Getting rid of unwanted pockets of fat has never been any easier with liposuction procedures at Adore Plastic Surgery! Liposuction is one of the most popular procedures in the United States because of its ability to transform a person’s body in an average of 1-2 hours. Liposuction allows surgeons to safely contour a patient’s body to achieve a beautiful figure.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction (lipo) also referred to as lipoplasty or liposculpture, is a cosmetic procedure that allows surgeons to suction excess fat from specific areas on patients’ bodies. There are various methods and techniques to carry out a liposuction procedure. Surgeons are able to remove this excess fat from the deepest layer under the skin to permanently eliminate the targeted fat. Liposuction allows those who are close to their ideal body weights (about 10-15 lbs) to slim down and sculpt their bodies in a minimally invasive manner. Most liposuction procedures have patients wear compression garments to stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling. As a minimally invasive procedure, liposuction recovery times range anywhere from 4-6 weeks to completely heal. After the 6 week mark, patients should have already gotten back to their usual routines with no bruising or swelling so that they can enjoy their newly sculpted bodies.
While liposuction can remove excess fat from virtually all areas of the body, it is not to be mistaken as a weight loss procedure. Liposuction will only give patients favorable results if they are aware of its capabilities and have a realistic expectation of their individual results.
Lipo Treatment Areas
Thanks to advancements in the medical field, liposuction procedures are able to treat various areas ranging from areas as delicate as the neck or as common as the love handles. Some of the area’s that can be treated by liposuction are:
- Upper Arms
- Inner knee
Depending on the location and size of the treatment area and the state of the patient’s skin, the surgeon will recommend the specific type of liposuction to best achieve the patient’s desired results.
Methods and Techniques of Liposuction
- Tumescent liposuction: Tumescent liposuction, also known as the traditional type of liposuction. Tumescent liposuction is usually done under local anesthesia. During tumescent liposuction, a tumescent (swelling) solution is injected into the patient to reduce pain and bleeding. The tumescent solution hardens the area and the fat cells. The tumescent liposuction method allows surgeons to remove larger amounts of fat at once.
- Power-assisted liposuction (PAL): Power-assisted liposuction uses a special cannula that vibrates to break up the excess fat cells so that the, now disintegrated, excess fat cells can be suctioned out more easily. Power-assisted liposuction is used on more sensitive areas since it typically leaves less bruising (because the cannula does not need to be moved as much in the body) on treated areas.
- Laser-assisted liposuction or Smart Lipo: Laser-assisted lipo, also known as smart lipo, uses laser light waves to break up and liquefy fat cells so that they can be suctioned out through a cannula. The laser waves give patients the added benefit of tightening up the skin and minimizing bruising and swelling.
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): Ultrasound-assisted liposuction, also known as VASER lipo, is similar to laser-assisted lipo in that they both utilize waves to liquefy fat cells. However, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses ultrasonic waves to liquefy fat cells to be effortlessly suctioned out of the treatment areas. Ultrasound-assisted lipo allows surgeons to address all treatment areas with precision, making it the most popular method for treating smaller, “hard to reach” areas of the body. It should be noted that, while this technique addresses delicate areas, it removes less total fat than other techniques.
Liposuction procedures don’t only leave patients with a sculpted figure but also boost self-esteem and confidence. It is a safe and effective way to remove excess fat from stubborn areas that are difficult to address through exercise and a healthy diet alone. Liposuction procedures are often done through a safe and quick 1-2 hour session that leaves the patients with rapid results.
In most cases, liposuction procedures do not only remove fat but also help decrease the amount or appearance of cellulite in treatment areas. Having excess fat removed through liposuction can give patients more mobility and better health in the long run.
Like with any other surgical procedure, there are possible risks that can arise from liposuction procedures. Surgeons will be able to treat all of the risks that could arise from a liposuction procedure when caught quickly.
Possible complications include:
- Longlasting bruising (healing throughout several weeks)
- Allergic reactions to anesthesia, medications, or materials used during surgery
- Skin sagging
- Unfavorable scarring
- Contour irregularity
- Nerve damage leading to temporary numbness
- Blood clotting (Hematoma (clotting under the skin))
- Edema (fluid build-up)
- Skin Necrosis (death of skin cells)
- Cardiac (heart), pulmonary (lung), urinary (kidneys) problems
- Poor/ prolonged healing
Depending on a patient’s personal and medical history, they might be more likely to occur some complications more than others. Disclosing this information with your surgeon is critical in preventing any of these complications beforehand when undergoing your procedure so that you can enjoy sculpted results.
Keeping in mind that liposuction is not a weight loss alternative, good candidates for liposuction should be within 10-20 pounds of their ideal weight. Those who are within their ideal body weight range but would like to remove some excess fat from specific areas are good candidates for liposuction. Patients must be in relatively good health with elasticity in their skin left so that the skin can tighten back up after the excess fat is removed. If a patient doe not has sufficient elasticity in their skin left or would like to remove excess skin from treatment areas, they’ll need an additional procedure to remove the excess skin.
