last. It’s important to watch your diet and exercise regularly to avoid gaining weight in untreated areas.
IS LIPOSUCTION COVERED BY INSURANCE?
In most cases, liposuction is considered an elective cosmetic surgery and unfortunately is not covered by insurance. You should discuss this with your plastic surgeon and with your health insurance provider.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED LIPOSUCTION OR A TUMMY TUCK?
Liposuction is used to reduce areas of excess fat. If you have loose skin on your stomach and separated abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck is the best way to restore a firm, youthful contour to your midsection. In most cases, our surgeons use liposuction during tummy tuck surgery to sculpt the hips, waist, and possibly other areas of unwanted fat.
CAN OTHER AREAS OF MY BODY BE ENHANCED WITH THE FAT FROM LIPOSUCTION?
Yes. In this process known as autologous fat transfer or grafting, our surgeons can collect fat from one area of the body with liposuction, purify it, and inject it into another area. Fat transfer can be used for lip augmentation and buttock augmentation, among other enhancements.
WILL LIPOSUCTION TREAT CELLULITE?
Fat is reduced and sculpted during the liposuction procedure, so it typically results in overall smoother contours. However, liposuction is not a cellulite treatment.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
Liposuction is a safe and effective way to achieve a more contoured body shape. Complications rarely occur during a liposuction procedure. In some instances an excess of fluids may build up, which can be drained through a small tube.
After a liposuction procedure, there may be a slight unevenness of the skin in the treated areas or changes in the color of the skin. These conditions will generally fade over time or can be corrected with other cosmetic surgery procedures.
HOW MUCH DOES LIPOSUCTION COST?
The range for liposuction is usually $2,000 to $7,000 depending on the number of areas being treated, the size of the areas, whether other procedures are being performed in the same surgery, and other factors. We offer patient financing to make cosmetic enhancement affordable for most patients. For optimal results and the greatest safety, it’s important to choose a surgeon based on credentials, not cost. Visit Meet the Surgeons to learn more important considerations.