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Liposuction : What you need to  know

Liposuction may be a surgery that removes fat via suction. It’s typically through with a skinny tube, called a cannula, attached to a vacuum.

No matter how healthy your diet or how often you’re employed out, you’ll still have areas of fat that resist your best efforts. With liposuction, an experienced surgeon can remove fat deposits, contouring your hips, outer thighs, upper arms, stomach, waist, chin, or other areas.

According to the International Society of Aesthetic cosmetic surgery , liposuction is one among the foremost popular cosmetic surgery procedures worldwide, performed 1.7 million times in 2018 alone. Data from the American Society for Aesthetic cosmetic surgery shows that liposuction procedures within the us spiked 32% between 2014 and 2018.

Liposuction is usually combined with other cosmetic procedures, like a abdominoplasty , as a part of a mommy makeover. The fat that’s removed also can be purified and transferred to the face, butt, breasts, or other areas to revive lost volume or create more fullness.

Because this minimally invasive surgery is typically wiped out one session, many doctors and patients prefer liposuction to nonsurgical fat-reduction treatments, which usually require two or more sessions to urge anywhere near an equivalent results.


Liposuction can permanently remove small pockets of stubborn body fat.

Your surgeon can remove larger volumes of excess fat during a single session than would be possible with nonsurgical procedures.

The procedure allows your surgeon to reshape the body, especially when it’s combined with fat transfer to feature more fullness to other areas.


Liposuction is surgery, so it takes time to heal. You’ll have up to 2 weeks of downtime with some swelling, bruising, numbness, and nerve pain. Once the body fat is removed, your skin could sag if it doesn’t have enough elasticity to recover . you’ll even need another procedure to get rid of or tighten excess skin.

Asymmetry, dimpling, and other irregularities can happen, especially if your surgeon is inexperienced.

While liposuction permanently removes fat cells, remaining fat cells can expand or new ones can form if you gain weight.

How much does liposuction cost?

Your cost will vary supported factors like your surgeon’s level of experience and office location, the quantity of fat being removed, and if you’ve had liposuction before.

“Most people price liposuction supported the amount of areas being treated—and generally , the per-area cost will come down with additional areas,” says Toronto cosmetic surgeon Dr. Mathew A. Plant. “Usually, the primary area is costlier , because this price includes the prices of the OR , equipment, and anesthetic. Once you’re into additional areas, those costs have mostly been covered, and you’re simply adding time, which allows for a price drop.”

Liposuction is taken into account face lift , which suggests your insurance will likely not cover it.

Who’s an honest candidate for liposuction?

You’re an honest candidate for liposuction if you’re in healthiness and have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or below. If you’re trying to find a weight-loss solution or cellulite treatment, liposuction isn’t your best bet. an equivalent goes if you’ve got underlying medical conditions.

In addition to realistic expectations, good skin tone is important to an honest outcome, since the skin must snap back to the body’s new contours once the fat is removed.

“If a patient has good skin elasticity, they’re getting to have a very good result,” says ny cosmetic surgeon Dr. John Mesa. “But if the patient has bad elasticity, sort of a woman who’s had multiple pregnancies and therefore the skin on her belly is just too stretched, the skin isn’t getting to shrink—and you’ll be left with sagging.”

Is it better to reduce before liposuction?

Liposuction is right for candidates who are already on the brink of their goal weight, because it targets specific areas of stubborn fat that haven’t been aware of diet and exercise. it isn’t intended to be a weight-loss procedure.

How is liposuction performed?

Liposuction is performed as an outpatient procedure. it always takes just an hour or two, counting on what percentage areas of the body you’re getting done. You’ll have either local anaesthesia and intravenous sedation (for alittle area) or general anaesthesia . Either way, confirm to possess someone drive you home afterward.

