Getting rid of excess fat can be a daunting task, and sometimes diet and exercise won't cut it. In order to gain a more perfect form, many people utilize liposuction - one of the most popular plastic surgery techniques for the last 30 years. Often used with other plastic surgery techniques, liposuction removes pockets of fat from troublesome areas such as the thighs, abdomen, and upper arms.
There are several different aspects to the liposuction procedure, including results, costs, and alternative treatments, and information about each can help inform someone who is considering this effective and popular treatment.
Here we cover some of the most basic parts of liposuction, but you are invited to explore and learn more about liposuction in greater detail within each section that follows.
The basic procedure involves a few steps:
- Local or IV sedation will be used, depending on the type and number of procedures undergone
- A few tiny incisions are made near the area to be treated
- A small, tube-like instrument called a cannula is inserted through the incisions in order to reach the fat deposits
- The cannula then breaks up and vacuums away unwanted fat
- The procedure is finished with the incisions usually being sutured and allowed to heal
As with any plastic surgery, you should prepare for liposuction carefully and allow yourself plenty of recovery time. If you're interested in liposuction, DocShop has information about what happens before surgery and during surgery, as well the recovery and maintenance process after liposuction surgery.
There are several different types of liposuction as well, each specialized for a particular type of desired result, and each exhibiting their own individual benefits and risks.
Video: Liposuction Surgery
"Qualified plastic surgeons can literally remove your excess fat tissue and almost immediately create a slimmer you."
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Treatable Areas of the Face and Body
Liposuction works best for areas of the face and body with stubborn fat deposits resistant to overall weight loss, such as the infamous "love handles."
Here are some of the areas that respond well to the treatment:
- Upper Arms
Men and women may also choose the treatment to reduce breast size, a procedure that results in less scarring than other types of plastic surgery. Liposuction for different areas can be performed back to back; in fact, many patients choose to have several body parts treated during the same day.
Most people wonder if liposuction will be right for them. If you are within a relatively normal weight range, have healthy, elastic skin, and have specific areas you want to target, then you may be a candidate for liposuction. The procedure is also appropriate for women who are considering breast reduction, and for men who suffer from gynecomastia, or male breast development.
Unfortunately liposuction is not a healthy choice for getting rid of large amounts of fat, which can usually only be changed through lifestyle changes in exercise and diet, or through bariatric surgery. It is designed to eliminate pesky "trouble areas" where fat is notoriously hard to get rid of, thereby changing the contours of the body into a more beautiful shape. It is also not appropriate for people with a weakened immune system, diabetes, heart or artery problems, or a history of blood clots or restricted blood flow.
Learn more about whether or not you might be a candidate for liposuction.
From improved health to a better appearance, liposuction isn't one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for nothing. By removing fat in strategic areas, a surgeon can help mold your body into the shape you want, get the jump on the weight loss you've been struggling to start or remove the last few pounds you've been trying to lose, remove cellulite, and help remain at a healthy weight.
The most important benefit comes from within, with the satisfaction and confidence of feeling good about your body whether it's in a bathing suit or a slimming outfit. That sort of spark within a person's demeanor can completely alter the way they interact with people and view themselves, and it's for that special brand of electricity that liposuction remains so popular. Learn more about the benefits of liposuction.
There are some risks involved with liposuction, just like any serious medical procedure. Although they are rare, they are problematic enough that you should talk to your doctor about them when weighing whether or not liposuction is the right option for you. Risks can include:
- Blood clots
- Friction burns
- Damage to internal organs from the cannula
Excessive liposuction can also carry its own complications. These risks can be minimized by choosing the proper surgeon and choosing the correct type for the results wanted. Learn more about the possible risks here.
Although all of the results won't be fully evident until a few months post-operation, there will be dramatic results immediately afterwards. Up to ten pounds of fat can be removed during the surgery, which can provide a noticeable difference if the treated areas have been chosen wisely by both surgeon and patient. Swelling and bruising will delay the full desired results until the body has recovered and gotten used to the new loss of fat, taking up to six months before a patient may feel fully back to normal.
Scarring from incision points during the procedure can also affect the visual results of the treatment, so make sure to discuss it with your surgeon if you are considering liposuction. You can learn more about results and post-surgery information here.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view liposuction before and after photos.
Photo credit: Dr. Dina Eliopoulos
The cost of the procedure can vary greatly depending on the type you chose, the area(s) of the body you want to target, and your surgeon. Generally, liposuction procedures run anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500, your total cost depending on the number of treatments you undergo.
Except in very rare cases, the surgery is not covered by insurance, and must be paid in full by the patient. There are many financing options available for plastic surgery through national credit companies such as CareCredit® or Unicorn® Financial. For more information, see our section on liposuction costs and financing.
Find a Surgeon Who Offers Liposuction
One of the benefits of DocShop.com is that we can help you find the surgeon that's right for you. Our large listing of surgeons, dentists and doctors allows you to find and then inspect each potential medical professional. Once you've found the available surgeons in your area, you can browse through their website and determine whether or not that particular specialist has what it takes. Find a qualified liposuction surgeon in your area.