Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving your body contours and proportion.
Liposuction techniques may be used to reduce localized fat deposits of the:
- Hips and buttocks
- Abdomen and waist
- Upper arms
- Inner knee
- Chest area
- Cheeks, chin and neck
- Calves and ankles
Most health insurance does not cover liposuction or its complications, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Liposuction costs may include:
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescriptions for medication
- Surgeon’s fee
Ideal liposuction candidates are:
- Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone.
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing.
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring.
If you are bothered by excess fat deposits – located anywhere on your body – that don’t respond to diet or exercise, liposuction may be right for you.
During your liposuction consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Previous surgeries
In preparing for liposuction surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
Liposuction should be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Liposuction Procedure Steps:
The liposuction procedure includes the following steps:
1. Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
2. Step 2 – The Incision
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions.First, diluted local anesthesia is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
3. Step 3 – Results
Your improved body contour will be apparent once the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside.
During your liposuction recovery, a compression garment or elastic bandages may cover treatment areas once your procedure is completed. These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours.
In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for the surgical site and drains.
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Liposuction Risks and Safety Information
Liposuction risks include:
- Anesthesia risks.
- Change in skin sensation that may persist.
- Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs.
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
- Fluid accumulation.
- Irregular contours or asymmetries.
- Irregular pigmentation.
- Need for revision surgery.
- Persistent swelling.
- Poor wound healing.
- Rippling or loose skin, worsening of cellulite.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Your plastic surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your liposuction options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of liposuction and any risks or potential complications