Liposuction, also known as “suction-assisted lipectomy” or “lipoplasty,” is a surgical procedure that eliminates excess fat from areas of the body that are difficult to target with diet and exercise. This procedure can restore a more slender physique if desired.
Liposuction is a very versatile procedure that can be used to remove stubborn fat from almost any area of the body, including the following areas:
The accumulation of fat in the upper arms can lead to excess tissue that hangs or jiggles uncomfortably. Liposuction can remove this excess fat to restore more slender arms with better definition.
Abdomen and Waist
The midsection is one of the most difficult areas to rid of stubborn excess fat. Liposuction can produce a slimmer appearing waistline and flatter abdomen by eliminating this resistant fat.
Back and Flanks
Many patients have extra fat on their backs and sides just above their waists. Others have extra fat deposits along their bra line. Liposuction can reduce this fat to achieve a smooth back and eliminate stubborn “love handles.”
Fat deposits that gather in the buttocks can cause permanent sagging and loss of a desired buttock shape. Liposuction can restore a firmer, rounder contour to the buttocks to improve the overall appearance of the rear.
Hips and Thighs
Excessive fat in the hips and thighs can cause “saddlebags” to develop, often resulting in discomfort and difficulty fitting into clothing. Liposuction can provide a slimmer appearance and sculpt your hips and thighs.
Knees and Ankles
Excess fat accumulation in the lower legs can result in flabby knees and thick ankles. Liposuction can effectively rid these areas of unwanted fat and sculpt the legs into a thinner and more defined shape.
Liposuction – What to Expect
Liposuction is one of the most rewarding procedures for patients who want to improve their physique, and the entire process from preparation to recovery can be very straightforward.
Before Your Liposuction
Before the procedure, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Do not take any anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for at least two weeks
- Refrain from smoking for at least two weeks
- Refrain from drinking alcohol for at least one week
- Shower the morning of surgery, but do not apply any lotions or other moisturizers
- Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure
While Undergoing Liposuction
Liposuction is usually performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. With a specialized suctioning device, excess fat deposits are permanently removed through small incisions using a thin hollow tube called a cannula.
After Shedding that Unwanted Fat
After your liposuction surgery is complete, it is best to follow these guidelines to ensure you have the safest and most effective recovery:
- Get plenty of rest
- Wear compression garments to help reduce swelling
- Take prescribed medication
- Limit physical activity
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon
Your surgeon will provide you with more detailed instructions to follow for after the procedure.
After a couple of weeks, swelling and bruising will subside and the contours of your body in the treatment areas will be noticeably slimmer and more defined. The results of liposuction are generally permanent. Patients can maintain their results by avoiding weight gain and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Ideal candidates for liposuction are close to their ideal weight with stubborn areas of fat that have been difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise alone. Liposuction candidates are in good overall health and do not have pre-existing health conditions. It is important to have realistic expectations of the procedure and to understand that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure.
Will liposuction improve the appearance of cellulite?
Although liposuction removes excess fat and usually provides the skin with a smoother appearance, it is not considered a good treatment for cellulite. Cellulite and irregularities in skin contour may still exist after liposuction.
How long will the results of liposuction last?
Liposuction permanently removes fat cells. However, the remaining fat cells in the treated area(s) can still increase in size with weight gain. Therefore, maintaining a stable weight by following a healthy diet and exercise regimen should preserve the results.
How much does liposuction cost?
The total cost of liposuction depends on the number of areas treated and the amount of fat removed.
Is liposuction covered by health insurance?
Health insurance providers do not typically cover the cost of liposuction because it is considered a cosmetic procedure.