For tumescent liposuction, the foremost common liposuction technique, your doctor will make one or more small incisions (one-quarter inch or less) within the area to be treated and inject an outsized quantity of a mix of saline (salt water), local anaesthesia (lidocaine), and epinephrine into your tissue. The fluid causes the fat to become swollen, firm, and easier to get rid of . It also constricts your blood vessels, which reduces bruising, blood loss, and recovery time. The surgeon then inserts the cannula through an equivalent incision and passes it back and forth under the skin to interrupt up the fat before suctioning it out.

For a really small area, the procedure takes around half-hour , while a 360-degree liposuction procedure—which includes the abdomen, love handles, back, and every one round the torso—lasts three to four hours.

There are four variations on traditional liposuction, all aimed toward making fat easier to get rid of and recovery time shorter. During your consultation, your surgeon will assist you decide which liposuction technique is true for you.

  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) incorporates a vibrating cannula to interrupt down fat cells.
  • Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL), including SmartLipo, uses low-energy waves to liquefy fat.
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) uses sound waves to rupture cell walls and liquefy the fat.
  • VASER liposuction, a variation of UAL, evenly disperses the ultrasonic energy with a grooved cannula and probe.

Dr. George Marosan, a cosmetic surgeon in Bellevue, Washington, prefers VASER liposuction in most situations. The ultrasound energy breaks up the fat and frees it from the encompassing tissue, making fat easier to get rid of , with less swelling, pain, downtime, or potential for loose skin than traditional lipo.

“Fat comes out more easily with VASER—especially in men, where it’s more fibrous,” he says. He also points out another great advantage of VASER lipo: While fat that’s liquified by laser lipo isn’t usable, fat choppy by VASER remains viable for transfer to the breasts, butt, or anywhere you would like more fullness.

“The VASER allows me to sculpt the body, revealing the underlying muscle and bony anatomy. this is often a complicated technique that goes way beyond liposuction for fat removal only,” says Dr. Marosan.

How much weight are you able to lose with liposuction?

Liposuction may be a body contouring procedure, not a weight-loss procedure. you would possibly lose two or three pounds, but it largely depends on the patient. “When discussing the changes one can anticipate after liposuction, we recommend thinking in terms of inches and not weight,” says Dr. Eugene Nowak, a dermatologic surgeon in Chula Vista, California. “The truth is, fat is like packing peanuts—it can take up tons of space, but it doesn’t weigh that much.”

How bad does lipo hurt?

Because you’ll be under anesthesia, the procedure itself shouldn’t hurt.

Recovery could also be painful. You’ll feel sore, especially during the primary few days after liposuction. You’ll be swollen and bruised, and you’ll need a couple of days to rest before you head back to figure .

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What is liposuction recovery like?

“I generally recommend that my patients take between three and 7 days off after liposuction, counting on what percentage areas were worked on and your pain tolerance,” says Dr. Samuel Sohn, a cosmetic surgeon in Henderson, Nevada.

Your doctor will prescribe pain medication, though you’ll find you would like only an over-the-counter pain reliever.

You’ll have some swelling, bruising, and inflammation also as some numbness and nerve pain. The treated area may additionally feel firm as a results of swelling. All this could improve within six weeks.

Some people see lumpy areas after the swelling starts to travel down. this could improve after a couple of weeks, but wearing a compression garment can help prevent lumps.

Doctors who recommend compression garments often have patients wear them 24/7 (with an opportunity for showering) for a minimum of fortnight then gradually reduce the amount of hours they have to be worn over a period of three or more weeks. As a bonus, doctors say compression helps ease discomfort.

Follow your doctor’s specific aftercare instructions. Some surgeons recommend lymphatic massage starting at about four weeks post-op to assist drain fluid and convey down swelling.

“I don’t suggest self-massage, because you’ll counteract the surgery,” says Dr. Mesa. “But getting to a massage therapist who focuses on post-surgical massage does make the healing process faster and stop irregularities.”

When will you see liposuction results?

You may notice an improved body contour immediately (for instance, if you’ve got your saddlebags suctioned), but your results are going to be disguised initially by swelling. Swelling should improve dramatically after six weeks and still go down over subsequent six months.