Despite what people might think, liposuction is just as beneficial for men as it is for women. Men often seek out liposuction procedures to address similar issues that women do, with the addition of gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men) as well as abdominal obesity (beer belly). Since men are less likely to have fluctuations in their weight, it is also more difficult for them to address stubborn problem areas through diet and exercise alone. Liposuction allows men to permanently address these areas and live more confidently throughout their lives.
As a general rule of thumb, patients must complete their pre-operative assessments with favorable results and stop smoking two weeks before the procedure. While liposuction permanently removes the fat that is extracted, if patients neglect their bodies it is possible that they will gain weight which will naturally increase fat cells in all areas of the body (including areas treated with liposuction). It is advised that patients manage a healthy lifestyle so that they can maintain their liposuction results.
Preparing For Liposuction
All patients have different situations so, surgeons and nurses will recommend different things for each patient. Like with any other surgical procedure, there are certain things that patients should prepare beforehand. Patients will need to be medically cleared before their procedures. Surgeons will prescribe health assessments like blood work and EKGs that need to come back with satisfactory results. In terms of personal preparation tips for a liposuction procedure, most of the preparation for patients is the same. Some of the general liposuction procedure preparation tips include:
- Prepare meals for at least 2 days after the procedure
- Stock up on healthier food options at home
- Fill out any prescriptions the surgeon prescribes the day of/ the night before
- Arrange for a family member or friend to pick you
Patients must refrain from certain activities/ habits for a specific amount of time before their procedure. These activities/ habits include:
- Stop smoking one month before
- Stop drinking alcohol a week before
- Stop taking any blood-thinning medication (aspirin, ibuprofen. etc) a week before. Speak with your general practitioner and surgeon before discontinuing any medication.
Liposuction recovery times depend on how a patient heals, how many areas were treated, the sensitivity of those areas, and how much fat was extracted. Following the surgeon’s and nurse’s directions and tips after a liposuction procedure are key in a successful and rapid recovery.
Some of these directions and tips include:
- Take all medication(s) on time
- Keep all incisions and treatment areas clean
- Keep hydrated and avoid unhealthy foods
- Avoid heavy lifting and any strenuous activity during recovery
Patients will be put into compression garments to help with swelling and circulation if they treated larger areas. If a smaller area is treated then the surgeon might simply dress the wound(s) or give a smaller compression garment instead of having the patient be put in a full compression garment. Patients will need to continuously wear their compression garments for the first 3 days after the procedure. After which, patients should wear the compression garment as often as possible for the following 4 weeks to promote circulation and decrease swelling. Patients should be returning to their usual routines a few days after their procedure.
Patients who undergo liposuction procedures are left with slimmer, sculpted bodies that line up with their goal figures. Some liposuction results can be seen immediately after a procedure, however, the full results will be seen once a patient has fully recovered and their swelling has completely subsided. When exactly patients will be able to see their full results depend on how a patient heals, how many areas were treated, the sensitivity of those areas, and how much fat was extracted. On average it takes about 2-3 months for a patient to heal to the point where the swelling has gone down significantly and they believe it to be their full results. In most cases, patients will notice more significant results a year after their procedure once their body has completely recovered.
The average cost of liposuction in the United States is $3,600. At Adore Plastic Surgery, the cost of liposuction ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. The cost of liposuction depends on the areas a patient is getting treated, the method/ technique of liposuction used, the complexity of the procedure (including area size and difficulty of access), and the surgeon’s expertise. If a patient is treating a smaller area then the price of liposuction will be lower. If a patient is treating multiple areas or larger areas then the price of liposuction will naturally be higher.
At Adore Plastic Surgery, we aim to make all forms of quality cosmetic procedures accessible to all which is why we offer competitive pricing. Adore offers specials on liposuction procedures with different surgeons for patient convenience. At Adore Plastic Surgery, we believe that patients shouldn’t have to choose between quality and safety when it comes to something as important as a surgical procedure. Get the results you want at a price you’ll love.
Questions & Answers
No. Liposuction is not a weight-loss tool. Those who undergo liposuction should already be within their target weight range and just be looking for some improvements.
*It should also be noted that in the state of Florida, there is a 4 liter limit on how much total fat can be taken from a patient during a procedure.
Ideally, patients should be anywhere from 10-20lbs from their ideal/goal weights before undergoing a liposuction procedure. While liposuction does remove fat, it is not a weight-loss tool.
Women have a higher ideal weight margin than that of a male due to body features that add on more weight such as breasts, hips, and glutes. If a patient’s ideal weight is 145 lbs, then they shouldn’t be any more than 165lbs before undergoing their liposuction procedure.