Liposuction is intended to remove fat below the skin in problematic areas of the body. In general, women tend to store fat in the lower abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, and occasionally arms. Men, on the other hand, store fat in the abdomen and flank area. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and should not be viewed as such. However, removing fat from these problematic areas can dramatically improve one’s shape and appearance. One limitation of liposuction is that it cannot improve changes in the skin such as cellulite and stretch marks.

Liposuction has dramatically improved in recent years with the advent of the tumescent technique where a numbing solution containing adrenaline is injected before liposuction, which limits pain and bruising. In addition, fat can be “melted” with ultrasound or laser to make it easier to remove. After liposuction, one must wear conforming garments to avoid lumpiness or contour irregularities. Properly done liposuction will address discrete problematic areas of the body to yield a smooth, natural result. After liposuction, patients should work with their surgeon to maintain the result with diet and exercise. 

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EXPECTATIONS

LENGTH

1-3 hours (depending on the extent of procedure)

ANESTHESIA

General or local with sedation

IN/OUTPATIENT

Usually outpatient but an overnight stay may be required for high volume liposuction

SIDE EFFECTS

Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain

RISKS

Pain, bleeding, infection, incomplete improvement, contour irregularity

RECOVERY

Back to work: 1 weeks
More strenuous activity: 2 - 3 weeks

FINAL APPEARANCE

1 - 3 months for swelling to completely resolve

DURATION OF RESULTS

Permanent if weight is stable