If you think that you’ll need more liposuction to urge the result you would like , wait a minimum of six months for the swelling to subside, then evaluate things together with your surgeon. Just confine mind that you’ll continue healing and seeing better results for up to a year.

Some people prefer to have liposuction revision—a second procedure—due to irregularities within the results of the first procedure. These might include asymmetry, dimpling, or bumps, to call a couple of common reasons for revision lipo. Consistent with Dr. Mesa, revision is usually needed when the initial provider was inexperienced, but it also can just be the results of the way an individual heals.

How long does lipo last?

If you maintain your post-lipo weight , your surgical result should be long-lasting. But if you gain even five pounds, the fat cells in other areas of your body—as well as people who remain within the treated area—will grow larger, possibly diminishing your results. In cases of considerable weight gain, new fat cells can develop everywhere the body, including within the treated areas, though the world will still look better than if you didn’t have liposuction.

A 2011 study within the journal Obesity found that, without lifestyle changes, fat re-accumulated in other areas of the body one year after liposuction. one among the researchers noted, however, that “our research participants…sought to vary their shape through liposuction. Despite fat returning, their cosmetic shape benefit was retained and that they are very proud of their surgery results.”

Is liposuction safe?

When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic or dermatological surgeon, liposuction rarely has complications.

Risks include:

  • Hematoma, a short lived pooling of blood under the skin
  • Seroma, a pocket of fluid under the skin that needs draining by your doctor
  • Thrombophlebitis, when blood clots form within the deep veins
  • Changes in complexion or sensation
  • Scarring from thermal burning, either above or below the skin (usually only a problem with laser- and ultrasound-assisted lipo, if skin ports aren’t used)
  • If you’re concerned about anything you experience as you recover, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.

Is a abdominoplasty or lipo better?

They accomplish two various things . “Liposuction removes fat cells and relies on soft tissue elasticity for ultimate contour, while abdominoplasty removes skin and fat,” says cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael B. Tantillo. If your skin elasticity isn’t at an optimal level for liposuction, a abdominoplasty could also be the higher option.

However, it ultimately depends on what your surgeon says. “Sometimes, supported physical examination, patients are a transparent candidate for one and not the opposite ,” Dr. Tantillo says. “For other patients, either operation are able to do improvement and it’s a matter of what the patient wants to take a position in terms of scar, risk, and recovery (and money) as compared to the expectations from the procedure. Some patients aren’t a candidate for either procedure. Finally, some patients will have both procedures at one operation for optimal results.”

What are the alternatives to liposuction?

Nonsurgical fat reduction treatments also can treat small pockets of fat

They usually require multiple treatments, over many months, to ascertain a big improvement—and the results are typically not as dramatic as those you’d get with lipo. After a nonsurgical body contouring procedure, the body flushes out the damaged fat cells over time.

Dr. Marosan also cautions, “Patients who undergo nonsurgical fat reduction then choose liposuction surgery are harder to treat, thanks to the extensive internal scarring. In my practice, over 50% of my body sculpting patients had previous nonsurgical or surgical fat reduction, with suboptimal or poor results.”

WarmSculpting with SculpSure’s diode-laser energy creates heat that kills fat cells during a 25-minute treatment, and multiple areas are often treated at an equivalent time. There are only a few side effects and 0 downtime. WarmSculpting’s worthwhile Rating is nearly as high as that of liposuction, and it’s significantly less costly . Just confine mind you’ll need to wait up to 3 months to ascertain your full results, and you would possibly need two or more treatments to succeed in your goals.

CoolSculpting destroys small areas of fat by freezing the fat cells. After one treatment session, you’ll gradually lose about 25% of the fat cells within the treatment area. It takes a few month to start out seeing results, with improvements for up to twenty weeks. Vanquish uses radiofrequency energy to melt fat cells, during a painless procedure that lasts about 45 minutes. You’ll need to wait about fortnight to start out seeing a difference, with full results apparent in four to eight weeks—and most of the people need four or more treatments to urge the results they need . it’s a lower worthwhile Rating than either CoolSculpting or WarmSculpting.


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