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Everything You Need to Know About Liposuction

Posted September 28, 2019 in Liposuction

Have questions? Get the answers to everything you ever wanted to know about liposuction with these liposuction FAQs.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and flattens “bulges” or “rolls” due to stubborn fat deposits.

What does liposuction treat?

Liposuction is most effective in treating localized fat deposits. It is usually recommended as a body contouring and shaping procedure.

How does liposuction work?

Liposuction improves body contour by removing stubborn fat from localized areas (sometimes called “spot reduction”). After the fat cells are permanently extracted from the body through liposuction, the treated area will appear leaner and trimmer.

How is liposuction performed?

Liposuction is performed using various techniques. The general approach to all liposuction techniques is this: After you are placed under general anesthesia, your surgeon will make a small incision in the treatment area. Through this incision, he will insert a thin, hollow tube into the fatty tissue. Finally, through this tube, excess fat cells will be suctioned out of your body.

What are the different liposuction types?

There are several different liposuction techniques. One is tumescent liposuction, in which the fat is pre-injected with a solution containing saline, local anesthetic, and small amounts of adrenaline. Another technique is ultrasound-assisted liposuction, in which ultrasound waves liquefy the fat for easier removal. A third technique is power-assisted liposuction, in which the cannula rapidly vibrates to break up the fat for easier removal. Which liposuction technique is best for you will depend on your individual needs.

Can liposuction be done while awake, or with local anesthesia?

Liposuction is a major surgery and is performed while you are under general anesthesia for your own safety, physical comfort, and well-being.

What areas of the body can liposuction treat?

Liposuction can help to get rid of belly fat (“beer belly” or “muffin top”) and also trim down prominent hips, love handles, back fat, bra rolls, and banana rolls. Other common liposuction areas include the arms, buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, arms, neck, and chin.

Will liposuction flatten my stomach?

Liposuction can help to minimize stomach rolls caused by excess belly fat. However, if you have loose abdominal kin and weakened stomach muscles due to pregnancy or major weight loss, you will likely achieve better results by combining your liposuction procedure with abdominoplasty.

Can liposuction get rid of gynecomastia?

Liposuction can remove excess chest fat in men that gives appearance of gynecomastia (commonly referred to as “male breasts”). 

Which is better, liposuction or diet and exercise?

A healthy diet and regular exercise have innumerable benefits, one of which can be fat reduction for patients who are overweight or obese. However, diet and exercise cannot “spot reduce” and do not guarantee that fat will be removed from specific problem areas. Even very fit patients who watch their diets and exercise faithfully may have stubborn fat accumulation that persists. For troublesome areas that resist a healthy lifestyle, liposuction is the solution.

Will liposuction help me lose weight?

Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. However, because it provides targeted body contouring for your trouble areas, liposuction can create the impression of more significant weight loss. If you need surgically-assisted weight loss, seek out a bariatric surgeon to learn more about weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass and lap band.

How much fat can be removed with liposuction?

Liposuction can eliminate up to 5 liters of body fat.

Will liposuction tighten skin?

Liposuction is not a skin tightening procedure and is best reserved for patients who maintain good skin tone.

Can liposuction reduce cellulite?

Liposuction is not a cellulite reduction procedure. Contrary to popular misconception, cellulite is actually not caused by fat, but rather by the connective tissue in the skin, which can form tight bands that create the characteristic dimpled or “cottage cheese” appearance of cellulite.

Who should get liposuction?

Candidates for liposuction want to eliminate bulges, rolls, or pockets of stubborn fat in specific areas of the body. Liposuction is good for individuals who want to look slimmer by eliminating love handles, muffin tops, stubborn belly fat, saddlebacks, banana rolls, or excess fat in other localized areas. A good candidate for liposuction wants to shape or contour his or her body and also has good skin quality (skin that is not overly loose or stretched). Other liposuction requirements include being at least 18 years of age, having good physical health (including no major diseases or health complications), not smoking, and not being pregnant.

Can men get liposuction?

Men and women alike can undergo liposuction. In fact, liposuction for men was the top plastic surgery procedure among American males in 2018.

Can I get liposuction with these special circumstances?

  • Liposuction when on your period: While liposuction can be safely performed during a woman’s menstruation, it is best for women to schedule liposuction so that they will not be on their period at the same time.
  • Liposuction when pregnant: You should not get liposuction while you are pregnant. Doing so could present additional risks to yourself and your unborn child.
  • Liposuction when sick: You should not get liposuction while you are sick, as it can prevent your healthy recovery. If you get sick before your procedure, it is best to call and reschedule your appointment.
  • Liposuction when overweight or obese: Patients who are overweight may still qualify for liposuction. However, it is generally recommended that you first strive to achieve your desired body contours through weight loss. Liposuction results are usually best for individuals who are already at or near their goal body weight before undergoing the procedure.

Is liposuction safe? What are the risks of liposuction?

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, liposuction is approved as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, every major surgery carries some risk. Some of the risks or dangers of liposuction include swelling, pain, bruising, numbness, soreness, complications with anesthesia, nerve damage, shock, infection, and poor results. By selecting a qualified and experienced surgeon, discussing your health and concerns openly, and carefully following all of your surgeon’s instructions, you can significantly reduce your risk of complications with liposuction.

How much pain does liposuction cause?

Liposuction is performed under general anesthesia, which prevents discomfort during the surgery. Afterward, you will be prescribed pain medications which can help minimize pain during your recovery. Following your doctor’s postoperative instructions will ensure the safest and quickest recovery possible.

Will liposuction leave scars?

Liposuction requires small incisions that will leave scars. However, these are very small and are usually hidden in natural skin creases or isolated in inconspicuous areas that are usually covered by clothing.

How big are the liposuction incisions?

Liposuction incisions are typically about one quarter of an inch long.

Are liposuction scars visible?

Liposuction scars are quite small and are placed in less noticeable areas, such as natural creases in the skin or where they can be hidden by most clothing.

How long is recovery after liposuction?

Downtime after liposuction is limited compared to other major surgeries. While the healing time varies per patient, most people can return to work and light physical activities within 3 to 7 days, and more strenuous exercises within 2 to 3 weeks. This ensures a smooth healing process. Bandages are typically removed at the follow-up visit after 2 to 5 days. Patients must wear a thin compression garment full-time for 3 weeks and part-time for the following 3 weeks. This is to minimize swelling.

How long does swelling last after liposuction?

Swelling usually lasts from 4 to 6 weeks after liposuction. Wearing compression garments as instructed during this time can minimize swelling and any associated discomfort.

How long does it take to see results from liposuction?

Some liposuction results are immediate, although initial postoperative swelling can disguise the results. The final results are seen once the swelling subsides after 4 to 6 weeks.

Are liposuction results permanent?

The fat removed through liposuction is permanently removed from the body. The treated area will usually appear slimmer and thinner long term. Nonetheless, it is crucial that you maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward as liposuction cannot prevent future weight gain.

How much does liposuction cost?

The cost of liposuction varies widely per geographic region, liposuction technique, medical office, and treatment areas. Here at Dr. Taleisnik’s medical practice in Orange, California, liposuction can range from $3,900 to $9,000 USD. We provide several financing options that can help to reduce your out-of-pocket expense.

Can liposuction be covered by insurance?

Liposuction is an elective procedure and is therefore not usually covered by insurance. If there is severe excess fat causing skin rashes in the armpits, it may be covered. Talk to your insurance provider to learn whether there are any qualifying reasons that you may receive coverage for your procedure.

Still have questions? Schedule your consultation with Dr. Taleisnik today and get all your questions answered.